By JOSH STROPE
Bishop Donahue lost a tough game last week to Weirton Madonna and sit at No. 14 in the latest WVSSAC Class A football rankings.
Bishops coach John Durdines doesn't sit there and think about playoff scenarios.
''Doing that will drive you crazy,'' he said.
What he does know is that if Bishop Donahue wins out, it is likely headed to the postseason for the third straight year. That starts this week with Paden City.
''The kids were down but they quickly rebounded,'' Durdines said of the Madonna loss. ''We had a good day of practice and we are moving forward and plugging away. This is one of those opportunities that got away and we just have to keep getting better.''
Against the Blue Dons, when the Bishops had a drive that didn't have any penalties, they scored. When they committed a penalty, they didn't.
''I think we had six false starts and kept going backward,'' Durdines said. ''We need to be more disciplined, more focused.''
Paden City could be the best cure for the Bishops, but don't expect Durdines to overlook the Wildcats.
''They are young, but they have some athletes,'' Durdines said. ''They have a nice quarterback (Zach Heasley) that can throw the ball very well.
''There is some speed on the outside and Brent (Croasmun) has them working hard and playing hard. We definitely have to keep our focus.''
The biggest mismatch may be in the trenches, where youth has really hurt the Wildcats.
''We think we have made some strides with our skill players,'' Croasmun said. ''Kennedy Cain is catching the ball well, Heasley is throwing it better. We are just getting beat on the line of scrimmage.
''That is our biggest weakness. We are getting outmuscled and it's a learning experience. It will grow with time.''
That will make it hard for the Wildcats to stop the duo of Jordan Bonar and Saquan Hill as both Bishops backs are having solid seasons.
That is also making it easier for Jesse Padlow, who is having a stellar first year for the Bishops under center and is completing 62 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
''They are probably one of the top Class A programs in the state of West Virginia,'' Croasmun said of Donahue. ''They are very well-balanced. They seem to run when they want to and pass when they want to. They are very aggressive on defense. We are going to have our hands full.''