FEATURED PHOTO: CHAD FOREMAN (REGISTER HERALD)
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)
AA Player of the Week: John Covert (Winfield)
A Player of the Week: Tanner Copley (Tolsia)