Brown keeps performing. The junior wide receiver even saw some carries this weekend and scored. He didn’t get a large amount of touches because the Eagles dominated early and often in a 72-0 whooping on Preston. Brown is having an incredible year but it’s hard to predict him as a Kennedy Winner with the odds stacked against receivers. However, he is doing all he can.
#4 Hunter America
America did not play the first half against Wirt County but still ran for near 150 yards and three touchdowns all in the third quarter. He still is among the top in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Very few AA and AAA players are putting crazy numbers so he will win in terms of prolific numbers. It will be interesting seeing how much his stock goes up moving forward.
#3 Will Hackney
Hackney and the Indians lost their second game of the season- more than any player in the top five. However, it was not much his fault as he still was a dual-threat statsheet stacker and scored 20 on the now #4 team in AA. He is still very much in the race for the Kennedy but will need to not just have big games against the top 10 AA’s but also beat them.
#2 Kerry Martin Jr.
Few can doubt Martin Jr.’s value. The Cougars lost by one score to the #2 team in the state. He was held in check the majority of the night. His numbers are what the offense needs, but he will most likely be passed up by some huge AA or A performers. It will be interesting seeing how prolific he becomes into the final games and into the postseason.
#1 Connor Neal
Neal continues to be the favorite for the Kennedy. He made lightwork of a Big Ten opponent tossing for nearly 200 yards and four touchdowns in less than four quarters. His efficiency has been staggering. He gets yet another statement game next week as they host Weir. For now, this is Neal’s to lose.
50 – Writer2
47 – Shotgun Writer
47 – Writer Out of Ink
45 – El Writer
45 – Third Writer
45 – Wide Writer
Valley (Fayette) at Meadow Bridge
There are a lot of similarities between these two squads. Both face some of the lowest enrollment numbers in their school history which has consolidation looming over their heads. However, this age old rivalry gets played at least one more time. Valley (Fayette) has started out winless under some new faces at important skill positions. Their five losses have to came to teams with a combined loss total of three! Meadow Bridge, behind two-way horse Caleb Richmond, has fell to similarily tough opponents and even pulled a 14-0 win over Clay-Battelle. An age old classic.
Moorefield definitely had the breakage of their lengthy losing streak coming. This small but hard hitting team led by Matt Jenkins and all-state kicker Atikilt Tamiru finally broke the barrier in big fashion in Week Four getting their first win in years. Now, they take on a struggling AA program that has not won under a freshly hired head coach. With two out-of-states, Frankfort, Petersburg, and Keyser- the Indians road so far has not been easy. Who comes out on top in this battle of attempted turnarounds?
Lincoln escaped with a 3-0 win to start the year against Braxton County. Since then, they have been outscored 119-12. Obviously struggling to replace their star QB of years’ past, they have leaned on RB/LB Hunter Moore. He will be vital as they take on an equally struggling East Fairmont. The Bees held close in their first two games with Elkins and Grafton but no such fate for Bridgeport and North Marion. For both, this is the more even of matchups they will face this year and important potential win.
El Writer (Lincoln)
Third Writer (Lincoln)
Wide Writer (East Fairmont)
Shotgun Writer (Lincoln)
Writer OOI (East Fairmont)
C&C Prediction: Lincoln (13) East Fairmont (0)
Nitro at Logan
Neither of these teams is having the year they wanted but also there have been plenty of positives behind both coming under new head coaches. Nitro has held their own with several including a close loss to AAA St. Albans and even a big win over Herbert Hoover. Logan’s lone win comes to Single A Man, however, they have put up 30+ points back-to-back weeks against Poca and Winfield. Both rely on star athletes: Zhantei Calloway for Nitro and Chucky Felder for Logan.
El Writer (Nitro)
Third Writer (Logan)
Wide Writer (Logan)
Shotgun Writer (Logan)
Writer OOI (Logan)
C&C Prediction: Logan (55) Nitro (35)
#5 Wheeling Park at Parkersburg
Nothing is better than two traditional big dogs going at it. This produced a big win last year and now, it has the potential to do the same. Parkersburg, who has losses all from top ten teams, needs a win and a win badly. Wheeling Park has rolled this year behind the ground game of Alex Dunlevy and Kenya Robinson. Their stellar defense will need to be as tough as usual to slowdown all-state back Tyler Moler and ever-improving QB Jake Johnson who has found a better rhythm thanks to the return of Brenton Strange. We’re excited for this one.
