Northern Review – WEEK EIGHT

FEATURED PHOTO CREDITS: KYLE JENKINS (WV NEWS)

 

 

Panhandle Blowouts and Classics
#1 Martinsburg went for the state record tying 36 consecutive wins Friday against the #8 Hedgesville Eagles. It was never much in question as the Bulldogs easily outmatched them- jumping out early. Early touchdown passes from Grant Harman to Chelo Teneval and Jarod Bowie, a Naieem Kearney score, and a Harman run all had them up in the blink of an eye. Hedgesville’s offense never mustered much at all- giving Kearney, Harman, Bowie, and also Elijah Banks to all score in the second quarter. They were up 48-0 at the break. Harman tossed one more score to Teddy Marshall (his fourth of the day) before coming out. Hedgesville managed 58 yards of total offense in the 69-3 shalacking. In a much closer matchup, #5 Musselman traveled to #9 Wheeling Park in a panhandle crossover game. After impressive defensive performances by both last week, it was the offenses that clicked. Alex Dunlevy had the Patriots up early with three first half passing scores. The Applemen never were too far behind with great passing by Tre Beard and all-purpose plays by Blake Hartman. Wheeling Park held a 35-33 lead late after another Dunlevy score but Blake Hartman capped off the third Musselman score in the fourth quarter with under a minute left to win 41-35 an stay unbeaten.

 

 

All Hail Parkersburg
Parkersburg South hosted Morgantown in what would become a statement game. The Patriots, with only two losses, showed the felt disrespect and dismantled a low morale Mohigan squad. The Patriot offense slowly but surely grinded away at Morgantown behind the legs of Nick Yoho and Brayden Mooney. Morgantown’s offense stayed under pressure constantly and could never get a drive going. Going up 14-0 at the half, Yoho and Mooney scored each one more time. Though Ty Konchesky brought it within 28-7, a safety and late pick six by Yoho ultimately put the nail in this statement game coffin 35-7. Another hotstreak team in Parkersburg, the Big Reds gave it to a good Hurricane ball club. The everchanging but effective Parkersburg offense featured Tyler Moler and Jake Johnson using their feet early and often. Hurricane, who was without head coach Jeremy Taylor after last week’s ejection, stayed close with big early turnovers by the defense. They led early after a Nathan Roy TD run, but after that runs by Johnson (who had three scores), Brenton Strange, and Moler kept Hurricane well out of distance. Parkersburg continues to impress after the 38-14 victory.

 

 

Top AA’s Roll
#1 Fairmont Senior continued the most impressive conquest in AA with a demolition of AAA Preston. By halftime, Kennedy Award favorite Connor Neal already five passing scores while the defense and special teams also found ways to score. They were up 57-0 at the half to Preston’s 24 yards of offense. It would finish 64-0. #4 Bridgeport put up an impressive performance behind usual suspect Jake Bowen. The senior runningback had 179 yards and two touchdowns in their 35-0 win over Elkins. Their defense had three takeaways in to preserve the shutout. Keyser was on the ropes all game with out-of-state Allegany (MD). A late first half touchdown pass from Ryan Shoemaker and Reggie Redman helped give them a one a score lead. It took a second half Golden Tornado defense to step up and allow Brady Clay to chunk away on offense. With Allegany still within reach in the fourth, another Shoemaker-Redman touchdown put the game on ice to seal the win for Keyser 33-20.

 

 

Important AA Wins
#9 Weir handled their business against an outmatched Ohio-based Edison team. Two touchdowns early in the game had them jump out quick- both runs by Donovan Kirby. Behind the awaited return of star Tyler Komorowski. Sebastian Spencer stayed in at quarterback, though, where he tossed for 171 and two scores. The lead was built earl6 and the game was never much in question as they won 47-15.  In an expected close bout, Frankfort dominated Petersburg.  The usual prolific Viking offense never quite found their footing as the Falcons’ Dalton Pollock and Nick Marley were all over them on the offense.  The lead was built early on the ground and never seemed to close despite some eventual scores by Petersburg.  The 48-20 victory pushes Frankfort to one loss on the season and raises eyebrows on how good they might be.

