Coalfields and Company had its staff out in full force this weekend. We saw a lot of games and kept track with all the rest. This is the most important part of the season as teams are now building their resume for the playoffs, and it’s no longer questionable to discuss the postseason. This past week was full of upsets and close calls for top teams through all divisions. We now have teams that have punched their tickets to the playoffs and some teams are now eliminated and will play for pride or the part of spoiler. The playoff picture begins to develop weekly and the fun part of the year is seeing how teams respond.
Here’s our take on last week:
Triple AAA Undefeated’s – Martinsburg, Huntington, and University. Martinsburg, simply, has been a machine of destruction this year- living up to their hype. They have not had a hiccup at all as this weekend they had fifty at the half almost as if it’s a tradition by now. Good thing the state implemented a mercy rule a few years ago or they might have rivaled Capital’s 91 in 2014. Huntington continues to roll as well as they dismantled Ripley easily. Jadon Hayes continues his Kennedy campaign behind five touchdowns. University, on the other hand, had to rally late against freshman talent RT Alexander and St. Albans. It was a thriller to the very end, all the way into overtime where the Hawks won their second game on a field goal. It’s been a rough stretch, but they stand 6-0.
AA Undefeated’s – Mingo Central and Bluefield. Mingo Central had a bye after starting the year 5-0, and Bluefield continues to overachieve already high expectations. Bluefield did get a big win over a Richlands, Virginia team that has had their number the last couple of years. Even though Richlands is 1-4, it was a good win for the Beavers where Mookie Collier broke 3,000 career rushing yards. Mingo should not be challenged in the last four weeks until they get to the playoffs, but the same cannot be said for the Beavers. Bluefield has Point Pleasant and James Monroe coming up in the next few weeks. Both teams are arguably more battle tested which could shake up AA quite a bit.
A Undefeated’s – St. Mary’s, East Hardy, South Harrison, Midland Trail and Madonna. St. Mary’s and East Hardy were expected to be here. Great coaching around good role players and Jaiden Smith and Brett Tharp. South Harrison had the potential to be there and delivered behind Freddy Canary and Cam Barnett. However, we are not sure anybody thought Madonna and Midland Trail would be undefeated after six weeks. We did predict the rise of Midland Trail, but they, like Bluefield, have mounted themselves as complete legitimate contenders. Both feature runners who could near 2,000 rushing yards: Thomas Ferris and Donovan Kirby. Both will face top single A powers in their remaining schedule.
Not So Fast, My Friend Award – Goes to Morgantown, who took it to the undefeated Applemen of Musselman. Morgantown put it all together in a big win that the Mohigans needed to keep them in the hunt for the playoffs. They dominated the men from the panhandle from the beginning whistle and let the state know that the Mohigans are still a team to be reckoned with. It was a team victory, no one player stood out while Northcraft of Musselman did have a solid multiple touchdown performance. Regardless, Morgantown’s only three losses are two out-of-state and Martinsburg- don’t sleep yet. Also, George Washington is beginning their comeback trail after defeating Woodrow Wilson behind the ever increasing lethality of QB Grant Wells. Not so fast.
Rumble of the Week – Nicholas County vs James Monroe. The question prior to the game was could Nicholas County battle a contender like James Monroe. James Monroe came into the game beat up from a very challenging schedule, and the matchup did not disappoint. Jacob O’Dell (NC) and Grant Mohler (JM) both broke one hundred yards- however, the Mavericks were down by twelve in the second half. After regaining the lead, 28-20, Jared Hargreaves of Nicholas County scored putting the game down to a two-point conversion. James Monroe would stop them. The Grizzlies have still increased their stock in our book with an impressive showing.
Program Win Award – Goes to the Pikeview Panthers in their big win over the Fayetteville Pirates. Fayetteville came to Gardner without a regular season loss in two years. Fayetteville was manhandled pretty good from the outset. The Panthers were just too big and strong for the Pirates on this night and kept Mr. all-around Jordan Dempsey in check (enough) for Evan Rose and Hunter Mitchelson to control the game. On a game that started with a successful onside kick then instant fumble, it was back in forth for a long while. Dempsey finished with 228 on the ground while Mitchelson had 164 and Rose had an absurd 361. Pikeview finished 56-36- a big win against the #4 Single A for a program turning its tide.
