FEATURED PHOTO CREDITS: THE WV NEWS
Another Day Another Dollar
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)