PREDICTIONS – WEEK 6

Week six is here!  We have picked out our top 13 games to watch around the state.  Four of our writers (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, and Wide Writer) have picked our winners/losers alongside our followers on Twitter.  We will keep score week in and week out to see who are the real football gurus

 

 

 

STANDINGS

1st: Third Writer (45)

2nd: Followers (42)

3rd: El Writer (41)

3rd: Writer2 (41)

3rd: Wide Writer (41)

 

 

 

PRELIMS

MeadowBridgeWildcats
(0-4)
Meadow Bridge (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer)

ValleyFayetteGreyhounds
(0-5)
Valley (Fayette) (Followers)

 

 

LoganWildcats
(1-4)
Logan (El Writer)

NitroWildcats
(1-4)
Nitro (Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

SummersCountyBobcats
(2-2)
Summers County (El Writer)

WebsterCountyHighlanders
(4-0)
Webster County (Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

WoodrowWilsonFlyingEagles
(1-4)
Woodrow Wilson (Third Writer)

GeorgeWashingtonPatriots
(2-3)
George Washington (El Writer, Writer2, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

 

UNDERCARD

WirtCountyTigers
(3-1)
Wirt County (No one)

DoddridgeCountyBulldogs
(3-2)
Doddridge County (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

ParkersburgBigReds
(2-2)
Parkersburg (Third Writer, Followers)

WheelingParkPatriots
(3-2)
Wheeling Park (El Writer, Writer2, Wide Writer)

 

 

MountViewGoldenKnights
(3-2)
Mount View (Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

NotreDameIrish
(1-4)
Notre Dame (El Writer, Writer2)

 

 

StMarysBlueDevils
(3-0)
St. Marys (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

WilliamstownYellowJackets
(2-3)
Williamstown (No one)

 

 

 

MAIN CARD

PikeviewPanthers
(3-2)
Pikeview (Writer2)

FayettevillePirates
(5-0)
Fayetteville (El Writer, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

BraxtonCountyEagles
(3-1)
Braxton County (Writer2)

LibertyHarrisonMountaineers
(4-0)
Liberty (Harrison) (El Writer, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

HurricaneRedskins
(3-1)
Hurricane (Followers)

SpringValleyTimberwolves
(3-1)
Spring Valley (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer)

 

 

JamesMonroeMavericks
(4-1)
James Monroe (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

NicholasCountyGrizzlies
(4-0)
Nicholas County (No one)

 

 

 

MAIN EVENT

MusselmanApplemen
(4-0)
Musselman (El Writer, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

MorgantownMohigans
(2-3)
Morgantown (Writer2)

 

 

 

BIG GAME PLAYER PREDICTIONS

Quarterback: Chris Fox (Musselman) vs Morgantown

Runningback: Jaiden Smith (St. Marys) vs Williamstown

Wide Receiver: Tayton Stout (Braxton County) vs Liberty (Harrison)

Offensive Lineman: Jaden Wolfley (Morgantown) vs Mussleman

Defensive Lineman: Dawson Blankenship (Nicholas County) vs James Monroe

Linebacker: Tanner Williams (George Washington) vs Woodrow Wilson

Defensive Back: Brenton Strange (Parkersburg) vs Wheeling Park

FIGHT CARD – WEEK 6

PRELIMS

Meadow Bridge at Valley (Fayette)

 

 What to Know: Both have started winless in 2017 and are clawing for their first dub.  These matchups are very interesting to us.  Both have had close games with good teams such as Fayetteville and Oak Hill.

 

Logan at Nitro

 

What to Know: Another rough start for two teams trying to get back on track.  One will prevail and hopefully build some momentum.  Logan has massive QB and D1-bound basketball player David Early.

 

 

Summers County at #7 Webster County

 

What to Know: Summers County struggled early on but has found new strength in step-in QB Tucker Lilly.  Webster County has come on strong with a strong run game and stout defense which has skyrocketed their stock.

 

 

Woodrow Wilson at George Washington

 

What to Know: Woodrow Wilson had two ugly losses and turned around and played top ten Hurricane and Cabell Midland fiercely.  This could make a tough fight since George Washington has struggled early and is trying to have a second half rise as they did in 2016.

 

 

UNDERCARD

Wirt County at Doddridge County

 

What to Know: Wirt County rebounded after a week two thumping to St. Marys.  Also in the boat of battling their rank back is Doddridge County who took a big step week five by destroying Ritchie County.

 

 

Parkersburg at #9 Wheeling Park

 

What to Know: Parkersburg has played some top opponents decently behind strong play from Brenton Strange.  Wheeling Park’s Nate Philips and Donnie Evans have played on an all-state level and are not trying to slip-up anymore after Bridgeport and University.