 

 

Undefeated A’s Stay Unbeaten
#1 Wheeling Central put on perhaps their most impressive performance yet. Behind a ton of all-purpose yards by Curtis McGhee III with four total scores and another 100-yard pick six by Braden Price- Martins Ferry (OH) never had a shot. The impressive defense had an early safety as well as several takeaways. Martins Ferry only scored late in the fourth- losing 43-7. #2 Doddridge County continued their dominance with a shutout victory over Ravenswood. Stat monster Hunter America tallied 230 yards on 31 carries for three touchdowns. Tanner Lett and Griffin Devericks kept the Red Devil defense on their heels as well with an efficient passing game. The defense smothered and the Bulldogs stay undefeated. #5 Cameron lived up to the billing. The well-sized line paved the way for Andrew Ritchea- who ran all over Clay-Battelle. The pass game was there too. However, it was the defense that shined in a dominating fashion. Noah Neely pulled in his eighth pick of the year also in their 42-0 reckoning.  Parkersburg Catholic ran into their toughest test to date.  Riding Jeb Boice and Ty Sturm (who combined for over 50 carries), it was an absolute dogfight with Notre Dame all after the Crusaders jumped out to a 22-0 lead.  Holding on late, it was their duo of runningbacks that kept the Irish at bay and preserve their perfect record with a 35-28 win.

 

 

Big Contender Wins

#3 Williamstown came into their home matchup against Warren Local (OH) missing star runningback Donathan Taylor.  Stepping in his place was Ty Moore.  The offense started slow with stalled out drives and several turnovers.  Warren also began moving the ball quite well too.  Only being up 14-7, the Yellowjackets began leaning on Ty Moore for a slew of tough and long drives.  Through the third and fourth, Moore’s running helped stretched the lead while motivating the defense to keep Warren scoreless the rest of the game.  Moore would finish with 228 yards and four touchdowns in their 33-13 win.  In Magnolia’s rivalry game against St. Marys, it was very one-sided.  It was Patrick Mirandy’s feet that were on display this week instead of his arm.  Early big runs by him and Jason Beisel had them up 28-0 at the end of the first.  Mirandy’s arm also came into play through the second and third as he tossed three touchdowns (five total).  The Blue Eagle defense held the Blue Devils to only slightly over 100 yards of offense in the 41-7 whooping.

 

 

Notables

Liberty (Harrison) remains in the playoff race after a thumping over winless East Fairmont.  TuckerCounty fell 35-14 to out-of-state Southern Garrett (MD).  It was only their second loss of the season.  Lewis County forced five turnovers to remain in the playoff race over equally desperate North Marion.  A big and impressive 23-6 victory.  University appreciated the return of Logan Holgorsen- who had a great return in their thumping of Buckhannon-Upshur 46-19.  Finally, John Marshall moved to 5-2 with a 42-14 win over Brooke.  They now prepare for a very important game with hotseat Morgantown this next week.

 

 

AAA Player of the Week: Blake Hartman (RB) Musselman
AA Player of the Week: Connor Neal (QB) Fairmont Senior
A Player of the Week: Curtis McGhee III (QB) Wheeling Central

Kennedy Award Watch Update (Week Eight)

Gathering Attention

Kerry Martin Jr. (QB) Capital

Brenton Strange (WR) Parkersburg

Ty Sturm (RB) Parkersburg Catholic

 

#5 Hunter America

DoddridgeCountyBulldogsAmerica overtakes Sturm as the prolific Single A performer.  America rushed for over 100 yards and three touchdowns against a tough Ravenswood defense.  His numbers are still boggling as he surpassed the school record this past week.  He should have big games against Valley (Wetzel) and Tygarts Valley with an opportunity to make a statement against Williamstown in two weeks.

