By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
HONAKER, Va. —
It was 1992. Bill Clinton was elected to his first term as president and a team not nicknamed the Tigers, the Hurley Rebels, won the Black Diamond District.
That places Haysi and Honaker’s combined domination of BDD football in perspective.
The Honaker Tigers (8-1, 3-0) host the Haysi Tigers (7-2, 3-0) Saturday in the final game of the 2012 regular season. It’s another election year and one of those two teams has been a BDD champ since ’92. Saturday’s winner will make it 20 years in a row.
In tonight’s action Hurley will play for playoff position as it hosts BDD and Buchanan County rival Twin Valley, while Grundy hosts interstate rival Mount View (3-6).
Honaker, with its size advantage and tough non-district schedule, is a slight favorite in Saturday’s showdown game with Haysi, but that means nothing, says Honaker coach Doug Hubbard. He expects Saturday’s contest to be what most Haysi-Honaker games are: close.
“When we play it’s one of those games where you can pretty well throw out the records and everything else,” Hubbard said. “It’ll be a tough ballgame.
“This is one of those games where you need to be ready to go play from the start. Not a lot needs to be said on both sides.”
In one way the two teams are very similar and that’s on offense, where both are equally adept at running or throwing the ball.
Jeffrey Bowen set two Haysi school records with 332 yards rushing and six touchdowns on just nine carries in last week’s 62-22 rout of Phelps, Ky. More often than not this season, however, the Tigers have relied on the prolific passing of senior quarterback Zach Owens.
Honaker has, perhaps, the deepest backfield in the area, but it can count on senior QB Ty Hall whether it needs yardage on the ground or in the air. Hall was 11-of-13 passing for three touchdowns in last week’s 55-21 win at Grundy.
“(Honaker) can come at you in a lot of ways,” said Haysi coach James Colley. “They can line up and power the ball at you, or run play-action.
“They’ll spread it out and throw or run out of it. Ty Hall is a really good quarterback, he’s an excellent passer and runner.”
Among BDD clubs Honaker, Haysi and Hurley have all clinched playoff berths. Grundy has a shot with a win tonight and a little help, while Twin Valley has been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race.