 

 

Mount View at Notre Dame

 

What to Know: This could be a shootout with Elijah Collier going head on with Ryan LaAsmar.  After a promising opener, Notre Dame struggled against AA opponents.  Mount View has played very well and only lost to top AA’s as well. WR Joel Maurer of Notre Dame makes this interesting as a huge target and a potential game breaker.

 

 

Williamstown at #1 St. Marys

 

What to Know: Williamstown has had an up and down road slipping out of the top ten though only losing to top teams.  Here’s a golden chance to regain their turf against St. Marys and Jaiden Smith… however, the odds are against the Yellowjackets.  St. Marys has smacked every opponent and are looking like repeating champs.

 

 

MAIN CARD

#4 Fayetteville (A) at Pikeview

 

Tale of the Tape: Fayetteville is on pace for another unbeaten regular season.  Jordan Dempsey has dazzled as the best athlete on the field and maybe the best in all of Single A.  Pikeview has a split ground game with both on pace for one thousand yards.  This has been a tide-turning season for Pikeview, and that could bode unwell for a smaller traveling Pirate team.

 

#9 Liberty (Harrison) at Braxton County

 

Tale of the Tape: A clash of ideologies will come forth this Friday in Flatwoods.  Liberty’s run game is coming off an epic team victory in three overtimes against Grafton.  They have themselves perched inside the top ten.  Nearby, Braxton County has rebounded with three straight wins after losing their opener.  QB Heath Cottrill doesn’t have the same dual threat capability as other top QBs, but he has fantastic arm talent.  WR Tayton Stout is one of the most underrated receivers in the state and will play a big factor in this matchup.

 

#5 Spring Valley at #8 Hurricane

 

Tale of the Tape: The MSAC never fails to provide at least one big time matchup.  In Week Six, it will be the towering Timberwolf line versus the Redskins defense.  Spring Valley has trampled most opponents behind the big play of QB Derek Johnson and multi-positioned Graeson Maleshevich.  There lone loss was to Huntington just like 2016.  Hurricane lost some momentum with a harsh loss to Cabell Midland, but this can be a game to gain traction to push back into the top five.

 

#6 James Monroe at Nicholas County

 

Tale of the Tape: This will give a great test to see Nicholas County’s legitimacy.  Their schedule isn’t challenging but has them within the top ten through the WVSSAC ratings.  No one players stands out- the defense is their pride once again.  It will need to show up to handle the Mohler’s and Connor Moore.  James Monroe’s lone loss is to a top ranked Point Pleasant team- which was close.  This will be a contest of plentiful points for whoever is victorious.

 

 

 

MAIN EVENT

Morgantown at #6 Musselman

 

Tale of the Tape: Morgantown has found themselves between a rock and a hard place as we thought they would.  Sitting with a losing record at the midway point, they’re going to need some big time quality points to start inching themselves back into the discussion.  There is no better place to start than with the Applemen of Musselman.  However, their offense hasn’t been slowed up even slightly.  Their ground game behind Jacob Northcraft is very smashmouth and it doesn’t help that QB Chris Fox has shown to be a talented passer.  The Mohigans are closing in on their identity, and this is a pivotal ball game.

C&CO. Midseason Awards – The Coalies

The halfway point has arrived.  We love all the support and appreciation we have gotten so far.  We enjoy criticism, too- it makes us better.  We must also shout out sportswriters, newspapers, and statisticians for making our collective commentary possible and much easier.  It’s been fun, so far, and we can’t wait for the second half!  Anyways, for our awards we’re not taking the basic road.  We’ve compiled teams of rising names, awarded some units, and reminisce on the some of the best games so far!

 

Note: Rising Stars are players that were not mentioned in the preseason and have had great seasons.

 

COALFIELD REGION

All-Rising Star Team

QB: Khori Bass (Oak Hill)

RB: Evan Rose (Pikeview)

WR: Devin Persinger (Greenbrier East)

LB: Avante Burnett (Woodrow Wilson)

DB: JJ Davis (Bluefield)

 

 

Biggest Jump

OakHillRedDevils

Oak Hill – Did not see Oak Hill making the strides they have this season. They have put themselves in great position to make a run at the Double A playoffs.   After ending a two-season spanned losing streak, the Red Devils have one of the top rushers in the state, Khori Bass.  He is out with a shoulder injury right now, but hopefully will return to aid Christian Lively in their hopes for the playoffs.

