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Elite AAA Defenses
The Timberwolves, coming off a win over previously undefeated Capital, played host to the Riverside Warriors in Week 7. Riverside was coming off of a well fought loss to Cabell Midland, but was not able to muster the same strength against Spring Valley as the dominating line play of the Timberwolves proved to be too much to handle once again. With the starters in, Riverside couldn’t muster a play past six yards. The Thanks to early touchdowns by Graeson Malashevich, they cruised easily into the last stretch. However, they must face “AA” powerhouse Point Pleasant and the undefeated Huntington Highlanders before they can reach the perfect season they are hoping for. Speaking of the Highlanders, the Huntington defense was on display last week as they were able to hold Hurricane star Christian Hill to under 40 yards rushing on the night. The Highlanders were without their workhorse running-back Wilcoxon, but by neutralizing the Redskins’ main offensive weapon, they were able to keep rolling by securing the 34-21 victory and remaining undefeated.
The Black Eagles finally secured their first victory of the season in Week 7 as they defeated their MSAC opponent Woodrow Wilson in dramatic fashion. A Joseph Wells field goal had Beckley ahead 3-0 at the half, but the momentum shifted when South Charleston’s Shaun Agard took the opening kick of the second half 90 yards for a Black Eagle touchdown and the lead. Woodrow Wilson battled back late scoring two third quarter touchdowns, but South Charleston ultimately escaped Beckley with their first win, 28-23 behind the run game of Zeiqui Lawton. The Cabell Midland Knights hit another speed bump in their road to the “AAA” playoffs last week as they fell to out of state powerhouse Belfry, Kentucky. Cabell Midland’s nearby rivals the Huntington Highlanders defeated Belfry by 8 in their season opener. With the 36-28 loss, the Knights fall to 3-4 and with three MSAC opponents remaining, Cabell Midland must get their kinks worked out if they hope to make the “AAA” playoffs.
Top AA’s Stay Unbeaten
The #1 Bluefield Beavers didn’t even think of slowing down as they rolled over PikeView 41-7. Bluefield managed to score five touchdowns with five different players in the first half of Friday’s contest. To say this win was a team effort would be an understatement, add in a defensive score and two touchdowns from Chandler Cooper and the Beavers quickly ran away with this one. The Grizzlies of Nicholas County also remain undefeated after week 7 following a thumping of winless Braxton County. With this 30 point victory, the Grizzlies move to 7-0 and with the Richwood Lumberjacks still looming, 10-0 is going to require discipline to attain for Nicholas County. The Dots also remain unbeaten after a Week 7 contest with the Generals. Poca’s Sophomore running-back Ethan Payne put up three touchdowns and just under 100 yards in the game, before he had to be helped off due to injury. Unfortunately, it has since been confirmed that Payne sustained a hip injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season, but according to coach Seth Ramsey the injury will luckily not require surgery. However, Poca is now without their biggest offensive threat heading into the back end of the season. Yet, with a complete line, well-coached defense, all-conference sophomore QB, and an interception leader- don’t count them out by any means.
Contenders Continue Winning
The Shady Spring Tigers extended their win streak to four last week after shutting out the Wyoming East Warriors 35-0. The Tigers jumped out to a quick lead as Haven Chapman and Tyler Bragg accounted for three very fast first quarter touchdowns. Chapman amassed 168 all purpose yards while Bragg had 105 rushing. Joe Cantley took the opening kick of the second half all the way back for a Tiger touchdown and the last score of the game. Mingo Central made short work of the Nitro Wildcats last week as they secured a comfortable 65-26 victory. To be fair, it was an extremely impressive offensive display from the Miners. Mingo had two rushers go for over 100 yards in Dougie Dillon and Drew Hatfield, as well as Quarterback Daylin Goad throwing for 242 yards. This victory showed us that the Miner offensive line is stout and can protect their quarterback as well as open up running lanes.
Top Single A’s Roll
In the “A” field two southern teams still remain undefeated. The Patriots of Midland Trail took their powerful rushing attack to Glen Daniel last week as they visited the “AA” Liberty Raiders. It was a dominating performance as the Midland Trail steamrolled any and all that stood in their way, as they tend to do. With Fayette County rival Fayetteville coming up next week, and two “AA’s” up ahead to wrap up the year, the Patriots better buckle down and get ready to endure the meat of their schedule. Also undefeated through seven weeks is Mount View. The Golden Knights faced off with the quickly improving Tolsia Rebels last Friday and it was certainly a game to remember. The Mount View defense played “lights-out” holding the Rebels to less gthan 20 rushing yards and only one first down in the first half. A fumble recovery by Mount View’s Ty Powell set the Golden Knights up in excellent field position in the third quarter. This led to an eventual pass from Jesse Rose and into the hands of Malik Cowans for the lone score of the ballgame. Edging the Rebels 6-0, Mount View now looks ahead to Tug Valley as they hope to improve to 7-0.
Contenders Push Out of Bubble
The Pirates of Fayetteville took down a Notre Dame team last week that seems to still be searching for an identity late in the season. Jordan Dempsey once again led his Pirates to a blowout victory, 31-6 and will face off with cross county powerhouse Midland Trail next week. After the Patriots, the Pirates still have a date with the Golden Knights of Mount View, making the home stretch very treacherous for Fayetteville. Van continues to separate themselves from the rest of the pack gaining another win over Tug Valley last week to move them to 5-1 on the year. They sit at #12 in the WVSSAC playoff ratings as of now, but with the Lumberjacks of Richwood and the Sherman Tide still to come, it will take some surprising upsets to keep Van in playoff contention.
The Vikings rolled over a winless Princeton team last week, winning 40-18 and improving to 5-1. With a less than impressive remaining strength of schedule, we would be surprised if Ripley ends the year with more than two losses. The James Monroe Mavericks got their fourth win of the year over the Westside Renegades. The Mavericks have only two games before the have to meet with Bluefield and Point Pleasant back-to-back. The Pioneers of Wayne are holding on to their playoff dreams and doing their best to keep rolling with a decisive win over Herbert Hoover. Wayne got some of their toughest game out of the way early, so be ready to see them continue winning in the coming weeks.
AAA Player of the Week: Zeiqui Lawton (RB/DL) South Charleston
AA Player of the Week: Drew Hatfield (ATH) Mingo Central
A Player of the Week: Jordan Dempsey (RB) Fayetteville