FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: Greg Carey (WV MetroNews)
AAA Titan Classics and Whoopings
Homecoming night in Charleston set the stage for a battle of the titans as the Huntington Highlanders came to town to face the Capital Cougars. The Cougar defense came up big last week, forcing a safety and scoring on a 57-yard pick six courtesy of Deondray Thomas. Capital held a 30-7 lead in the third quarter, but Tajhan Blackwell rallied his team late and benching 169 passing yards, brought the Highlanders back to within one score. The Cougars ultimately held their ground and went on to victory handing Huntington their first loss of the season 30-22. The Timberwolves are rolling strong after their win against Capital, but they didn’t take their opponent lightly last week as they manhandled the Dragons on homecoming night. St. Albans made the trip in search of their second victory of the season. Spring Valley defended the home field in hopes of keeping their unbeaten dreams alive. Graeson Malashevich showed out once again, gathering three touchdowns, including one 99-yard scoring run. The Timberwolf defense kept St. Albans from converting a first down in the first half and after the team jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead, Spring Valley pumped the breaks and played the second half with young guys and reserve players. The Timberwolves get their eighth win of the year 60-6 over St. Albans and will face off with “AA” power Point Pleasant next week.
Second Half Surges
It was nothing short of a one-sided affair in Week 8 as Cabell Midland faced off against a dangerous Woodrow Wilson. The Eagle line was punished all night long as the Knights imposed their will running the football and keeping the Flying Eagles from doing so. Ivan Vaughn went for 256 yards and two touchdowns, while his brother, Isaiah, had five carries for 20 yards and a touchdown. Cabell Midland totaled 438 yards of offense (all rushing yards) while holding Woodrow Wilson to 69 total yards. The Knights move to 4-4 after securing the 28-0 victory. Ripley is making a late surge to the middle of the pack in “AAA” and if they keep this win-streak alive, they may secure a more than favorable seed in the playoffs. The Vikings defeated the Greenbrier East Spartans in an absolute nail biter last week. R. J. Evans accounted for two touchdowns and 135 yards in the contest, while QB Cyrus Casto added 128 yards and two more scores. Greenbrier East had two 100-yard rushers in Colby Piner and Jaylon Battaile who went for 149 and 107 yards, respectively. In the final two minutes, a Kyle King pass fell into the hands of Piner to bring the score to 28-26. The Spartans failed the two-point conversion and went on to fall to the Vikings 28-26.
Unbeatens Win… and Lose
The Grizzlies of Nicholas County stayed on track with a comfortable win over the Westside Renegades last week. Westside is in a slightly extended rebuilding phase and has struggled this season, however, they are seeing some young talent rise up from the middle schools that could help them in the future. Nicholas County was able to score however they pleased Friday night as Jacob O’Dell rushed for four scores on the ground, while Jared Sagraves had a touchdown through the air and a pick six on the defensive side of the ball. The Grizzlies grabbed the win 49-0 and advanced to 8-0. Point Pleasant finally returned to the field last week after two consecutive weeks off. The Big Blacks faced off with a 2-5 team out of Meigs (OH) and behind the dynamic duo of Brady Adkins and Cason Payne, they cruised to a convincing victory. Adkins went for 158 rushing and 144 receiving with four total touchdowns, while Payne racked up 151 yards and two scores on the ground with 207 yards and an additional two passing touchdowns. The Big Blacks went on to secure a convincing 55-13 win. The impossible has happened. The seemingly unstoppable Bluefield Beavers have suffered their first loss of the season. The Lord Botetourt Cavaliers came into Mitchell Stadium on Homecoming night and dominated. The Cavs scored on their first play from scrimmage and followed up with a surprise onside kick. Bluefield recovered the kick with good field position and Kaulin Parris added the only points of the night for the Beavers, a 40-yard field goal. Lord Botetourt controlled the football all night, grinding out clock and limiting Bluefield’s possessions. Clearly this strategy is the kryptonite of this talented Beaver team, as the Cavaliers went on to gain the 17-3 win over the previously undefeated Bluefield Beavers.
AA Contenders Stack the Stat Sheet
Oak Hill and Shady Spring clashed last week in a battle that may later determine which one of them finds a spot in the “AA” playoffs. In what turned out to be an absolute thriller of a football game, the first quarter was nothing but bleak. Neither team could find the endzone in the first, but Khori Bass struck late in the second quarter as he surged in from 3 yards out to give the Red Devils a 7-0 lead. Tyler Bragg answered back for the Tigers almost immediately as he scorched up the sideline for a 68-yard score to bring it to 7-6. Bragg accumulated 144 yards in the game, but despite his effort the Tigers would not score again. Khori Bass and Abraham Farrow led the charge for Oak Hill once again. Farrow had 221 total yards while Bass racked up 249 while leading the Red Devils to the 21-6 victory. Mingo Central faced off with a Scott team that has been struggling to gain traction last week. Miner QB Daylin Goad had an incredible performance that propelled Mingo to a decisive victory. Goad racked up an impressive seven touchdowns while going 13 of 17 for 228 yards in the air. Drew Hatfield was Goad’s main target on the night accounting for 120 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Behind a powerful offensive performance and lights-out defensive play, Mingo Central secured the 58-6 victory and moves to 5-2. The Pioneers of Wayne played host to Chapmanville last week in what was a closer game than many of us writers expected. The Tigers came to play and jumped out to an early lead on a Nick Collier rushing score and a pick-six from Dillon Renninger but Wayne came surging back behind Gunner Harmon and Mike Bartram. Harmon had 148 yards and threw two picks, but he came through when it mattered surging in for a two-yd score late in the 4th to seal the 20-14 win for Wayne.
Single A Winstreaks
The Tide continued their campaign last week with a blowout victory over South Harrison. Since, their opening game slip-up, Sherman has not faltered again, picking up their sixth straight with the 62-0 thumping. The charge was led by J.T. Hensley who accounted for four total touchdowns and just over 200 yards on the night. The Tide will square off with Greenbrier West and River View before closing out the season with Boone County rival Van. Mount View continues to roll on their unbeaten conquest with a beating of Tug Valley last week. The Golden Knights were led by QB Jesse Rose who went 3 for 8 for 127 yards with two touchdown passes to Marqus Ray. Terry Headen also had 8 carries for 98 yards and two additional touchdowns while Mount View rolled to the 41-6 victory. Mount View will have to go through Pikeview, Fayetteville, and Greenbrier West before they can achieve 10-0 status.
South Charleston was able to get their second win of the year by squeaking past Riverside in double overtime. Kaden Borden nailed the 17-yard field goal in the end to give the Black Eagles the edge. Winfield picked up a win over Sissonville 28-14 and will face off with Nitro next week. River View extended their win streak to two with an upset over Pikeview. Lincoln County improved to 5-2 with a 12-point win over Clay County and Summers County got the win over Meadow Bridge to move to 4-3.
AAA Player of the Week: Ivan Vaughn (RB) Cabell Midland
AA Player of the Week: Daylin Goad (QB) Mingo Central
A Player of the Week: JT Hensley (QB) Sherman