 

 

Biggest Drop

IndependencePatriots

Independence – What we thought was going to be even more stellar defense than in 2016 has not performed quite as well.  The defense is still good, but mistakes and a lack of experience have them in a rough spot.  We still think they’re a good team looking for an identity.

 

 

Best Unit

MingoCentralMiners

Mingo Central Skill – Jeremy Dillon has continued his campaign to defend the Kennedy Award.  His passing ability looks improved, and the Miners have found a vital role for transfer Dawson Elia- a runner who looks more and more comfortable every game.  Drew Hatfield is making a case for 1st team all-state again, and he is freed up with the swell performances of Josh Reed.  This unit has boasted 60+ points multiple times.

 

 

Best Game

MC PP

Mingo Central at Point Pleasant – A clash of powers that ended in complete drama.  In the season opener, Jeremy Dillon and Cason Payne combined for nearly one thousand yards and a dozen touchdowns.  Point Pleasant was defending a lengthy regular season and home winning streak and had the game won.  That was until Jeremy Dillon stepped up, rolled out with the clock at 0:00 forty yards away from the endzone.  He threw a beamer over multiple Black Knights and found Dawson Elia in the back of the endzone to start the season off with the team storming the field.

 

 

Best Uniforms

59773e3400304-image

Mingo Central – The Miners have sort of became the Oregon of West Virginia.  Their reputation for quality ranging from the school to the stadium to the uniforms really represents the support of the community.  They have numerous combinations with snowy white, light blue, solid black, and matte gray.  The end results come off quite sharp.

 

 

 

VALLEY REGION

All-Rising Star Team 

QB: Will Hackney (Sissonville)

RB: Caden Easterling (Riverside)

WR: Deshawn Harper (Capital)

LB: Logan Spurlock (Capital)

DB: Graeson Maleshevich (Spring Valley)

 

Biggest Jump

PocaDots

Poca – Once a storied and championship winning program, Poca finally broke a losing streak that spanned for years.  They’ve won two games thus far, and the state couldn’t be prouder.  It can’t be talked about enough for a group of young men to not just defeat an opponent but defeat a cloud of gloom hanging over their heads.

 

 

Biggest Drop

GeorgeWashingtonPatriots

George Washington – This is a drop, but we aren’t counting the Patriots out.  Their schedule was set up for a second half renaissance, however, we thought with experience and the stars of offense and defense, Grant Wells and Tanner Williams, they would be more of a contender at this point.  Their coaching staff knows what they’re doing and Wells has shown his 2016 ability as of recent.

 

 

Best Unit

SpringValleyTimberwolves

Spring Valley Offensive Line – We wanted to give this to Capital’s skill group for their depth or even Huntington’s line.  However, this front for Spring Valley needs proper love.  They have became a D1 pipeline for massive tackles and Doug Nester might be the best yet (ranked our #1 player in West Virginia).  Alongside this towering line, even the tight end Jacob Cassidy is Division One bound.  Their rushing numbers are honorable, and the hogs will keep wollering in that mud.

 

 

Best Game

cm cap

Capital at Cabell Midland – Kerry Martin Jr. played his tail off to the very last second.  Capital’s skill set diced up the Scarlet Knight defense and got up by as many as 21 points in the third quarter.  Heavy running by Isaiah Duncan and Ivan Vaughn made it a game again late.  Tied with few seconds remaining, the Cougars attempted a quick score to avoid overtime.  In some form of luck, pass interference was called on a short pass giving them an untimed down.  In movie-like fashion, Martin Jr. waited and waited until tossing the pigskin thirty yards away.  The ball flew over multiple Knights and into the arms of Anthony Pittman, who sprinted into the endzone for a walkoff win.  The Capital sideline stormed him in the endzone.

 

 

Best Uniforms

hun

 

Huntington  – With a gorgeous set of yellows, the Highlanders take the Coalie for the best uniform out of the Valley region. Accented with the green pants combination, it put the Highlanders over the others for the best uni.  There matte green helmet with matching green tops is also impressive.  They also have a black uni and pants with yellow outlining which is very appealing.

 

 

 

NORTH-CENTRAL REGION

All-Rising Star Team

QB: Clay Bailey (University)

RB: Donovan Kirby (Madonna)

WR: Antonio Parsons (Fairmont Senior)

LB: Jermain Snodgrass (Wheeling Park)

DB: Dereck Hess (John Marshall)

 

 

Biggest Jump

PhilipBarbourColts

Philip Barbour – This could have went to the Liberty (Harrison) Mountaineers, but Philip Barbour was 0-10 in 2016.  Chase Collier is a big part in this resurgence as one of the leading rushers of the North-Central.  They have big wins including one against Grafton (who took Liberty to 3OT).  We’re hoping for more success !