Teams of Interest – Hedgesville (42-12 win over Preston) has only one loss going into week seven but will be truly tested against the top panhandle teams upcoming. John Marshall (45-7 win over Buckeye Local (OH)) has two losses but a surefire star in all-around phenom Dereck Hess who could give any team issues (1,500+ yards of offense and 18 touchdowns). In Single A, Summers County shocked the undefeated Webster County behind the arm of Tucker Lilly. It was a dominant victory at that, and they have a favorable remaining schedule. Also, Doddridge County thoroughly defeated Wirt County to move to 4-2 and Sissonville’s only loss still is to Mingo Central.
Followers Called It Award – goes to Hurricane with their victory over Spring Valley. The Redskins controlled the game in every aspect. Their defense held the powerful run game of Spring Valley to slightly over two hundred yards, the special teams had a blocked field goal and lengthy punt returns by Curon Cordon, and the offense torched. Nathan Roy and Dakota Williams connected on four passes for 196 and three touchdowns. After losing last year 36-0, Hurricane has positioned itself high in the rankings once again.
Silent Beasts – Robert C. Byrd could keep rising under the radar. RB Tre Junkins had another good night against Lewis County (49-38) with 144 on FOUR carries and two TDs- also five receptions for 93 yards from developing freshman QB Xavier Lopez. Chapmanville and Wayne are two teams that lost early but have dominated in recent week with 29-14 and 38-20 wins in week six, respectively. Both have hard nosed backs that can give the top teams trouble but need to keep winning because there’s no room for let down in the giant AA division. Weir might fall in this too as they have not consistently won (lost to Union Local (OH) 13-7) like Bridgport, Keyser, Fairmont Senior, and Liberty (H). Also, quarterback dependents Oak Hill and North Marion only have one loss each but still struggle to gain respect.
Road Warrior Award – goes to the Big Reds with a big win over Wheeling Park. A lot of people had written off the Big Reds in preseason but they seem to be putting things together in the last week as they scored a huge upset. Scoring 29 unanswered points to win 43-36, Wheeling Park was shocked. Cross Wilkinson did throw for over 300 yards but had four crucial interceptions. Parkersburg Tyler Moler ran for 223 and three touchdowns while QB Kam Mace threw for 242 and two TDs. Wheeling Park could not afford this loss and the Big Reds are looking better and better every week.
Crack the Goose Egg – Valley came away with the big win and eliminates the zero from the win-loss record. After a very challenging summer that the Greyhounds had to endure and with so much adversity it was good to see them get a good win over a county rival they have had little success with over in the last few years. Garyn Pitt had 173 for three scores in this win. Meadow Bridge has gone through a very tough stretch the last two years as a very proud program struggles for wins. Meadow Bridge may be one of the best places to ever watch a football game as the whole town always comes out in full force to support their hometown boys win or lose. Another W only the followers predicted.
Helluva Schedule Awards – This goes both ways. Wheeling Central falls back below .500 after only 136 yards of offense against Linsly Prep. Their three losses are all to powerhouses. Mount View also bounced back against a scary Notre Dame team hours away- one week removed from AA Point Pleasant. On the other spectrum, Cameron continues to dominate a pud schedule. This week they thumped Paden City behind QB Colby Brown and twin brothers Andrew and Matthew Ritchea. Sherman and Tug Valley also are standing high with lower quality wins (Greenbrier West and Buffalo this week, respectively). However, we understand the strategy.
Noteworthy Performances – Point Pleasant tallied over 500 yards of offense against AAA Parkersburg South- 226 and three scores by QB Cason Payne and 156 by Justin Brumfield for a decisive 49-3 win. Calhoun County’s QB Adam Parsons broke school records and had 246 yards on only seven completions. However, Clay-Battelle’s QB Seth Casino had four touchdowns to defeat them. Freddy Canary of South Harrison had 230 yards on fourteen carries for four scores plus a kick return against a blowout win versus Tolsia. Lincoln’s Kobie Carpenter tossed 267 yards and four scores plus 97 yards on the ground to become the most prolific player in Harrison County history. Donovan Kirby of Madonna rushed for 339 and puts him on pace for 2,400 yards on the ground. Things are really heating up!
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