 

#4 Will Hackney

SissonvilleIndiansHackney took another hit to his campaign with a 28-14 fall to Winfield.  He didn’t play bad but not the usual stat packer he usually has.  Slightly under 200 yards and responsible for both touchdowns, the Indians ran into a rising Winfield team.  Hackney is definitely not out of the race by any means as Sissonville still has their eyes on the playoffs and a potential run.

 

#3 Grant Harman

It’s about time the state starts appreciating Grant Harman.  Falling in the same boat as Malashevich, he rarely gets to play full games.  This past week he was everywhere.  At quarterback, he is efficient and scores through the air and on the ground (a lot).  Don’t forget that defensively, he is top five in interceptions and is arguably the best defensive back in the state.  He had a textbook game against Hedgesville this past week.

 

#2 Graeson Malaeshevich

SpringValleyTimberwolvesMalashevich continues to raise eyebrows.  It took several games to grab the state’s attention because the Timberwolves’ starters rarely play a full game- he also shares touches with other definite all-staters.  Against St. Albans this week, he made lightwork with three early touchdowns before the reserves were mercifully sent in.  His do-it-all ability definitely has him the race.

 

#1 Connor Neal

FairmontSeniorPolarBearsConnor Neal has been by far the most consistent player in the state statistically.  This past week he tossed another handful of touchdowns- all before the second quarter ended.  His TD-INT ratio is off the charts, and he has a heck of a team surrounding him.  The Polar Bears will be the favorite heading into the AA playoffs, and Neal will continue to be the favorite for the Kennedy Award.

Week Eight Fight Card

WRITER’S STANDINGS

(Out of 90)

66 – Writer Out of Ink
65 – Shotgun Writer
63 – Writer2
63 – Third Writer
61 – Wide Writer
60 – El Writer

 

 

PRELIMINARIES

Valley (Fayette) at Buffalo

Neither Valley’s or Buffalo’s season has went as planned.  Both are winless coming into week eight.  After many blowouts, Buffalo had their closest game of the year with a five-point loss to Tug Valley.  Valley’s closest game came by a 27-point deficit to Clay County.  Both programs are definitely in rebuilding modes, and a win for morale could be pivotal.  Who will pick up their first victory?

El Writer (Buffalo)
Writer2 (Buffalo)
Third Writer (Buffalo)
Wide Writer (Buffalo)
Shotgun Writer (Valley)
Writer OOI (Valley)

C&C Prediction: Buffalo (28) Valley (3)

 

North Marion at Lewis County

Both schools here have only lost to top six AA programs.  North Marion has found a consistent running star with Desmond Fluarty.  His ground game will be completely necessary to counteract the ground game of Marshall Hobbs behind the towering Minutmen line.  Theoretically, whoever loses this game is most likely eliminated from playoff contention so everything will be in the line in Weston.

El Writer (North Marion)
Writer2 (Lewis County
Third Writer (Lewis County)
Wide Writer (North Marion)
Shotgun Writer (North Marion)
Writer OOI (Lewis County)

C&C Prediction: North Marion (24) Lewis County (21)

 

 

Chapmanville at #8 Wayne

After 0-2 starts for both Cardinal Conference teams, four straight wins followed.  Wayne has been led offensively and defensively by well-known star Michael Bartram.  Chapmanville has relied on a barrage of players including a deep stable of senior runningbacks.  Chapmanville’s schedule is more forgiving through the back half so if they can pull this one, they could be sitting in phenomenal shape.

El Writer (Chapmanville)
Writer2 (Wayne)
Third Writer (Chapmanville)
Wide Writer (Wayne)
Shotgun Writer (Wayne)
Writer OOI (Wayne)

C&C Prediction: Wayne (24) Chapmanville (8)

 

Man at Wyoming East

Both of these schools have had honorable season this far after lackluster seasons a year before.  Man, who is a defensive-based unit, is led by Nick Plumley, who is tied for second in the state for sacks.  They have played almost every school on their schedule tough.  Wyoming East, led by senior runningback Caleb Bower, had close games with Fayetteville and Oak Hill- which could have their year looking completely different.  Don’t doubt the talent on this field.