 

 

Biggest Drop

WilliamstownYellowJackets

Williamstown – Take this with a grain of salt just like George Washington.  We aren’t calling them a bad team, they just didn’t win the games we think they should have.  They suffered three straight losses to big time teams, but did get back on track with a blowout victory against Ravenswood.  It’s way to early to count the Yellowjackets out.

 

 

Best Unit 

FairmontSeniorPolarBears

Fairmont Senior Skill – Many units deserve recognition in the North-Central but we’ve been particularly impressed by the Polar Bear offense.  Connor Neal has stepped in without missing a beat at QB and Bryson Gilbert has proven to be one of the best running backs in the state.  Antonio Parsons really completes the offense with sure hands and always a big play threat- which compliments the pressures of Neal and Gilbert.  They defeated Bridgeport and had a very good shot at University.

 

 

Best Game

uni fs

Fairmont Senior at University – This a recent one that is fresh on our minds.  Connor Neal and Clay Bailey went toe-to-toe in an unexpected shootout.  The stars of the game came in Bryson Gilbert and Hayden Starcher.  Neither team could pull ahead confidently.  In one of the most heartbreaking ways to lose, AA Fairmont Senior committed a mistake on the snap in the redzone trying to take a late lead.  University recovered and would win the game 29-27.

 

 

Best Uniforms 

nm

 

North Marion – The Huskies play off of a good color scheme that is black and silver to really deliver on an awesome uniform.  They have multiple sets of jerseys and pants.  The key is their killer helmets.  A matte black with a silver band wrapping around the back with a white neck.  This is some nice design.

 

 

 

PANHANDLE REGION

All-Rising Stars Team

QB: Chris Fox (Musselman)

RB: Trey Sine (Martinsburg)

WR: Shy Crawford (Martinsburg)

LB: Keenan Smoot (Hedgesville)

DB: Kole Puffenberger (Pendleton County)

 

 

Biggest Jump

HedgesvilleEagles

Hedgesville – After losing star linebacker Gavin Smoot, the 2017 season seemed very uneasy.  However, his younger brother, Keenan, took the reigns and performed very well.  N’iyjere Smith has taken over as dual threat talent on offense and a solid lockdown defensive back.  Hedgesville hasn’t beaten a high quality team, yet, but they have defeated the ones they should have which can be easier said than done.  They have big matchups with Musselman, Martinsburg, and Spring Mills coming up.

 

 

Biggest Drop

JeffersonCougars

Jefferson – A team that definitely has talent has really dropped from grace.  Starting in the top ten and sitting win-less at the midway point is very surprising.  Their schedule hasn’t been easy, and they still have some hard ones ahead.  Hopefully, they can band together and get back on track.

 

 

Best Unit

MartinsburgBulldogs

Martinsburg Defensive Line – This is a hard call because every unit on Martinsburg is excellent.  The defensive line in particular is lethal.  Tavis Lee has continued destroying opposing lines while Jalen Hesen and Trey Henry are boulders who can’t be moved.  Perhaps only two other offensive lines in the state could truly handle them.  They have lived up to the hype in 2017 and are only getting better.

 

 

Best Game 

weir key

Weir at Keyser – This game was big in several ways.  It answered a lot of questions about Weir and Keyser, who were neck and neck in AA polls, and showed Keyser’s blowout loss didn’t define them.  In a sloppy game by both, two top defenders who also play QB, Tyler Komorowski of Weir and Brady Ours of Keyser.  It didn’t have the dramatic ending as the others did but was a hard contest on both sides with the Golden Tornado coming out the winner- which no writer predicted.

 

 

Best Uniforms

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Petersburg – We might have had a riot on our hands if we didn’t award this to Peterburg.  However, it’s earned because we love the uniforms.  They aren’t flashy or complicated, but they capitalized on a common red, black, and white color scheme.  The soft red helmet with the contrasted white viking horns paired with a white jersey and black pants is our favorite combination.

 

 

It’s been great so far and we’ll make sure to have more awards come the end of the regular season.  2017 has been a great year for ball.  The talent is here and we hope for more!

 

 

 

 

Coalfields & CO. Week 5 Review

For the fifth straight week the Main Event for our Fight Card has delivered.  Not one single dud- only if Writer2 was as good at picking winners as knowing which ones were going to be good games.  2017 is proving to be a great year for football in the Mountain State.  After the mid-season mark many teams begin to show their destinies and shine while others will fade out.  Either way, the next five weeks will be an exciting time to watch football.

