Coalfields and Company had its biggest fight card of the year this weekend, and it was an awesome night for football. The card reflected the games of importance as well as the pressure to make the playoffs. Make no doubt about it, the goal is to get to the dance. Once you get there, it is 0-0 and everyone has the same shot to win. The intensity is ever increasing.
Here’s our take:
Message Sent of the Week – will go to the South Harrison Hawks over the defending Champions St. Marys. Freddy Canary ran over, ran around, and ran through the defending State Champs by having a 5 TD 300-yard rushing performance. Now, can they do it again with the rest of their schedule packed with contenders. After all, you don’t win State Titles in October. The other message sent was by the defending State runner-up Timberwolves of Spring Valley. Capital had their offense clicking on all cylinders but their young defense is their Achilles heel as Spring Valley just went old school. They finished with over 400 yards on the ground. Finally, Bridgeport shutout and shut up Keyser in a 30-0 win. The Indians lack much hype compared to fellow top AA’s Bluefield, Mingo, and Fairmont.
Top Team Blowout Awards – goes to Bluefield and Oak Hill and Martinsburg and Jefferson. In the age of running clocks, to score over 50 points is not easy as one might think. Some coaches need to figure out how to milk the clock because if the clock is running nonstop there is numerous ways to run it out without giving the ball back. One feat that is amazing is Mookie Collier breaking the school record for the Beavers. Over the last 50 years, Bluefield has had great NFL ballers come through the halls (See Yabrenal Isabelle, Cortez Martin, Dwayne Woods) and to have your name above theirs’ is amazing. Martinsburg continues to ride Tyson Bagent and skill players Shy Crawford and Grant Harman. Order the hotel tickets for Wheeling boys.
Had to Win – goes to Pikeview and Mount View. Mount View, who once was a perennial power for years in both AAA and AA, has not been to the playoffs in a decade now and needed to win to get in. Many thought with them dropping to A they would be lighting it up. Pikeview is the story of the year in AA in some ways. Nobody thought the Panthers would be this good this late in the year but each week they just keep rolling over opponents literally. Evan Rose and Hunter Mitchelson have carried the Panthers to the limelight and in part, defeated Mount View and ended their dream season. Also, Elkins will see their season end week eleven after crushingly falling by one point (44-45) to Lincoln and Kobie Carpenter.
Need a big win bad goes game of the week goes to George Washington over Riverside as the Patriots rode the arm of the newly committed Wells all night and contained a hot Warriors bunch fresh off an upset of Morgantown. A career night by Tucker Lilly from Summers County may have helped punch their ticket to the playoffs over the Pocahontas County boys. While the Parkersburg Big Reds got a much-needed win over the Hurricane bunch with another stellar defense performance by Parkersburg. That also might have punched their ticket but win over their arch rival South would keep them out of Martinsburg. Brendan Strange is slowly becoming one of the best players in the State and could possible end up on the First Team All-State Coalfields and Company awards list.
Backs against the wall game goes to the Cabell Midland vs St. Albans game. Cabell Midland got a much-needed win and a ton of points off St. Albans. Cabell Midland has had trouble stopping the passing game all year and Tinsley boys can throw with the best of them. The Red Dragons have played as well as any team in the State this year and when one of your non MSAC scheduled games is University you might be a battle tested bunch. However, Cabell Midland would have none of it. They simply lined up toe to toe and just steamrolled all night over a defense that was no match. Having tow backs runs for over 100 yards with Ivan Vaughn notching 240 yards and Isiah Duncan grinding out 218 as they tagged 60 points on a contender. At 5-3 Midland has punched their ticket point wise but two big games coming could get them a home field playoff game. Now St. Albans has their backs against the wall.
Quit complaining about the schedule game of the week goes to Morgantown and John Marshall. As several teams down south keep crying over how hard their schedule is just have them call Morgantown. Just quit crying and play the games and that is why Morgantown gets our respect week in and week out. Yes, they are not sitting at the top of AAA but they have played the best teams in three states weeks in and weeks out. Congrats to John Marshall for the big upset and punching your ticket by beating the Mohigans, something you have not done in a very long time. John Marshal may have one of the best players in WV nobody is talking about and it will be curious where he ranks in the Coalfield and Company All State list coming out soon.
Well the season is coming to end for a few next week and some will have to wait to see where they land. Some good prognosticators will have it figured out by midnight two weeks from now (See Ed Forshey). Others are playing for a dream season. Others are trying to be spoilers while others are playing for some pride and hopefully will end with honor and dignity.