El Writer (Wyoming East)
Writer2 (Wyoming East)
Third Writer (Man)
Wide Writer (Man)
Shotgun Writer (Wyoming East)
Writer OOI (Wyoming East)

C&C Prediction: Wyoming East (26) Man (16)

 

 

UNDERCARD

Ripley at Greenbrier East

Though many have criticized the Vikings’ and Spartans’ strength of schedule, regardless, both schools come into this matchup 5-1 or 4-2.  They both can control their fates to a potential home field in the playoffs.  Ripley possesses a hard runner with RJ Evans and line setter Caydan Keeler.  Greenbrier East relies on a stern defense to keep them in games.  Who is more legit?

El Writer (Ripley)
Writer2 (Ripley)
Third Writer (Ripley)
Wide Writer (Greenbrier East)
Shotgun Writer (Ripley)
Writer OOI (Greenbrier East)

C&C Prediction: Ripley (38) Greenbrier East (10)

 

 

#6 Cameron at Clay-Battelle

Clay-Battelle has had an odd road thus far.  With surprising losses to Meadow Bridge and Tygarts Valley, they have won everything else.  They will need to call for their best game as they take on the undefeated Dragons.  This Cameron team is loaded with stars including the Ritchea brothers on offense, dual threat QB Aiden Lucy, and state-leading picker Noah Neely.  Will Cameron continue to roll?

El Writer (Cameron)
Writer2 (Cameron)
Third Writer (Clay-Battelle)
Wide Writer (Cameron)
Shotgun Writer (Cameron)
Writer OOI (Cameron)

C&C Prediciction: Cameron (49) Clay-Battelle (7)

 

Shady Spring at Oak Hill

Both of these squads are winless except for bouts with Nicholas County.  The Tigers played much closer but have had to edit their offense slightly.  Haven Chapmanville has risen as a reliable offensive weapon as well as Erick Bevil on special teams who is third in the state with five field goals made.  Oak Hill is led by Khori Bass and breakout star Abe Farrow who racks up big yards on the ground and receiving.  This should be an interesting match up.

El Writer (Shady Spring)
Writer2 (Shady Spring)
Third Writer (Shady Spring)
Wide Writer (Shady Spring)
Shotgun Writer (Oak Hill)
Writer OOI (Oak Hill)

C&C Prediction: Shady Spring (29) Oak Hill (26)

 

 

Morgantown at Parkersburg South

Morgantown is limping down to Parkersburg after a stunning 31-0 loss to Wheeling Park.  Plagued by turnovers and missed opportunities, the Mohigans need this one badly.  Parkersburg South has impressed on several occasions behind the running of Nick Yoho and passing of Brayden Mooney.  The Patriots have a perfect chance this week to take advantage of low morale team.

El Writer (Morgantown)
Writer2 (Parkersburg South)
Third Writer (Morgantown)
Wide Writer (Morgantown)
Shotgun Writer (Morgantown)
Writer OOI (Morgantown)

C&C Prediction: Morgantown (28) Parkersburg South (14)

 

 

MAIN CARD

#8 Hedgesville at #1 Martinsburg

Hedgesville’s defense played very well last week in a tough battle against Musselman.  Their offensive trio of Owie Ash, N’iyjere Smith, and Malakai Brown never got quite going, however.  It will need to be here in full effect to take on a dominating Bulldog team that has not been challenged by an in-state team in quite some time.  The odds weigh heavily for the host in this one.

El Writer (Martinsburg)
Writer2 (Martinsburg)
Third Writer (Martinsburg)
Wide Writer (Martinsburg)
Shotgun Writer (Martinsburg)
Writer OOI (Martinsburg)

C&C Prediction: Martinsburg (63) Hedgesville (14)

 

 

#6 Parkersburg at #9 Hurricane

Regardless of records, we can all agree Hurricane and Parkersburg are good football teams.  Since the return of Brenton Strange, the Big Reds have been a brand new ball club.  Jake Johnson and Tyler Moler are coming off back-to-back record breaking performances and the defense has been ballhawks.  The Redskins, after adjusting to early injuries, have come along behind the legs of Christian Hill.  This one is important for both.  A potential playoff clincher for the Big Reds.