 

As always, here’s our take on the week:

 

 KING OF THE NORTH –  The King of the North is a crown constantly changing.  For now, it sits upon University’s head.  Needless to say, Fairmont Senior is still showing that they are in the hunt for the AA Championship- after beating Bridgeport and losing late against University back-to-back weeks.  One week after a defensive showcase, Fairmont Senior and University combined for 822 yards.  Fairmont Senior’s Bryson Gilbert was phenomenal and played one of the best games by anyone of 2017 going for 198 and two total scores.  Clay Bailey of University aced through the air for 275 going to two big targets, Amir Richardson and Evan Parrow.  Hayden Starcher of University also had two key sacks and a blocked extra point.  Through all of this, the Polar Bears had a shot to win it on the goal line, but QB Connor Neal errored the snap thus icing the game 29-27.  Kings of the North.

uni fs
Photo Credits: http://www.DominionPost.com

 

 

Who’s Legit? – Webster County has some good wins- not great.  They have two solid RBs Dustin Williams and Luke Hardway which can carry a team in Single A.  They beat a talented passing Notre Dame Friday by 20 and won’t face any big names until the playoffs.  Madonna is still unbeaten behind Donovan Kirby and won’t be truly tested until they tee off against Wheeling Central a month from now.  Finally, Sherman surprised a lot of us with their manhandling of Van.  Brady Grant was slowed down and shutout.  Sherman’s lone loss was an opener to an also impressive Tug Valley team- they too have a coasting schedule with the exception of their bout with #3 South Harrison.

 

 

The Heart and Soul of the Town Game – Goes to Dave Moneypenny’s Fayetteville team.  A team with only 21 players takes on an undefeated  AA  Oak Hill team.  With the uncertainty of consolidation hanging over their heads, the Pirates dominated a much bigger school with much larger players and a local rival.  Sad thing is a lot of people did not consider this an upset.  The only stat that counted in this one was the one in the win column; the Pirates will continue their chase for another State Championship behind area scoring leader Jordan Dempsey.  Jason Blankeship’s Red Devils did take on Fayetteville without star player Khori Bass.  For now, the Pirates are the top ranked in the area, however, their much anticipated matchup with Midland Trail and Thomas Ferris is only weeks away.

 

 

#THATWASNTLONG – Poca might have been able to extend their new winning streak if they didn’t have to face Jeremy Dillon.  The Miners have not been slowed down- Dillon scored four times in the first half where they led 42-0.  There were some other big blowouts such as Bluefield’s thrashing of Tazewell (VA) which has moved the Beavers to #2 in AA- on a crash course with several powerhouses such as James Monroe and Point Pleasant, who handled Wyoming East and Mount View easily, respectively.  Doddridge County dominated Ritchie County 61-0, and Weir hung 75 points on Petersburg in a blowout victory.  Winfield and South Harrison also won big Friday night.

DoddridgeCountyBulldogs

 

 

AAA Heart Breakers Club Award – Goes to Capital and Huntington.  Welcome to the MSAC where each week some of the top schools in the state battle weekly.  The week before Capital won on a hail mary, and now, seven days later, lose on a last second field goal to #2 Huntington.  The Highlanders were the first team to manage the dual threat Cougar QB Kerry Martin Jr. and the Capital skill group.  Jadon Hayes has continued his fantastic 2017 season with a gutsy 39 carry 246 yard and three total score performance.  This allowed Isaiah Carpenter to boot in a 23-yard field goal with no time left to win 24-21.

 

 

In The Hunt Game –  Goes to the Spring Valley and South Charleston game.  A game many thought would be close because of the speed of South Charleston, but it just did not develop.  This size and discipline of the Timberwolves just ran over the constant mistakes and miscues made by the South Charleston squad.  Trae Murphy struggled, and Drew Joseph seems to be the lone defender for the Black Eagles.  Graeson Malashevich has been the horse so far for Spring Valley and tag-teamed with QB Derek Johnson to overpower the Black Eagles.  Things have not gone well for South Charleston since their week one win against George Washington.  Another team suffering the heat of the MSAC and have underperformed with a close call with Ripley in Week Five.