C&C Prediction: Wheeling Park (38) Parkersburg (28)
Lewis County at Robert C. Byrd
What do Lewis County and Robert C. Byrd have in common? Several things actually. Both have only lost to powerhouses Fairmont Senior and Bridgeport. Both have huge linemen up front. Both have experienced quarterbacks with all-state runningbacks. And both need this win desperately in terms of quality points. AA is a menace to reach the postseason so you bet your tail this one matters. Will Robert C. Byrd shake the hangover of a bruising and heartbreaking Week Five loss?
El Writer (Robert C. Byrd)
Writer2 (Robert C. Byrd)
Third Writer (Robert C. Byrd)
Wide Writer (Robert C. Byrd)
Shotgun Writer (Robert C. Byrd)
Writer OOI (Robert C. Byrd)
C&C Prediction: Robert C. Byrd (44) Lewis County (13)
#6 Sherman at Fayetteville
One loss between both of these. Both were shutouts against top tier Single A’s. Though everyone has bragged on Sherman’s big line, the Pirates defense has handled everyone’s offense quite well. JT Hensley of the Tide has been phenomenal with his feet this season but not up to the amount of Jordan Dempsey. For both Single A’s looking for the ever important home field advantage in the playoffs, this is the game to scoop plentiful points.
El Writer (Sherman)
Third Writer (Fayetteville)
Wide Writer (Fayetteville)
Shotgun Writer (Sherman)
Writer OOI (Sherman)
C&C Prediction: Fayetteville (30) Sherman (27)
Linsly (WV) at #1 Wheeling Central
One week after squaring up with AAA Morgantown, Linsly Prep based out of Wheeling now takes on Wheeling Central. The Cadets got the better of the Maroon Knights in 2017 and now the favor looks to be returned. Wheeling Central, led by reigning Huff Award winner Adam Murray, has given up seven points all season. Co-op’ing with a dynamic offense including Curtis McGhee III and Braden Price- Linsly will have their hands full after an overtime loss a week prior.
Tucker County reaches the midway point undefeated and #2 in the SSAC Ratings. How legitimate are they? Their biggest win to date seems to be their opener over Pocahontas County. A strong run game and statistically sound defense is what leads this bunch. Sound they must be taking on the aerial duo of Kole Puffenberger and Timothy Thorne. This Wildcat squad has fallen twice- once out-of-state and once close to one-loss AA Petersburg. This can be the point pile Pendleton needs or just another message to the state by Tucker County.
C&C Prediction: Pendleton County (49) Tucker County (28)
#6 Musselman at #9 Morgantown
Both these top ten programs saw big wins in Week Five. Musselman ran away from Princeton behind a five-score day by Blake Hartman whereas the Mohigans pulled away an overtime win over Linsly Prep. Dual-threat QBs, big offensive lines, speedy backs and slots, and a lot of points are on the line. This annual matchup is usual very unpredictable, and we expect something wild to perhaps happen again. We’re interested to see which team shows up.
El Writer (Morgantown)
Third Writer (Morgantown)
Wide Writer (Morgantown)
Shotgun Writer (Musselman)
Writer OOI (Musselman)
C&C Prediction: Morgantown (35) Musselman (13)
George Washington at #7 Hurricane
Hurricane finds themselves in a better position than George Washington thanks to a dominant win over Cabell Midland. Neither team has fallen to a program that isn’t top five quality, and now the two will clash. The Redskins defense has slowed up mostly everyone with the exception of Capital. Few have slowed Grant Wells and his dual threat scoring ability. This one could be the difference between a 7th seed and a 14th seed.
El Writer (Hurricane)
Third Writer (Hurricane)
Wide Writer (George Washington)
Shotgun Writer (Hurricane)
Writer OOI (Hurricane)
C&C Prediction: Hurricane (29) George Washington (22)
#5 Poca at #9 Sissonville
Few outside of Poca High School would have the Dots walking into Sissonville undefeated. After a very impressive runaway win over Mingo Central, they must take on another high-flying offense that has Will Hackney and Mayson Miller. The Dots have two big names too: Bronson Skeens and Ethan Payne. We expect yet another Cardinal shootout with the winner making a statement within the rankings.
