#4 Spring Valley at #1 Huntington
A great rematch is in store with Huntington and Spring Valley. The last time out, Jadon Hayes came alive in the second half to win 14-0 in a game of sloppy conditions. This time around, Huntington is coming off several less than stellar performances though Hayes is still making a tremendous case for the Kennedy. Spring Valley has played lights out since losing to Hurricane, however, they will be without leading rusher Owen Chafin. Both teams bring a deep and an experienced squad to the table. Only one gets to go to Wheeling.
#6 Capital at #2 Martinsburg
Perhaps the most entertaining rivalry of the 2010’s, the Cougars and Bulldogs have combined for six of the last seven state titles with an appearance by either in every one. The Cougars rely on stud QB Kerry Martin Jr. to hit his talented skill group or tuck it and run. They are coming off their best two wins of the season. They will need every ounce of heat to go into Martinsburg and make some noise. Tyson Bagent is playing historically well at QB and the defense has allowed NEGATIVE six yards in the first two games. No team has had this much hype around them in awhile, and they don’t disappoint. Many believe Capital is the potential game changer though.
#4 Fairmont Senior at #1 Mingo Central
A rematch of the 2016 State Championship. Both sides have changed faces yet the stars still remain. Fairmont Senior has played incredibly efficient through two games with great QB play and winning the line of scrimmage. Mingo Central has put up silly offensive numbers behind the dual lethality of Jeremy Dillon. Their defense has played iffy though. Mingo’s quick scoring offense leaves the defense on the field extended amounts of time; Fairmont Senior could very well capitalize on this. Both teams are State Title game caliber, and it should be a trip up on Miner Mountain.
#3 Bridgeport at #2 Bluefield
Collier vs Bowen. We both know both of these star players will show up in Bluefield. The assisting crews will be the deciding factors. Truck Edwards and Jon Merica might be more important in this matchup. Perhaps, the line of the Indians will win the trenches and give Bridgeport a playoff birth. This is one of two games where the two teams do not have any immediate history. Both have been dominant over top programs and no one really knows what to expect. Mitchell Stadium will be packed edge to edge and definitely expect plenty of red in the stands as well.
#5 St. Marys at #1 East Hardy
Another 2016 championship rematch! After Jaiden Smith’s MVP performance to give East Hardy their second consecutive State Championship loss, the Cougars have since been on a mission. Only being challenged twice to quality teams, it’s been easy riding for Skovron and Company. St. Marys had not lived up to their 2016 campaign up until late. Their last six quarters of play have been their best all year especially on defense. Their last matchup was a classic, and we expect nothing less in this one. The winner will take on one of two unexpected title contenders.
#11 Summers County at #10 Wheeling Central
Starting the postseason, we doubt anyone predicted Summers County and Wheeling Central battling for a title shot. Summers County has improved week by week resulting in three straight shutouts. Tucker Lilly has shown big play ability. They will need their A game to compete with a red hot Wheeling Central who decimated a talented South Harrison team. Curtis McGhee will be their main priority to stop as he’s playing out of his mind. The Bobcats have been doubted all year, and they will be once again traveling hours to Wheeling.