Van (A) at Lincoln County
What to Know: After a hard loss week one against Shady Spring, Lincoln County has won two-in-a-row including a big win against Tolsia last week. Van has one of the best Single A running backs, Brady Grant, and knocking off a AA would be giant!
Hampshire (AAA) at Petersburg
What to Know: Hampshire, a team looking much improved, will shoot for their second win against lower division Petersburg. The Vikings have an experienced junior QB, Jacob Hartman, and that could give them the edge in this matchup. Both are on the up.
Grafton (AA) at Notre Dame
What to Know: Notre Dame has dropped back-to-back losses against AA teams. QB Ryan LaAsmar has done his part though- he threw for 464 last week. Grafton is riding big wins over East Fairmont and Petersburg. Notre Dame will try and finally pick off a higher division team.
#8 James Monroe at Pikeview
What to Know: This most likely will be a blowout (we’re straight shooters) because James Monroe has a slew of talented skill players and a quality front. Their only loss is to a top AA Point Pleasant. However, Evan Rose has ran rampant for a second season in a row for Pikeview- a team that has already made us eat our words before. It is an intriguing game and will answer how legit Pikeview is.
Williamstown at #10 Wheeling Central
What to Know: A surprising start has both of these usual A powers with losing records. Both have similar cases: a loss to a top A team and a good out-of-state. They are both searching for their identity and something to go their way. We believe both are still top six teams but the winner of this could determine what momentum they begin to build.
North Marion at Elkins
What to Know: North Marion did not handle the big game against Fairmont Senior well. However, it wasn’t a complete whoopin. The Huskies are off to great start and Elkins is sitting undefeated- trying to claw its way into the AA top ten. This is an interesting joust between two borderline top ten teams looking to prove themselves.
Philip Barbour at Liberty (Harrison)
What to Know: A personal favorite of our writers, the previous 0-10 Colts have started to win- a big part by RB Chase Collier. However, Liberty (Harrison) is quite good at running the ball too. They have had two different players rush for over 300 yards in a game: Broderick Lantz and Dalton Westfall. It is an exciting time for AA football!
#7 Weir at #10 Keyser
What to Know: The Red Riders of Weirton will travel to Keyser’s house. Both teams have a QB that flourishes on defense: Tyler Komorowski and Brady Ours, respectively. Keyser did not handle Fort Hill (MD) well last week getting absolutely annihilated. Weir has dominated and beat teams we expected them to beat. This is a good measuring stick for where they stand.
#5 Pocahontas County at #2 East Hardy
Tale of the Tape: Pocahontas County has risen out of thin air to be considered an up-and-coming threat in Single A. Three straight wins over Tucker County, Moorefield, and Pendleton County have the Warriors sitting at #5 in our class rankings. East Hardy, however, has only lost two games in two years and both were State Championship games. As said before, the only way to stop East Hardy is to stop WR Brett Tharp- which no one can really do.
#6 Sissonville at #1 Mingo Central
Tale of the Tape: Miner Mountain is a scary place. It’s even scarier when Mingo Central has the talents of Jeremy Dillon, Dawson Elia, and Drew Hatfield. The Miners swamped Logan last week putting up 65 points. Across the way, Sissonville shut down a hot Scott team. QB Will Hackney is an area leader in passing and this can give them a solid shot against Miners allowing for quick scores because we don’t think Mingo Central can be worn down via run.
#6 Capital at #4 Cabell Midland
Tale of the Tape: Oh buddy, oh buddy, do we look forward to this every year. The spread out speed of Capital versus the bulked out muscle of Cabell Midland. This has become quite the rivalry in recent years. Both suffered out-of-state losses against good teams and have handled MSAC teams with ease. Cabell Midland has more speed than usual and Capital is a really deep squad. We all know the dominating skill players in this game but we think who wins up front will determine the victor. Capital’s Breece Hoff has shown lethality coming off the edge and Chase Goldsmith has D1 potential. The Scarlet Knights’ OL Jordan King is a top 25 player in the state. We shall see. Capital beat them twice in 2016.
#3 University at #8 Wheeling Park
Tale of the Tape: Another big boy matchup this week. University is looking to prove their worth against an experienced Wheeling Park. University has proven to have the skill players and a solid defense. However, the quality of competition has been questioned so far. Regardless, they can shut everyone up this Friday. Wheeling Park has only lost to Bridgeport, and it was close. Wilkinson and Clark will be accounted for and we think Nate Phillips will be vital on both sides of the ball for their success.
#3 Fairmont Senior at #2 Bridgeport
Tale of the Tape: You can’t ask for a better game to watch Friday night. Wayne Jamison Field will be packed so you better show up early. The last time these two shared a field Bridgeport laid in agony as the ref gave QB Jake Abbot a successful (yet controversial) two-point conversion to send the Polar Bears to the State Championship. This was after a first down on a 2nd and 31, Bridgeport being on a 38-game win streak, and not a loss to Fairmont Senior since 2006. This has the makings of a brutal rematch. We know the players in this battle. Bryson Gilbert, Chapin Murphy, Dante Stills, John Merica, Connor Neal, Jimmy Allison, Antonio Parsons, Jake Bowen. Let’s ball.