El Writer (Parkersburg)
Writer2 (Parkersburg)
Third Writer (Parkersburg)
Wide Writer (Parkersburg)
Shotgun Writer (Parkersburg)
Writer OOI (Hurricane)

C&C Prediction: Parkersburg (31) Hurricane (21)

 

 

Petersburg at Frankfort

Two of the more intriguing teams in the AA field.  Both only have one loss- one to out-of-state and Petersburg’s 10-point loss to Weir.  Frankfort lives off two big RB’s: Nick Marley and Dalton Pollock.  Petersburg comes in with a more balanced offense with the arm of Jacob Hartman and a deep stable of backs.  With both looking for their first playoff appearance in quite sometime, this one is a big deal.

El Writer (Petersburg)
Writer2 (Petersburg)
Third Writer (Petersburg)
Wide Writer (Petersburg)
Shotgun Writer (Petersburg)
Writer OOI (Petersburg)

C&C Prediction: Petersburg (35) Frankfort (14)

 

#5 Musselman at #7 Wheeling Park

Between this two teams there is only loss.  Between both their games against top ten teams last week they gave up a combined seven points (Wheeling Park shutout).  Blake Hartman has proven to be every bit as good as we thought, but he will take on a high flying Wheeling Park defense that has had a chip on their shoulder since Parkersburg.  Alex Dunlevy has improved his passing immensely every week to facilitate a several capable runningbacks in their offense.  This should be an incredibly intense matchup.

El Writer (Musselman)
Writer2 (Wheeling Park)
Third Writer (Musselman)
Wide Writer (Wheeling Park)
Shotgun Writer (Musselman)
Writer OOI (Musselman)

C&C Prediction: Musselman (20) Wheeling Park (14)

 

 

MAIN EVENT

#3 Huntington at #4 Capital

A big-time matchup will take place in Charleston.  The Cougars, who have only lost close to Spring Valley, will host an undefeated Highlander team with several impressive wins under their belt.  Huntington has been beaten up including their star RB and some key linemen, however, Billy Seals has done a great job putting new athletes in positions to succeed.  They will need to play a textbook Huntington game against a very versatile Cougar offense, defense, and special teams.  Besides Kerry Martin Jr., look for Chance Knox and Breece Hoff to potential game changers in this top four matchup.

El Writer (Capital)
Writer2 (Capital)
Third Writer (Huntington)
Wide Writer (Capital)
Shotgun Writer (Capital)
Writer OOI (Capital)

C&C Prediction: Capital (27) Huntington (16)

Southern Review – WEEK SEVEN

FEATURED PHOTO CREDITS: THELEVISALAZER.COM

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Playoff Hopefuls
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.

 

 

Notables

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

Northern Review – WEEK SEVEN

FEATURED PHOTO CREDITS: RON AGNIR (THE JOURNAL- MARTINSBURG)

 

 

Bulldogs Win Prime Time Matchup

After corrective research, Martinsburg has moved into one game of tying the state record for consecutive wins (36).  Their anticipated fight with Virginia’s Sherando lived up to the billing.  Sherando hit first with a deep bomb TD and a defensive stand.  However, big plays by Jarod Bowie and a Grant Harman run quickly tied the game up.  A Harman-Bowie pass put them up only for an ensuing return touchdown to mark it 14-14.  A traded Martinsburg field goal and Sherando touchdown had the hosts down 21-17.  However, before the half both Harman and Elijah Banks would hit Chelo Teneval for a score to have them up 30-21 at the break.  A Bowie-Banks TD, Naieem Kearney run, and Harman run kept Sherando at bay despite late big passes and trick plays to walk away still unbeaten 50-45.

