CHARLESTON, Tenn. (WRCB) -- There's a party happening at Walker Valley High School, and Channel 3's award-winning Friday Night Football wants to be part of it.
In a landslide vote, Red Bank's visit to the upstart Mustangs was selected as the Friday Night Football Game of the Week for Week 3 of the 2012 season. Voting was conducted through Channel 3's Facebook page.
The game features two coaches who are new to their programs this year, but hardly new to coaching.
Glen Ryan is in his first year leading at Walker Valley, where the former Soddy-Daisy coach has the Mustangs a surprising 2-0 after a winless 2011 season.
"Coach Ryan is a really hard-nosed guy, and as a lineman that makes it really fun to play for him," said offensive lineman Alexander Hooper. "We're just a lot tougher. Even when adversity strikes this year, we haven't folded like we have in the past.
"We just keep playing together and we're playing well."
Walker Valley had lost 16 straight games before beating East Ridge 20-10 to open the season in Week 0. The Mustangs followed it with Justin Ware's four-touchdown performance in a 44-12 pasting of Hixson a week later.
"Getting that first win took the monkey off their backs, and they started to feel a litle more confident," Ryan said. "We're 2-0 now, but we talk all the time about not getting complacent. 2-8 is not a very good year and we don't want to finish there.
"The day we don't keep getting better is the day we get beat."
The Lions hope that day comes Friday, but Ryan's Wing-T rushing attack will provided plenty of challenges.
"You know what they're going to do, but you still have to try to stop it. The last two teams they played knew what they were going to do, but Walker Valley still got the 'W,'" said Red Bank linebacker Jake Parker. "They're a big, physical team, but we've got some big, physical guys, too. It should be a really good, smashmouth game."
Former Cleveland and Soddy-Daisy coach E.K. Slaughter is back at Red Bank, where he previously served as offensive coordinator before his first head coaching stint.
The Lions' young roster learned a lot in a season-opening loss to Soddy-Daisy, and bounced back last week with a 19-7 win over East Ridge.
"We're picking things up. We're getting better on both sides of the ball, so we're getting there," Slaughter said. "But we still have a really long way to go. We've got some youth at some spots, and those guys need to continue growing up in a hurry. But if we just keep working on some things each week I think we'll have a chance to be right there at the end of the year."
Walker Valley has had two weeks to prepare for its home-opener after a bye last Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET Friday night.
Channel 3's Paul Shahen and Jordan Tippitt will then provide live coverage and analysis from Walker Valley High School on Friday Night Football starting at 11:10 p.m. ET.
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