 

 

Comeback Award – Two very improved teams of the MSAC took the field Friday Night, and Riverside looked to outmatch St. Albans in every facet.  This game was vital to their playoff hopes, and the defense showed it- picking off freshman QB RT Alexander six times in the first three quarters.  However, being down 17-0, they pulled back into the game passing, rushing, and on defense.  They had a shot to take a lead, but a fumble was coughed up.  However, QB Mark Scites of Riverside quickly gave it back and Jayson Barrett quickly scored his second touchdown to take the lead 21-17.  Riverside had one more shot but was picked off late in the redzone.  An ugly win for St. Albans and an ugly loss for Riverside.

st. riv
Photo Credits: http://www.WVGazetteMail.com

 

 

Rising Panhandle – We are all aware of the beast that resides in the Panhandle.  However, two nearby teams have performed very well.  Musselman demolished Princeton- score being 49-0 at halftime and have a thumping offense behind QB Chris Fox and RBs Jacob Northcraft and Tyler Sine who combined for four touchdown in two quarters.  Hedgesville won a much closer game, holding off a late rally by out-of-state foe James Wood.  Though they recovered an onside kick, N’iyjere Smith iced the game with an interception.  He also had two explosive touchdowns.  Neither team most likely can handle Martinsburg, but hey, teams prove us wrong all the time.

 

 

AA Battle for the Back Eight – AA is almost a whole other state in itself.  Covering the top teams is hard because there’s so many.  For example, #7 Keyser beat AAA Jefferson by four touchdowns.  It’s insane.  Borderline teams are doing their best to improve their resume.  Wayne had an impressive shutout against Nitro, and Pikeview’s deadly ground game blew out Shady Spring.  Teams such as Westside and Nicholas County have good records but unimpressive victories.  Perhaps, the biggest sleeper could 2-3 Robert C. Byrd who has held its own against Fairmont Senior and last week, 34-20, against Bridgeport.  A bitter loss to Preston brings up a lot of questions.  They will have opportunities to take on North Marion, Elkins, Philip Barbour, and Liberty (Harrison)- all teams on the bubble themselves.

 

 

Triple OT Thriller – Liberty (Harrison) and Grafton went nose-to-nose as two rising AAs.  The Mountaineer duo of Westfall and Lantz struck again for over 200 yards, several important catches, three TDs, and a pick.  Whereas Grafton relied on Caleb Bish who ran 40 times for 162 and TD and a pick.  Going down to the wire, Liberty had committed four turnovers but still held a 14-7 lead until a halfback pass scored on fourth down to tie it up.  Grafton carried the momentum into overtime, going up 21-14.  They stopped Liberty in four downs, but it was for not- pass interference… then touchdown.  21-21.  In the the second OT, Liberty was stopped on a goal line stand.  Grafton just had to kick a field goal to win.  BLOCKED!  Third overtime!  Liberty finally stopped Grafton on downs and with their turn, kicked a the game winning field goal.  24-21.  What a ball game!

graf lib
Photo Credits: http://www.TheET.com

 

 

Lurking Powers – Week in and week out, the same top single A’s are talked about.  However, there’s a been a constant shuffling of teams that are good but keep beating each other.  Williamstown has beat Tyler Consolidated, Magnolia, and now Ravenswood, however, suffered a loss to Wheeling Central, who has also beaten Magnolia.  Magnolia has lost two out-of-state and the two mentioned- tough luck.  Tyler has narrowly lost to Webster County and beaten a rising Doddridge team- they will face off with Magnolia soon.  Doubtful that all four teams will make the dance, however, those that do could make some noise.

 

Who Made That Schedule Award – After playing and losing to some of the powerhouse  programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia has the Mohigans licking their wounds.  Now at the midpoint of the season, they have their backs to the wall.  They still have two of the state’s strongest AAA programs in Mussleman and University on the schedule and a couple of games they cannot in any way afford a slip up.  Their Week Five showdown with Martinsburg was a bit closer than the 51-7 score- but not by much.  The Bulldogs literally have a lethal threat everywhere.  QB Tyson Bagent constructs his offense of playmakers with complete structure which allows players like Matt Vandulzer and Trey Sine to excel.  Two teams in two very different spots.

 

 

Noteworthy Performances – Chapmanville is still pushing behind a crazy show by RB Dylan Smith who totted the rock for 371 yards and five touchdowns.  In Weir’s school record 75-7 win against Petersburg, Chad Custer had 217 yards and five touchdowns.  The Red Rider defense held Petersburg to -66 yards rushing.  Speaking of team performances, eight different players scored for Tyler Consolidated in a blowout win against Calhoun County.  Up north, Ethan Secrist of Brooke caught six passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns in a bounce back win.  And finally, Grant Wells is beginning to turn it up in the second half of the season once again as he threw for 266 and ran for 93 and tallied four touchdowns in a decisive win over Ripley.