El Writer (Poca)
Third Writer (Poca)
Wide Writer (Poca)
Shotgun Writer (Poca)
Writer OOI (Poca)
C&C Prediction: Poca (54) Sissonville (41)
#2 Spring Valley at #3 Capital
Well, it’s here folks. Our first rendition of the king of the MSAC and who will appear to be the biggest threat to the king up in the north. Capital has played closer than wanted with several teams but have impressed nonetheless with their ability to make plays in any facet of the game. That flexibility will be needed for the top-tier offensive line of the Timberwolves and relentless ground game. However, behind their two-QB system, they seemed to have found a passing game as well. Who knows how this one goes.
Top Dogs Still on Top
When the Cabell Midland Knights and the Capital Cougars meet, they tend to produce an absolute spectacle. This year it was a tightly contested battle of defense between the two teams. Cabell Midland’s senior running back, and Kennedy Award hopeful, Ivan Vaughn accounted for the only touchdown of the first half, giving the Knights a 7-0 halftime lead. After the half though, Capital’s defense stood tall and did not yield another point for the rest of the game. Behind touchdowns from Quisean Gray and Kerry Martin Jr., the Capital Cougars secured the 20-7 win. The Timberwolves of Spring Valley faced off with George Washington in Week 5, and it was an aerial battle throughout. Spring Valley jumped out to an early lead and did not let it go all night. QB Will Adkins had a big night for the Timberwolves, putting up 302 yards in the air along with five touchdowns. Owen Chafin carried the load on the ground for Spring Valley with 153 yards and two touchdowns, while teammate Graeson Malashevich caught four passes for four touchdowns and 178 yards. GW’s Grant Wells battled back with purpose, but the lead proved to be insurmountable as the Timberwolves remain undefeated, picking up the 62-21 victory.
Defensive and Offensive Showdowns
After coming off a big week four upset win, Hurricane took on a much-improved Woodrow Wilson team last week. This game was the definition of a defensive battle. With only seven minutes remaining on the clock, the scoreboard still read two zeros. Late in the 4th quarter, Christian Hill busted though the line and went 25 yards for the first score of the game. The Flying Eagles tried to mount a drive shortly after, but a bad snap on the punt led to the Redskins recovering the ball in the endzone for a defensive touchdown. Woodrow Wilson drove down and got in the endzone with a minute remaining, but Hurricane was able to burn out the clock and take the win 14-6. The Nicholas County Grizzlies played host to the Oak Hill Red Devils last week in a battle of undefeated teams. The teams were locked at 20 at the half, but once the third quarter began, Nicholas County took over. Jared Sagraves managed to accumulate just under 200 yards in the air for the Grizzlies, finding Nick Kiser for 143 of them. However, the gamebreaker last week was none other than Jacob O’ Dell who rushed for 170 yards on the night and helped Nicholas County give the Red Devils their first loss 47-26.
The Beavers headed down to road to Tazewell (VA) for their week five matchup. Nothing seems to have changed for Bluefield as their offense continues to fire on all cylinders. A struggling Bulldog squad failed to put up much opposition as Bluefield totaled 395 yards of total offense and held Tazewell scoreless in the first half. Bluefield cruised to a 60-18 win and will head back to Virginia to take on Richlands next week. Wayne continued to gain momentum in week five as well by dominating the Wildcats of Nitro. Trying to adjust under a new coach, Nitro has struggled to get on track and the powerful Pioneer offense overwhelmed them last week. Jon Chinn got the scoring rolling for Wayne with a pick- six, but it was the Pioneer passing attack that put the game away. Tanner Owens caught two touchdowns and racked up 150 yards receiving while QB Gunner Harmon totaled 233 yards passing. Wayne moves to 2-2 with the blowout win and will face Scott next week. The Big Blacks of Point Pleasant squared off against Pikeville (KY) last week in what was an instant classic. Cason Payne pushed into the endzone to get Point Pleasant ahead early and then Brady Adkins added another touchdown to push the lead to two scores. Pikeville battled back and scored 21 unanswered, but it would be in vain as soon after, the Big Blacks took over for good. Adkins and Payne were the teams’ most effective rushers, going for 131 and 116 yards respectively. Payne threw for 167 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as Point Pleasant stays undefeated with the 41-34 victory.
