#2 Mingo Central at Chapmanville
What to know: After a narrow Wayne defeat and a crushingly dense AA division, Chapmanville’s back is against the wall. Their best shot at the postseason? Defeat the reigning champs with the reigning Kennedy Award winner. Best of luck.
Riverside at #9 Parkersburg
What to know: 4-6 might be a possible playoff record in AAA, but a lot of questions rise in Riverside’s wins. Parkersburg, however, is coming off a surprising and dominate win over Hurricane. Riverside will need to bring their best performance to beat the red hot Big Red.
Wheeling Central at #7 Madonna
What to know: Madonna might have suffered their first loss to out-of-state Steubenville Catholic, but they still have looked great. Wheeling Central is sitting on the bubble and sees this a big opportunity to punch a ticket and send a message. Miles apart, it should be interesting.
Nicholas County at Pikeview
What to know: In an important week, both Pikeview and Nicholas County rose to the task to keep rising Single A’s in their place. With so much question in play about whether seven wins is enough, this game matters big time. The Grizzlies will try to be the first team all year to slow down Pikeview’s dynamic duo.
Lincoln at Philip Barbour
What to know: Kobie Carpenter has played a terrific season thus far for the Cougars. Philip Barbour is their last opponent before fairing with Bridgeport. This could be a must win. Philip Barbour also has a tough last two game stretch. They will depend upon Chase Collier to counteract Carpenter’s offense.
Summers County at Richwood
What to know: Summers County might have secured a spot last week against Pocahontas County. Richwood, however, is not sitting as comfortable. Jeremiah Johnston has been phenomenal, but five wins most likely will not be enough. Their final game is AA Nicholas County. It might be now or never.
North Marion at #10 Robert C. Byrd
What to know: As with many of the games this week, this could be for the whole year. The teams that didn’t show up and play the cards at 6-4… most will not make it. Robert C. Byrd has punched its way into the top ten with an impressive showing against former undefeated Liberty (Harrison). North Marion dropped its third game of the year in a heartbreakingly 30-28 score to Braxton County.
#1 Martinsburg at #6 Musselman
What to know: This should be higher considering it’s a 1 vs 6, however, we’re hesitant to put a Martinsburg game on the Main Card. The past two weeks Martinsburg has outscored its opponents 156-13. That’s roughly a score of 20-2 every quarter. Tyson Bagent has an unrivaled command on offense with weapons galore. The Applemen’s best shot would be to ride Jacob Northcraft and control the clock. If not, it could get just as ugly.
Morgantown at #3 University
Tale of the Tape: THE MOHAWK BOWL. Their records differ greatly- throw that out the window! In rivalries like this, anything can happen. Morgantown has proven itself to be a very legit contender when they’re peaking but also inconsistent. University faced close calls and held onto their undefeated mark. Morgantown might be in at 4-6, but as said 100x: don’t bank on it. A plethora of talent will be packed into the single sided bleachers in Morgantown. Should be a show!
Hurricane at #10 George Washington
Tale of the Tape: Hurricane and George Washington now find themselves in completely different situations. After a poor showing against Parkersburg, Hurricane needs a solid bounce back. That will be a tough task against Grant Wells and the Patriots who have won four in-a-row. The MSAC has been rather unpredictable this year, and I expect nothing different Friday night.
#5 James Monroe at #1 Bluefield
Tale of the Tape: What a year for the Coalfield region in AA. Three of the top five reside here, and we finally get a matchup. It is the regular season finale for both- each is sitting steady for the postseason. However, neither program has the personality to take a game off. The Beavers have been stunning in 2017, blowing out AAA’s and top AA’s. James Monroe has also been dominant with their only loss coming against Point Pleasant. Both boast a lineup of stars. Moore, Edwards, both Mohler’s, Collier, both Davis’s. We should have a good one!
#1 South Harrison at #2 East Hardy
Tale of the Tape: South Harrison will try to continue one of the most impressive Single A seasons in a long time. After absolutely dominating St. Marys in their own house, Freddy Canary and company look to do the same at East Hardy. East Hardy’s past two losses? 2015 State Championship and 2016 State Championship. Brett Tharp is the star player here. This will answer the question truly as to who is the team to beat in Single A.
#5 Cabell Midland at #4 Spring Valley
Tale of the Tape: Big lines, roughneck style, hard nosed runners. This can describe either, however, they’ve have had much different results. Cabell Midland dominated Hurricane then had to rally just to lose to Capital. Spring Valley got fried by Hurricane but soundly controlled Capital. At this point, we have no idea what either team is truly about. However, these two could be massively underestimated since they aren’t 9-1 or 10-0. This will be a heck of test to see where each stands. Expect a lot of hitting.