PREDICTIONS – WEEK 5

Week five is here!  We have picked out our top 13 games to watch around the state.  Four of our writers (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, and Wide Writer) have picked our winners/losers alongside our followers on Twitter.  We will keep score week in and week out to see who are the real football gurus

 

 

 

STANDINGS

1st: Third Writer (36)

2nd: Followers (34)

3rd: El Writer (33)

4th: Writer2 (32)

5th: Wide Writer (31)

 

 

PRELIMS

PadenCityWildcats
(0-3)

Paden City (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

HundredHornets
(0-4)

Hundred (No one)

 

 

RiverviewRaiders
(0-3)

River View (No one)

ManHillbillies
(0-3)

Man (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

RitchieCountyRebels
(2-2)

Ritchie County (No one)

DoddridgeCountyBulldogs
(2-2)

Doddridge County (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

ShadySpringTigers
(2-2)

Shady Spring (Wide Writer, Followers)

PikeviewPanthers
(2-2)

Pikeview (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer)

 

 

 

UNDERCARD

MountViewGoldenKnights
(3-1)

Mount View (No one)

PointPleasantBigBlacks
(3-1)

Point Pleasant (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

ShermanTide
(3-1)

Sherman (Wide Writer)

VanBulldogs
(3-1)

Van (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Followers)

 

 

SaintAlbansRedDragons
(2-2)

St. Albans (No one)

RiversideWarriors
(2-2)

Riverside (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer. Followers)

 

 

LibertyHarrisonMountaineers
(3-0)

Liberty (Harrison) (Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer)

GraftonBearcats
(3-1)

Grafton (El Writer, Followers)

 

 

 

MAIN CARD

MorgantownMohigans
(2-2)

Morgantown (No one)

MartinsburgBulldogs
(4-0)

Martinsburg (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

SouthCharlestonBlackEagles
(2-2)

South Charleston (No one)

SpringValleyTimberwolves
(2-1)

Spring Valley (El Writer, Writer2, Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

OakHillRedDevils
(4-0)

Oak Hill (Third Writer)

FayettevillePirates
(4-0)

Fayetteville (El Writer, Writer2, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

 

CO-MAIN EVENT

FairmontSeniorPolarBears
(4-0)

Fairmont Senior (El Writer, Writer2)

UniversityHawks
(4-0)

University (Third Writer, Wide Writer, Followers)

 

 

CapitalCougars
(3-1)

Capital (El Writer, Writer2, Wide Writer, Followers)

HuntingtonHighlanders
(4-0)

Huntington (Third Writer)

 

 

BIG GAME PLAYER PREDICTIONS

Quarterback: Jovaun Light (Cabell Midland) vs Woodrow Wilson

Runningback: Ben Salmon (Sherman) vs Van

Wide Receiver: Antonio Parsons (Fairmont Senior) vs University

Offensive Lineman: Michael Turner (Hedgesville) vs James Wood (VA)

Defensive Lineman: Tavis Lee (Martinsburg) vs Morgantown

Linebacker: Owen Porter (Spring Valley) vs South Charleston

Defensive Back: Kole Puffenberger (Pendleton County) vs Madonna

FIGHT CARD – Week 5

PRELIMS

Paden City at Hundred

 

What to Know: Poorer teams deserve some love too.  It isn’t easy to push on with little players and a tough road of losses.  Hundred boasts the nation’s longest losing streak, however, Paden City has been blown out similarly.  This is a game for pride and a potential turning point in Hundred’s history.

 

 

River View at Man

 

What to Know: Two more winless teams match up Friday with one hoping to get their tides turned.  Unlike the first prelim game, River View and Man have been competitive and lost some close ballgames (both lost narrowly to top ten Mount View).  Brock Muncy of Man was an area standout at linebacker in 2016, and we’re eager to see one of these schools grab their first W!

 

 

Ritchie County at Doddridge County

 

What to Know: Both Doddridge and Ritchie County could be sleepers in class A.  Their only losses have been out-of-state or narrow defeats by top schools (though one was a blowout).  This has sank them out of the picture as of now, but a game like this could decide who makes the push.  Neither has had standout players but from the film, Curtis James of Doddridge seems like the go-to guy for this battle.

 

 

Shady Spring at Pikeview

 

What to Know: Two teams we are surprised to be talking about midway through the season, but they deserve it.  Last week, both impressed.  Tyler Bragg and the Tigers beat an Independence team we assumed was promising early on.  Pikeview lost but only by seven to a top ten James Monroe.  Evan Rose and Hunter Mitchelson are both on pace for 1k yards of rushing.  This is an intriguing matchup for some AA’s trying to sneak into the dance.