Homecoming night for the Shady Spring Tigers seemed to be a success as they routed the PikeView Panthers. PikeView came into the game with only one loss, but they would gain another before the night was over. Tyler Bragg mustered three touchdowns for the Spring, but the Tiger defense was the main story as they forced four turnovers and held the Panthers to less than 10 points as they come away with the 39-7 homecoming win. The Dots of Poca keep building their case as they climb the ranks of the “AA” elite. In week five it was the Miners of Mingo Central who made the trip to Poca, and it would be a night to be remembered. The game started out tight as both teams have multiple weapons and they were all on display Friday night. Daylin Goad threw for 273 yards for the Miners, and Jay Cook of the Dots went one step further with 283 yards of his own. Ethan Payne rushed for 154 behind Poca’s powerful offensive line in route to their eventual 45-27 victory and statement game. The Sissonville Indians were able to get themselves back on track following a hard loss prior. The Indians took on a one-win Herbert Hoover team last week, and they had no issues imposing their will. Sissonville QB Will Hackney continued to open eyes last week, accounting for five total touchdowns in the 42-21 win. Hackney will continue to keep the train rolling and lead his team to their fifth victory of the season, as the Indians have a date with the seemingly unstoppable Poca Dots next week.
Undefeated Single A’s
The Knights of Mount View continued their conquest against Webster County in week five. In what many expected to be a closer game, Mount View ran away with it. Behind a solid offensive line and a stable of running backs, the Knights were able to amass seven touchdowns on the night, with three different backs finding the endzone. Ty Powell went for 131 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, as it was a quieter night for star RB Elijah Barner who ended the game with two touchdowns and just over 100 yards. Anytime an undefeated team takes on a winless program, it is likely to be an ugly sight. That was the case last week as Midland Trail faced off with the Valley Greyhound, in what has proved to be an interesting matchup in previous years. This season, however, it was all Patriots. The strong offensive line of Midland Trail was key to the win, having multiple rushers put up big numbers, but the defense may have been the most impressing part of the Patriot’s team last week. Midland Trail was able to hold Valley under 10 points and disrupt the QB all night long, helping them cruise their way to the 41-8 win to keep their team undefeated.
The Sherman Tide seemed to be unstoppable last week in their defeat of Ravenswood, utilizing what is appearing to be a common theme for “A” ball. Sherman rode the game out behind their talented linemen, who were able to impose their will all night long. J.T. Hensley made a steady contribution, racking up 121 yards on 19 carries, but the breakout player of the game may have been Tommy Harper who had an amazing night. Harper was explosive, rushing for 235 yards as the Tide went on to defeat Ravenswood 28-3. Two even teams, Tolsia and Tug Valley, met in week five with both with similar records. It was a hard-fought game throughout, but in the end, the Rebels of Tolsia were able to pull out the win. Tug Valley’s Tyler Chafin managed to throw for 275 yards, but it just wasn’t enough to match the four touchdowns that Tolsia’s Tanner Copley accounted for. The Rebels move to 3-2 with the 8-point victory, but both teams have lots of work to do if they want to compete in the “A” playoffs. Van earned another win last week, by defeating winless Hannan High School. Hannan was coming off a lost to Hundred, who earned their first win since 2010 against them last week. With a dominating win, 35-0, Van has caught our eye, but with Richwood and Sherman lurking on the schedule late, we will see what this team is made of sooner or later.
Greenbrier East continued their win streak against Buckhannon-Upshur, an impressive victory, and good news for the continued growth of their young team. Clay County blanked winless Liberty (Raleigh) last week 19-0 and remain undefeated as they host the Patriots of Independence in Week Six. James Monroe’s second win came against a struggling Wyoming East team, and Winfield dominated the Logan Tigers behind a school record rushing performance by John Covert (seven rushing scores). Richwood suffered a loss by the hand of Pocahontas County last week, setting them back drastically. A good win for Pocahontas, but Richwood must pick up the slack fast if they have any interest in being contenders this season.