 

 

Close Cuts and Blowouts

In a top ten matchup, #5 Musselman laid host to #6 Hedgesville.  What was expected to showcase the offensive explosions we are used to hearing about, the defenses were the storyline here.  Blake Hartman broke the 0-0 score halfway through the second quarter going up 6-0.  Soon after, a Hedgesville interception allowed Keenan Smoot to strike on the ground and gain the 7-6 lead- the score into the half.  Hartman, who finished with 170 yards, scored shortly into the third and that would be the last score.  The Eagle offense stalled out the remainder to lose 12-7.  One week after a walk-off and shootout loss, #10 Wheeling Park took on Morgantown, who had beaten the team they had just lost to.  Nobody expected the result.  The Patriots scored consistently and the Mohigans flawed consistenly.  Bad punts, missed field goals, turnovers all plagued Morgantown who finished with under 175 yards of offense.  Alex Dunlevy, Stevie Mitchell, and Kenya Robinson all chucked away on offense for several scores.  Wheeling Park walked away with a statement 31-0 win.

 

 

Hot Streaks and Cold Streaks

One week after Jake Johnson set the Parkersburg’s game passing record, Tyler Moler would break the game rushing record with 311.  That domination was seen on both sides as the Big Red defense forced the red hot George Washington offense led by Grant Wells to throw four interceptions.  Fresh Penn State commit, Brenton Strange, also had quite the day with two sacks, two interceptions, and five catches for 67 yards. The Big Reds won easy 32-7.  University continued their rollercoaster season with an ugly loss against Mountain Ride (MD).  The Hawks could not stop the Miner ground game which surpassed 350 yards.  With Logan Holgorsen out, the Hawks performed well yardage-wise with Amir Richardson and JT Brown switching out at QB.  However, tons of penalties and four interceptions doomed most drives.  They would go onto lose 34-13 in a loss that puts them at 3-4.

 

 

Big Ten Big Dogs Deliver

#4 Bridgeport and North Marion’s matchup was the story of Jake Bowen.  The senior RB/DB ran for 154 and four scores while also pulling down two picks.  Dominant line play and big plays by Trey Pancake had the Indians cruise to a 49-16 win.  In a big time AA matchup, #1 Fairmont Senior took on #7 Weir.  The Red Riders hung around for awhile despite the typical Connor Neal performance- he finished with 250+ and four scores.  Despite that, Weir went into the half only down 22-13.  They could never get Donovan Kirby going, and it was the Polar Bears’ Rhett Heston who stole the show with big powerful runs that stretched the game to a 43-13 win for Fairmont Senior.

 

 

Impressive Defenses

With a new offense in place, Elkins still couldn’t get much success on Robert C. Byrd.  The Eagles of Robert C. Byrd held them to 0 points and just over 100 yards of offense. Robert C. Byrd leaned on big-time rusher Ghovan Davidson per usual who finished with 90 yards and two scores.  Jeremiah King also offered an explosion on the ground.  The Eagles would win 21-0.   Keyser took on Man, who had to make a heck of a trip to the eastern panhandle.  It would be for not as big plays by Reggie Redman, Sam Perry, and Ryan Shoemaker put the game on ice early.  It was never much of match as the Golden Tornado spun to a 50-8 dub.

 

 

Top 5’s March

#3 Williamstown continued with their winstreak, taking down a dangerous Tyler Consolidated team impressively.  Donathan Taylor had a big night with two early TD rushes while Carter Haynes tossed two later on in the second.  The Yellowjacket defense contained Mark Rucker and Griffin Phillips well enough to maintain a big lead the entire night and a 51-18 victory.  For #1 Wheeling Central, they took on a hot Steubenville Catholic.  Adam Murray showed out for the potentially historic defense.  Though they were outgained, key takeaways were the difference.  Up 17-0, Wheeling Central’s Bray Price picked the ball off on their own goal line and took it 100 yards to the house.  Curtis McGhee III played incredibly efficient- totaling three scores with no turnovers.  The Maroon Knights stay unbeaten with their 31-14 win.  #6 Cameron had unexpected struggle early with Conotton Valley (OH)  but 223 yards and two touchdowns for faithful runner Andrew Ritchea and two Noah Neely picks (now seven on the year) were able to break the early 14-14 tie.  Also, two Aiden Lucy TD runs and a late pass pushed the game way out of reach in the Dragons’ 38-14 win.

