FEATURED PHOTO CREDITS: THE JOURNAL (MARTINSBURG)
Top Tens Roll
Make it 31 straight for Martinsburg. The Bulldogs’ notorious stars delivered in a whooping of out-of-state Eastern. Started off hot by a Grant Harman pick and followed with a duo of touchdowns by Dewayne Grantham- they did not step off the gas with another Harman pick and three TD catches by Chelo Teneval, Jarod Bowie, and Teddy Marshall, two of which were thrown by Elijah Banks. Signed, sealed, delivered. 47-0. Spring Mills also rolled to 2-1 behind a name everyone should know by the end of the year: Keon Padmore-Johnson. The QB had five scores and 300 total yards at the half against the outmatched Hampshire Trojans. It was never a game. 42-6. In the other panhandle, #8 John Marshall marched to 3-0. Everyone showed up to play including QB Jordan Wood who tossed two early TDs against Preston. They jumped out 26-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. They won 47-14.
Weather in the Panhandle
Also impressive teams in the panhandle, Hedgesville will fight their way back into the top ten after a weird week two loss. It began early with three quick TD snags by Malakai Brown over Mountain Ridge (MD). Though tied early, the Eagles scored 42 points straight points with important scores by Sawyer Twigg and N’iyjere Smith. They finished 42-7. Saturday at 2PM, Musselman traveled to Jefferson to make up their game cancelled via lightning Friday night. With the field soaked, the game turned into a memorable mudbowl. Not a very friendly environment for the Jefferson pass game but awesome for the Applemen run duo of Blake Hartman and Tre Beard III. Musselman would win 22-0.
University is another team fighting back into the top ten after a week one loss. The Hawks started early with the usual Holgorsen-Richardson connection for two scores up on Brooke. However, three interceptions allowed the Bruins to tie it back up. Luckily, Ben Gribble’s consistent running, a playmaking defense, and finished with scores to his other faithful receiver Evan Parow- they finished 40-20. Morgantown had lesser luck travelling to Fort Hill (MD). They were physically dominated but made enough plays to stay within a score the entire game. Near 200 yards total for QB Cam Rice was not enough to avoid a 16-7 lead. Finally, Parkersburg pulled in their first win over Woodrow Wilson. The undefeated Eagles had them on the ropes early 7-7 and had two pick sixes called back. The Big Reds used the heartbreak to their advantage to allow Tyler Moler and Brenton Strange to push the game to 28-7 where it would finish.
Preparing to Showdown
#4 Bridgeport ran as many expected. With nearly 300 yards between Brian Henderson, Jake Bowen, and D’Andre Holloway, the Indians were never much threatened. With the East Fairmont Bees not even gaining a first down until the fourth quarter, Bridgeport was as dominant as we all thought. Nearby, despite some early electricity from top eight rusher Desmond Fluarty of North Marion, Connor Neal quickly caught fire for the Polar Bears. The senior would whoop the Huskies after this point through the air. Neal finished with a staggering 386 yards and four touchdown tosses. Tough running by Breeden Gilbert solidified a very consistent offense. They would stretch the lead continuously to a final score of 43-12. This has set up the two undefeated powerhouses to take on each other in Week Four.
Two big AA matchups took place up north. First, #10 Robert C. Byrd travelled to Keyser, who was battling for a top ten spot. Early on, Ghovan Davidson and Jeremiah King were the horses for the Eagles and thanks to a Golden Tornado fumble, RCB went up 14-0. Quickly though, Brady Clay took it 80 yards for a 14-8 closure. The two teams then traded scores going into the late third. Davidson ran in again for 20-14 lead. Keyser could not come score to pull off the win late and would fall. In Weirton, the #5 Red Riders took on a sneaky good James Monroe. With an early Sebastian Spencer score, Monroe Mohler answered with a long pass to Channing Carr for the tie. With Weir’s passing game failing, Mohler began making pay dirt on QB keepers which put them at 14-13 halftime lead. Weir then began to lean on Donovan Kirby who scored twice in the second half and finished with 177 yards. Down 26-20, Mohler drove the Mavericks down the field and with no time left scrambled for the endzone where he was stopped on the one-yard line in a heartbreaking loss and long ride home.
#1 and #2 For a Reason
#1 Wheeling Central is not going anywhere. They took on perennial, though young, power East Hardy. The results were as expected. Though the Cougars hung around early, it was quickly dismantled by Curtis McGhee III and one of his best passing performances to date. The junior tossed the ball for 322 yards and four scores- he also ran one in. They pulled away in the third to finish 47-7. #2 Doddridge County also rolled against an improved Calhoun County. The Hunter America show was cut early with 158 yards and three touchdowns (in the first quarter). QB Tanner Lett took over and had an awesome performance himself with several touchdown passes. The Bulldogs would finish with the 48-0 win. No other Single A’s have been quite as dominant to this point.
Tough Loss and Tough No Contest
Magnolia has begun a slip down the pole after a loss to Williamstown and now Shadyside (OH). Their tough schedule is doing them no favors. Shadyside’s passing game was way too much for the Blue Eagles, and it quickly took hold of the game. Though being tied in the first, Shadyside outscored Magnolia 34-7 in the second quarter. QB Patrick Mirandy and WR Sebastian Stickler had a notable game but not enough for the opposing offense. They would fall 50-20. Up in the panhandle, the anticipated battle between undefeated Petersburg and Grafton was delayed then cancelled to a lack of refs. Grant County later announced that Petersburg did in fact schedule referees so the situation still seems to be messy and confusing. It appears as if the SSAC will decide to choose a no contest for both teams.
#6 Williamstown continues their march back to the top with 146 yards and three touchdowns by Donathan Taylor over an out-of-state opponent. Lewis County had 34-6 bounce back win over 2-0 Elkins thank to a three rushing touchdowns by Marshall Hobbs. Liberty-H pushed its way to 2-1 with a big performance from Seth Davis who scored via rushing, returning, and receiving. Four touchdowns by Nick Marley had Frankfort move to 3-0. Finally, Cameron continues to roll through the northern Single A’s with a 48-0 whooping on Valley (Wetzel). Tucker County has also moved to 3-0 quietly after a 7-0 shutout over Northern Garrett (MD).
AAA Player of the Week: Keon Padmore-Johnson (Spring Mills)
AA Player of the Week: Connor Neal (Fairmont Senior)
A Player of the Week: Curtis McGhee III (Wheeling Central)