AAA Player of the Week: Graeson Malashevich (Spring Valley)
One week after a dramatic win, Wheeling Park continued with the momentum. Taking on out-of-state Cambridge, Alex Dunlevy tossed four scores while Kenya Robinson nearly ran for 200 yards. They were never slowed on offense, and though the defense ended up surrendering 29 points, the Patriots cruised to a 56-29 win to stay undefeated. Also undefeated, Martinsburg stretched their win streak to 33 games (one shy of the state record) and did so in convincing fashion. Academy Park (PA) is probably the best team the Bulldogs have seen this year. Though they hung around, Grant Harman’s passing and takeaways by the defense kept Academy Park at bay until they pulled within eight in the second quarter. Cue consecutive takeaways by Michael Boaitey and Asa Creamer-Gaskins, and another Harman TD pass and Dewayne Grantham run, and they kept their distance eventually to 41-20 victory. Another panhandle AAA kept a zero in the loss column. Though Musselman started slow, holding a five-point lead after the first, the usual suspects of Tre Beard III and Blake Hartman quickly exploded in the second. Despite an impressive passing performance by Princeton’s Ranson Graham, the Applemen were too much with Hartman’s five touchdowns to win 61-28.
In Hedgesville, the Eagles took on out-of-state James Wood. Early scoring between Owie Ash and N’iyjere Smith had them take a quick lead. Though James Wood fought back into it, they could never get within shooting distance of the high-flying Eagles. They would move onto 4-1 with the 45-20 win as Malakai Brown had yet another 150+ yards receiving and two more touchdown grabs. Ripley also took care of business to move to 4-1 while holding Brooke to -8 yards rushing. RJ Evans was the main horse of a team that rushed for nearly 400 yards. Evans had 174 and five touchdown rushes. They never let Brooke quite in the game with a 42-14 victory. Though many have criticized their schedule, their lone loss to Parkersburg South looks more respectable every week.
In Morgantown, the Mohigans hosted one of the more interesting games this season against Linsly Prep out of Wheeling. The first half of this matchup saw a defensive chess match, standing 7-7 going into intermission. The third quarter held much more excitement including a 96-yard pick six by Ty Konchesky, a Cameron Rice TD run, and also another score by Jace Whetsell. Linsly, however, would score three straight to tie it up at 28 in the fourth. Though Morgantown’s John McConnell missed a time expiring 53-yard field goal to win, he got another shot in the first overtime as he won it in dramatic fashion 31-28. In another interesting result, Parkersburg South sent a message in a complete domination of John Marshall. The team we expected to see earlier has now arrived. The offensive trio of Brayden Mooney, Dylan Day, and Nick Yoho was firing all night which accounted for all five touchdowns in this 35-7 victory.
Dogfights and Blowouts
In Petersburg, the undefeated Vikings laid host to a Weir team coming off a heartbreaking loss. With Tyler Komorowski still out on offense, the Red Riders offense doesn’t fire as much as the first few games. Petersburg played them tough and with a mostly running battle on both sides, the score changed multiple times with Weir taking an 18-15 lead into the half. Rushing by Donovan Kirby, who finished with 178 yard and three scores, and Reed Reitters’ field goals ultimately distanced them from Petersburg who saw Jacob Hartman and Doug Morral be their two lone scorers. A strong defensive performance by both yet Weir would take it 25-15. Fairmont Senior hosted AAA University and gave us another statement performance. Connor Neal tossed three touchdowns, including the first play of the game, mostly to his main man JD Smith who totaled 155 and two scores. Rhett Heston impressed at running back as well. The Polar Bear defense terrorized Logan Holgorsen, who led several promising drives with big passes to Evan Parow, but three interceptions and a bend-and-don’t-break Fairmont Senior defense held them to 7. A very telling 50-7 win.