 

 

Contenders Impress

#9 Parkersburg Catholic contains to raise eyebrows.  Taking on an improved Calhoun County team, rising Kennedy Award candidate Ty Sturm rushed for 314 yards and three scores while Jeb Boice added on 169 and three of his own.  It was never a match with a 46-6 win.  #2 Doddridge County continued with their usual domination behind 138 yards and three more scores for state-leading rusher Hunter America while Tanner Lett threw two scores as well.  The Bulldogs moved to 6-0 with the 57-7 win over Gilmer County.  #10 Pendleton County only got to play three quarters before it was called for lightning, but not before Kole Puffenberger could toss four scores- two going to Timothy Thorne.  They would win big 34-7 over Tygarts Valley.

 

 

Notables

Parkersburg South’s Nick Yoho and Brayden Mooney combined for 348 yards and six touchdowns in a 70-0 thwarting of Brooke.  Patrick Mirandy’s offensive play for Magnolia was not enough to overcome redzone turnovers and a safety in their loss 36-21 loss to Crestview (OH).  Tucker County survived a scare from winless East Hardy to win 21-12.  Both Grafton and Lewis County stayed in the playoff race with close wins over Lincoln and Buckhannon-Upshur, respectively.  Frankfort bounced back from their first loss behind a big performance by Nick Marley to beaten AAA Washington.

 

 

AAA Player of the Week: Tyler Moler (RB) Parkersburg

AA Player of the Week: Jake Bowen (RB/DB) Bridgeport

A Player of the Week: Adam Murray (LB) Wheeling Central

Kennedy Watch Update (Week Seven)

Gathering Attention

Malakai Brown (WR) Hedgesville

Grant Harman (QB/DB) Martinsburg

Hunter America (RB) Doddridge County

 

 

#5 Ty Sturm

ParkersburgCatholicCrusaders

At the moment, Sturm seems to be the hottest Single A right next to Hunter America.  In a dominant win over Calhoun County, Sturm tallied 314 and three more scores.  His recent numbers have been unrivaled the past few weeks.  He will begin taking on some higher level Single A’s and if he can perform as he has so far, his name could continue to right beside America’s for the role of the prolific Single A runner.

 

 

#4 Kerry Martin Jr.

CapitalCougarsMartin Jr. had a bye week this past Friday.  Coming off their first loss of the year, they will have several more good chances in the regular season to jump back up.  However, with the large amount of prolific stat players operating across AA and A, it most likely will come down to his playoff run and final performances.

 

 

#3 Graeson Malashevich

SpringValleyTimberwolves

Malashevich jumped on the list after being most important player in the Capital and Spring Valley battle.  With the spotlight increasing on him every week, he delivered in a partial game while blowing out Riverside.  He had a punt return TD early and catch.  Malashevich will not have the prolific numbers as other contenders but his playoff performance could have him be a Charles Woodson-esque contender for the award.

 

 

#2 Will Hackney

SissonvilleIndians

Hackney also had a bye this last Friday.  He has a very good candidate schedule remaining with statement games against Winfield and Wayne, and will most likely outmatch Nitro and Braxton County.  It will be interesting and as long as Neal is playing like he is, it will be hard for him to jump him.  However, playoffs will be a tell-tale.

 

 

#1 Connor Neal

FairmontSeniorPolarBears

What do you get from the leading Kennedy candidate against the #7 team in the state?  A few incompletions, over 250 yards, and four touchdowns.  Their final three games will come against expected easy wins, so he will be walking into the playoffs with crazy numbers and 10-0.  Right now, it is his to lose still.

