FEATURED PHOTO CREDITS: LARRY BUTCHER (THE HERALD DISPATCH)
Top AAA’s Butt Heads
Coming off a huge win against Huntington, the Capital Cougars came into Beckley on a roll. The Cougars showed off their aerial attack Friday night as Kerry Martin Jr. threw for a whopping 333 yards on the Flying Eagles. The game started off slow, as Capital held the ball for half of the first quarter, before Martin drew first blood on a 29-yard strike to his younger brother Kerion Martin. It was all downhill from there as Kerry Martin Jr. went on to rack up six total touchdowns while the Cougars outgained the Flying Eagles 604-12 in total yards. Woodrow Wilson suffered their 6th straight loss after dropping the 64-0 decision the Capital. Cabell Midland faced off with rival Huntington in Week #9 for the annual battle for “THE SHIELD.” Coming off a loss against Capital, the Highlanders were hoping to get back on track, but Ivan Vaughn had other plans. Huntington jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after a muffed punt, the Knights struck back quickly as Jayce Goud punched it in from six yards out to tie it up. After that, Vaughn took over as he relied on his talented offensive line to cruise to 219 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns. That was all the scoring for the game, as Cabell Midland was able to hang on to the ball and keep the Highlander offense off the field for the majority of the second half. Behind Vaughn’s big performance and lights-out play from the defense, Cabell Midland upset the Highlanders 21-7 and gain possession of the shield. Until next year.
Playoff Hopes Live On
The Redskins of Hurricane played host to South Charleston, in a must-win for Hurricane if they hoped to make the playoffs. Long and grinding drives for both teams filled the first half, but after a pick-six from South Charleston, and a McCutchen field goal from Hurricane had the Redskins with a 17-14 halftime advantage. After the half, the Redskins began to look to running-back Christian Hill, who answered the call totaling 195 yards and two touchdowns to help propel his team to a 31-20 victory, keeping the Hurricane playoff hopes alive. With only one game remaining, the only thing standing between the Redskins and a “AAA” playoff berth is the Dragons of St. Albans. George Washington and Riverside’s week nine matchup seemed like nothing short of a video game on the stat sheet. Riverside’s Caden Easterling has been on our radar for a while, and last week, he finally broke out in a huge way. However, George Washington has its own threats. One of these is quarterback Grant Wells who also put on a spectacular display on Friday. In a game that would be back and forth for the duration, and feature immense amounts of excitement, these players shined. Easterling carried the ball 45 times for an unbelievable 410 yards against the Patriots. Wells was 23 of 34 with 357 yards and two touchdowns through the air. It was a tight affair throughout, but in the end, GW’s Michael Hughes came up short on a 32-yard would-be game winning field goal attempt as time expired. However, the Warriors were flagged for roughing the kicker and Hughes didn’t squander his second chance as he nailed a 25-yarder on an untimed down to give the Patriots the 39-36 victory.
Big AA Numbers
Poca defeated Scott in dominating fashion last week. With the loss of Ethan Payne, the Dots also lose a massive offensive weapon, but Friday night they showed us that they have plenty more. The Dots opened fire on the Skyhawks early as Bronson Skeens returned a Scott punt 50 yards for the opening score of the contest. Owen McClanahan now shoulders the responsibilities of the workhorse running-back for the Dots and he showed that he is reliable against the Skyhawks. The Dots Quarterback Jay Cook accounted for three touchdowns in the game and it seems that the chemistry with his receivers is only improving as the season goes on. The Dots cruised to a 45-6 win and will face Herbert Hoover and Wayne before they can complete their perfect season. The Beavers got back on track in a big way after suffering their first loss of the season in Week 8. Bluefield made short work of the Oak Hill Red Devils holding them to just one touchdown from Abraham Farrow. The Beaver defense played solid in the game, capitalizing on opportunities, but the offense still seems to have a problem holding on to the football. Bluefield’s increasing dominance masks this, but they have been turnover prone all year long. The Beavers turned the ball over four times last Friday en route to the 49-6 victory over the Red Devils. Absolute dominance. That is the only way to describe Mingo Central’s win over Herbert Hoover last week. The Miners were firing on all cylinders and sharing the wealth amongst themselves. Quarterback Daylin Goad racked up an unbelievable 488 yards and 8 touchdowns, going 22 of 30 on the night. Goad’s main targets were Drew Hatfield, Devin Hatfield, and Isaac Moore who accounted for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns, 152 yards and two touchdowns, and 101 yards and two touchdowns, respectively. Running-back Dougie Dillon amassed 101 yards on seven carries on the ground as the Miners cruised to a 50-21 victory.
Red and Black Roll
Point Pleasant is showing no signs of slowing down ahead of their blockbuster matchup with “AAA” Spring Valley. Last week, the Big Blacks dismantled the Hillbillies of Man behind the effort of Cason Payne. Payne racked up 220 yards and fives touchdowns in what turned out to be a huge week for skill players all over the state. Brady Adkins also contributed 113 yards on 11 carries as Point Pleasant shutout Man 49-0. The Pioneer defense was on display last Friday as Wayne nearly shut out Sissonville. The Pioneers forced three turnovers that they were able to turn into touchdowns. Aaron Adkins ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns while Tanner Owens accounted for two touchdowns, a 2-point conversion, and an interception on the defensive side of the ball. The Pioneers will meet with Logan next week before their season finale against the Poca Dots.
A Fayette County rivalry was all that was promised as the Patriots of Midland Trail clashed with the Fayetteville Pirates. The Battle of the Bridge began with Jordan Dempsey driving the Pirates down the field, and WonYoung Hwang nailing the field goal to put Fayetteville up 3-0. The Patriots struck back quickly as Austin Isaacs tossed a touchdown pass to Morgan Ferris to take the 6-3 lead. The Pirates led 10-6 at the half, but Midland Trail took control in the thirdd and fourth quarters. Behind two touchdowns from Midland Trail’s Cordell Lesher, the Patriots rallied and defeated Fayetteville 26-10 to stay unbeaten. Sherman cruised past a struggling Greenbrier West team last week. They once again leaned on their talented linemen and the athleticism of J.T. Hensley. Hensley carried the ball 22 times for 222 yards and six total touchdowns. The Sherman defense played with purpose last week, holding the Cavaliers scoreless throughout the game. Tommy Harper also contributed 189 yards for the Tide as they cruise to their 7th victory 42-0.
Shady Spring rolled to a 40-point victory over a Clay County team that has struggled ever since Independence handed them their first loss in Week Five. The Vikings of Ripley steamrolled a one-win St. Albans 65-24, and Summers County made a statement with an impressive 54-7 blowout of Pocahontas County. Lincoln County decimated a winless Kentucky team, while Chapmanville edged Logan 28-6. Finally, Van moved to 7-1 with the 33-point victory over the Richwood Lumberjacks.
AAA Player of the Week: Caden Easterling (RB) Riverside
AA Player of the Week: Daylin Goad (QB) Mingo Central
A Player of the Week: JT Hensley (QB) Sherman