What do you think was going through Keyser’s head being down 17 in the third quarter one week after erasing a 26-point deficit? We don’t know if they will ever share the secret. Despite Jefferson’s Corbin Pierson tallying three scores to have them up 24-7, the Golden Tornado were ready to come back. As they did against Weir, they shutdown the Cougar offense while Brady Clay and Caden Biser went to work. The comeback was capped off by Aaron Lyons whose run put them ahead 31-24- where it would stay. Keyser moves onto 3-1 while Jefferson falls to 0-5. Another AA thriller saw Bridgeport take on a hungry Robert C. Byrd. It was a back and forth battle all night which starred top state runners Jake Bowen and Ghovan Davidson. Bowen, who finished with 255 yards and five touchdowns, was the ultimate difference maker as his final score put the game on ice at 41-35 despite the Eagles leading for a lot of the game. A hard fought match up front and a game where the smallest of mistakes were the difference.
Single A’s Stay Unbeaten
Cameron continues to prove their dominance. Taking on 3-1 Madonna, they ran away with it early. Another big performance by Andrew Ritchea had the Dragons on all cylinders early. Perhaps the best stat is that Cameron forced six turnovers- five being interceptions. Matthew and Andrew Ritchea combined for five touchdowns in their 46-0 win. Another crazy statistic, Wheeling Central has given up 7 points all year. Holding worthy opponent Fayetteville to 44 yards, the Wheeling Central defense was amazing. Though the Pirates played tough defense, behind Curtis McGhee III, Braden Price, and Vinny Mangino- the Maroon Knight offense would stretch this to a 33-0 win. Tucker County claimed another big win over AA Philip Barbour. The tough defense held them to zero points which was just enough win by 10 and stay undefeated.
Did anyone miss Hunter America after his bye week? There was plenty to go around this week. The state leading rusher despite playing four games, breaks into the 1000 yard mark behind 373 yards and five scores. The Ritchie County Rebels, who have impressed this far, were in the ball park behind a strong passing performance by Tatem McCloy. However, the Bulldog offense was too unforgiving in their 41-12 win. Williamstown and Magnolia also continue to show their worth as they move to 4-1 and 3-2, respectively, behind pretty hard schedules. The Yellowjacketss dominated Buffalo 66-13 with Carter Haynes showing out again. Magnolia’s QB, Patrick Mirandy, was also instrumental in their 28-6 victory over Frontier (OH). They will make treks into Ohio two more weeks.
Lewis County continues to rise as they have won three straight easily after opening up with losses to Bridgeport and Fairmont Senior. Their 41-7 victory of AAA Preston can be accredited much to another big showing by RB Marshall Hobbs. Frankfort moves to 5-0 and borders the very exclusive top ten after yet another dynamite performance by Dalton Pollock and Nick Marley. Parkersburg held off Marietta (OH) 41-28 behind 230 yards rushing by Tyler Moler and both Brenton Strange and Braeden Mason had over 100 yards receiving. Pendleton County and Spring Mills both fell to out-of-state opponents. Parkersburg Catholic moves to 5-0 behind their ferocious running back Ty Sturm. And, Moorefield defeated South Harrison 46-7 to snap their former longest losing streak in the state. Ironically, the streak had started with a blowout loss to the Hawks several years ago.
AAA Player of the Week: Blake Hartman (Musselman)
AA Player of the Week: Jake Bowen (Bridgeport)
A Player of the Week: Hunter America (Doddridge County)
Brown continues to impress. The prolific receiver once again broke 150 yards and caught two scores. His tallies are among the top of any class. He now faces some tough receiving competition with Evan Parow who is beating him in every category. Having another receiver up there will hurt his Kennedy candidacy, but he is, without a doubt, having a fabulous year thus year.
#4 Hunter America
With 800 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first three games, America came back after a bye week with 300+ yards and five scores. To have a shot in Single A, the numbers must be insane. Right now, America is on pace for 2750+ yards and 50 touchdowns! With numbers like that, it would be hard to keep him out of the Kennedy conversation.
#3 Will Hackney
Coming off a tough loss where Hackney played his tail off, he led the Indians to their fourth win behind five touchdowns. He now has 26 on the season through five games (21 pass, 5 rush). If he continues with these numbers as well as winning, his name will have to be included as we go forth. A prolific while also efficient quarterback.
#2 Kerry Martin Jr.