 

 

 

UNDERCARD

#9 Mount View (A) at #5 Point Pleasant

 

What to Know: We’re not sure how to feel about this matchup.  Mount View has proven their worth so far in 2017 behind the most prolific QB in school history, Elijah Collier.  They are single A and will have to travel one of the largest AA’s.  Point Pleasant has left a trail of destruction behind them after their heartbreaking week one loss.  QB Cason Payne has looked stellar.  This has the makings of a throttling, but we never count anyone out.

 

 

#10 Sherman at Van

 

What to Know: These two squads caused a lot of debate about who belonged in the top ten.  RB Brady Grant of Van has ran all over his opponents including a decisive victory over AA Lincoln County in week four.  Sherman has their own RB, JT Hensley, who has been productive.  Their only loss was a 6-0 opener to Tug Valley.  This is a game loaded with quality points, and the winner could see a major payday.

 

 

St. Albans at Riverside

 

What to Know: In the case of many teams this year, St. Albans and Riverside have performed better than in past seasons.  Both can thank their QBs RT Alexander and Mark Scites, respectively.  Alexander is a more substantial passer and Scites thrives off playmaking.  These two teams are attempting to make a home in the MSAC middle class where a playoff spot can almost always be found.

 

 

#9 Liberty (Harrison) at Grafton

 

What to Know: Liberty has continued their winning- coming in at #4 in the previous WVSSAC ratings.  Their dynamic duo in the backfield is well known and isn’t looking to be stopped.  After dropping the home opener to Philip Barbour, Grafton has defeated East Fairmont, Peterbsburg, and Notre Dame (A).  None of those are bad teams.  Their remaining schedule is tough, and this is a must win for the Bearcats!

 

 

 

MAIN CARD

Morgantown at #1 Martinsburg

 

Tale of the Tape: Martinsburg has obliterated every foe they have mingled with.  Looking unstoppable, they possess top players at almost every position.  Their defensive line is deadly and so is their skillset- not to mention excellent passer Tyson Bagent.  The Mohigans are coming off two wins in WV and are dealing with the publicity of Logan Holgorsen returning (who is eligible to play).  Morgantown always plays Martinsburg tough, and we’ll just have to see how handle it come Friday.

 

 

South Charleston at #5 Spring Valley

 

Tale of the Tape: The Black Eagles have had a roller coaster of a season so far.  They’ve won close and lost big.  They have quality players like QB Trae Murphy and LB Drew Joseph with liabilities abound.  Spring Valley is a team that highlights weaknesses very quickly.  They’ve only lost to Huntington, and that’s downplayed how dominant they are.  They are big, they are fast, and they are mean.  South Charleston always makes things interesting, that’s why we think this could a little messy.

 

Oak Hill (AA) at #4 Fayetteville

 

Tale of the Tape: After dismantling a long losing steak to open the season, Oak Hill has not looked back.  They have gotten the attention of everyone in the state behind the video game numbers of Khori Bass, however, his shoulder may hold him out (like in 2016).  They’ll rely on Christian Lively.  Fayetteville also has a human joystick by the name of Jordan Dempsey.  The Pirates didn’t manhandle Meadow Bridge in week four like we thought, and it has raised a lot of questions on how good they really are.  Well, here we are, two undefeateds only miles apart, only one is coming out flawless.

 

 

 

CO-MAIN EVENT

#2 Fairmont Senior (AA) at #3 University

 

Tale of the Tape: THE KING OF THE NORTH.  In a convenient tournament of the northern powerhouses, Fairmont Senior and University are the only two remaining unbeatens.  Both won in the final moments of play against the other two top teams, and both defended their top five rankings.  The Polar Bears have a solid trio on offense consisting of QB Connor Neal, WR Antonio Parsons, and RB Bryson Gilbert.  Don’t forget their reckoning on the defensive line, Dante Stills.  University’s QB Clay Bailey has performed well thus far behind the cooperation of two-way playmakers RB/LB Trevor Barnhart and WR/S Amir Richardson.  Forget the divisions, this a game between two of the top teams in the entire state.

 

 

#4 Capital at #2 Huntington

 

Tale of the Tape: Hmm, this game could make things interesting fast.  In the evergoing battle to be #2, Huntington has started strong with a legendary comeback and a shutdown of Spring Valley.  Jadon Hayes has been notably instrumental in all of this- gaining many of the early nods for the Kennedy frontrunner.  However, they’ve been unlike themselves the past two weeks.  Down in Charleston, Kerry Martin Jr. has not looked back after dropping a week one shootout.  Last week, they traveled to Ona and beat Cabell Midland under strenuous conditions.  They have one of the deepest squads in WV: Deshawn Harper, Quisean Gray, Anthony Pittman, Chase Goldsmith, Breece Hoff.  If they win, the MSAC gets shaky and the battles truly begin.