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.
#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!
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.
#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.