Martin Jr. had a good performance against an inspired Cabell Midland squad. Using his legs more than his arm in this contest. He has done everything his coach has needed to have them undefeated. His stats are not on the same pace as last year but his unselfish play has the Cougars where they are now. Other quarterbacks’ numbers might trump him for the Kennedy moving forward, however. Nothing could get him back at #1 then a showout game against Spring Valley this week.
#1 Connor Neal
What else can you ask out of Neal after dominating Bridgeport? Dominating a talented AAA secondary that halted #5 Wheeling Park’s pass game a week prior. He made it look easy with three more scores and continues to be a very efficient scorer. The Polar Bears are impressive. Neal is foundational to the #1 AA in the land and arguably a top five team regardless of class.
39 – Writer2 36 – Third Writer 36 – Shotgun Writer 36 – Writer Out of Ink 34 – Wide Writer 33 – El Writer
Riverside at St. Albans
Neither Riverside nor St. Albans has gotten off on the foot they wanted to. Both have fell to the injury bug slightly while also playing the always tough MSAC schedule. Riverside’s heavy ground game has highlighted the ability of their all-state skill players and kept them close in several games. Though St. Albans found something to work with in a young QB/RB duo, last week they were down 69-0 in the second quarter to George Washington. Both programs need a win here simply for morale.
El Writer (Riverside)
Third Writer (Riverside)
Wide Writer (Riverside)
Shotgun Writer (Riverside)
Writer OOI (Riverside)
C&C Prediction: Riverside (22) St. Albans (0)
Tolsia at Tug Valley
Tolsia and Tug Valley are both building some momentum after some tough losses. Tolsia fell hard to out-of-state Fairland (OH) and to AA Lincoln County. Tug Valley’s lone loss came in a 46-0 thumping by Sherman. Both still have absolute playoff prospects but this is a massive turning point for both. Tug Valley is still looking for their star back while the Rebels have relied on a big line to pave the way for Devon Crum and Austin Gauze. This one matters!
El Writer (Tug Valley)
Third Writer (Tolsia)
Wide Writer (Tolsia)
Shotgun Writer (Tug Valley)
Writer OOI (Tolsia)
C&C Prediction: Tolsia (35) Tug Valley (28)
#2 Doddridge County at Ritchie County
How legit is Ritchie County? They seem to pull out a win no matter what besides their lone close loss to current undefeated Parkersburg Catholic. This is all behind a first year head coach and a talented quarterback. However, #2 Doddridge has steamrolled everyone. Behind Hunter America’s state leading rushing and two-way star Tanner Lett, the Bulldogs haven’t been slowed. This will be Ritchie County’s toughest test to date. Let’s see what they’re made of.
C&C Prediction: Doddridge (63) Ritchie County (12)
PikeView at Shady Spring
How important is every game in AA? Very. Both of these squads want a playoff bid and with their schedules, this is a must win. Both have lone losses to usual AA powers- PikeView’s loss by one and Shady Spring’s by two. Both rely on a stable of runningbacks. The Panthers put their hopes in top eight rusher Evan Rose while the Tigers split their carries between Tyler Bragg and Isaiah Valentine. This seems to be an even matchup with big implications.
We aren’t predicting an upset by any means but George Washington definitely has the firepower to make it interesting. The Patriots pass game behind D1-bound Grant Wells has kept them within shooting distance of Ashland (KY) and Huntington. They put 69 points in 15 minutes last week. However, the Timberwolves are big, mean, and fast. We know their line stacked with Power 5 talent. We know elite runner Owen Chafin. We know Nate Ellis and Graeson Malashevich who are liable to play four different positions a game. Could the Patriots drop a bomb?
C&C Prediction: Spring Valley (42) George Washington (14)
#6 Sherman at Ravenswood
This one might get interesting. Both have been very impressive aside from hard losses to Magnolia and Williamstown. The Tide have been working back behind high-scoring QB JT Hensley while the Red Devils were brought to earth last week. The Ravenswood’ pass defense will be key in this home matchup. Luke Jackson should stall the inside run game so expect a lot of adjustments made throughout the game by both coaches. An important game which could have big implications later on.
El Writer (Sherman)
Third Writer (Ravenswood)
Wide Writer (Sherman)
Shotgun Writer (Sherman)
Writer OOI (Sherman)
C&C Prediction: Sherman (14) Ravenswood (3)
Cabell Midland at #3 Capital
40-10 was a hurtful loss for the Scarlet Knights. However, if you think Cabell Midland comes out this next week anything less than full-go- we think you’re wrong. Capital has proven to be a star-studded team with multiple playmakers in every facet. If Ivan Vaughn wants to win the Kennedy Award, it happens against Capital. He will need to run his tail off to keep Cabell Midland steady with an always dangerous Cougar squad. This one could be very shocking or very expected.
El Writer (Capital)
Third Writer (Capital)
Wide Writer (Capital)
Shotgun Writer (Capital)
Writer OOI (Capital)
C&C Prediction: Capital (49) Cabell Midland (21)
#7 Weir at Petersburg
When would be a better time for Petersburg to pull off a surprising top ten win? It’d be hard-pressed to say other than now after Weir’s second half implosion against Keyser where they lost with a 26-point lead. Petersburg, who also has dealt with statewide controversy, is playing to prove that they deserve in the postseason. They are led by efficient and dual threat Jacob Hartman. The Red Riders quarterback situation might be in question with Tyler Komorowski sitting out last week with Sebastian Spencer filling in. Donovan Kirby will still be there runningback horse. An interesting one.
El Writer (Weir)
Third Writer (Petersburg)
Wide Writer (Weir)
Shotgun Writer (Weir)
Writer OOI (Weir)
C&C Prediction: Weir (63) Petersburg (35)
Oak Hill at #6 Nicholas County
Two nearby AA squads come together at a combined 8-0 record. The Grizzlies have not looked back after a big week one win and tough victory of Shady Spring. Oak Hill has rolled easily as well even with a close one-point win over Wyoming East in Week Four. The Red Devils and Grizzlies are led by veteran quarterbacks Khori Bass and Jared Sagraves, respectively. The x-factor comes in breakout receiver Abe Farrow who is near the top in the state for receiving for Oak Hill. How much of an impact will he have in this game?
C&C Prediction: Nicholas County (28) Oak Hill (17)
#8 Robert C. Byrd at #5 Bridgeport
Robert C. Byrd and Bridgeport have both done pretty well- that is aside from playing Fairmont Senior. Going into this matchup, it seems to be evened out. Both have stud runningbacks in Ghovan Davidson and Jake Bowen, and both have experienced linemen. Bridgeport lays host which is always a huge advantage for the Indians. If Robert C. Byrd wants to build legitimate momentum, it starts here.
El Writer (Bridgeport)
Writer2 (Robert C. Byrd)
Third Writer (Bridgeport)
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C&C Prediction: Bridgeport (34) Robert C. Byrd (20)
#4 Mingo Central at #9 Poca
Alright, Dots Nation. Here is your chance to prove how good you really are. This will be a battle of stars in which Poca hosts. The Miners’ have quieted all doubters behind the passing trio of Daylin Goad and the Hatfield brothers. They are coming off a top ten win over Sissonville. The Dots have taken care of business with the bottom half of the Cardinal and now head into the meat of their road. Led by playmaking seniors Bronson Skeens and Dakota Meadows while also the do-it-all sophomore Ethan Payne. A must see.
TD passes. TD passes. TD passes. That might be the story of this game. This cross-class battle will feature two of the most prolific QB’s in the state. Logan Holgorsen who is a playmaking phenom with catchers Amir Richardson and Evan Parow always there. Connor Neal, who has put together an incredible high scoring and efficient season thus far. Both have run games that come second and an expected battle on the line between Zach Frazier and Ben Gribble. This one should be entertaining.
C&C Prediction: Fairmont Senior (42) University (34)
#8 Fayetteville at #1 Wheeling Central
Could we get a more contrasting Main Event? Lying down in the south is an unlikely undefeated Fayetteville team in the last year of their school. They now make the trek north to take on a program possibly in the middle of another dynasty that is led by multiple stars. The odds are definitely not in favor of Jordan Dempsey and the Pirates. But maybe, just maybe, they could prove to be a valiant threat to the Maroon Knights’ quest of a repeat.