Week Seven Fight Card

WRITER’S STANDINGS

(Out of 77)

56 – Writer2
56 – Shotgun Writer
56 – Writer Out of Ink
52 – El Writer
52 – Third Writer
51 – Wide Writer

 

 

PRELIMINARIES

River View at Montcalm

River View and Montcalm came into 2018 with high hopes.  Both have yet to get a win past the halfway point.  The Generals fell to four straight teams out of Virginia and then to a red hot Van team.  River View has fell to out-of-states too but in recent weeks have put up honorable points against Man and Wyoming East.  Both of these teams are desperately searching for a morale building win, and someone will walk with it this Friday.

El Writer (River View)
Writer2 (River View)
Third Writer (River View)
Wide Writer (Montcalm)
Shotgun Writer (River View)
Writer OOI (Montcalm)

C&C Prediction: River View (38) Montcalm (7)

 

 

Clay County at Roane County

One week after losing their first game of the season to Independence, Clay County travels over to Roane.  Roane County has had a much better year than their winless 2017, and that has a lot to do with Danny Bush.  They have knocked off St. Marys and Braxton County.  Clay County’s 4-0 start was to unlikely candidates and showed dominance by two-way stars Joel Cruickshanks and Caleb Wynn.  Their strength of schedule won’t get them in at 7-3 (possibly) so every game from here on matters completely.

El Writer (Clay County)
Writer2 (Roane County)
Third Writer (Clay County)
Wide Writer (Clay County)
Shotgun Writer (Roane County)
Writer OOI (Clay County)

C&C Prediction: Clay County (28) Roane County (14)

 

 

Princeton at Ripley

Ripley has jumped out to 4-1 with the departure of their MSAC schedule.  Only an opening loss to Parkersburg South is their blemish.  The Vikings are led by playmaking backs Robert Evans and Josh Kay while Caydan Keeler is one of the top sackers in the state.  They will host a winless Princeton Tiger team that has hung around with Bluefield and Musselman for a bit behind the dual-threat playmaking of QB Ranson Graham.  The Tigers need a first win, and this could be the perfect trap game for Ripley.

El Writer (Ripley)
Writer2 (Princeton)
Third Writer (Ripley)
Wide Writer (Ripley)
Shotgun Writer (Ripley)
Writer OOI (Ripley)

C&C Prediction: Ripley (42) Princeton (21)

 

 

Greenbrier West at Pocahontas County

Not many expected Pocahontas County to be sitting at 3-3 after the loss of such a great senior class.  Now, they come into week seven controlling their own fate.  That opens the door for a secretly talented 1-5 Greenbrier West.  To put their losses in perspective, their last four falls came by 7 to Covington (VA), 6 to Webster County, 5 to Summers County, and 5 to James Monroe.  One score going another way each game and Greenbrier West comes into this game at 5-1.  Could they cut the late season run short?

El Writer (Greenbrier West)
Writer2 (Greenbrier West)
Third Writer (Pocahontas County)
Wide Writer (Pocahontas County)
Shotgun Writer (Greenbrier West)
Writer OOI (Greenbrier West)

C&C Prediction: Greenbrier West (35) Pocahontas County (24)

 

 

UNDERCARD

South Charleston at Woodrow Wilson

In AAA, the playoff race never seems quite over until seven losses.  South Charleston has held close early with several of the top teams in the state.  QB Shyleik Kinney has played noteworthy against stout competition and the Black Eagle defense has its moments with Drew Joseph and Zeiqui Lawton.  They are winless while Woodrow Wilson comes in with two wins against Greenbrier East and Riverside.  The Flying Eagles, before their bye week, went down to the wire with Hurricane.  With Cabell Midland, Capital, George Washington, and Bluefield left on the schedule- this one really matters.

El Writer (Woodrow Wilson)
Writer2 (South Charleston)
Third Writer (Woodrow Wilson)
Wide Writer (Woodrow Wilson)
Shotgun Writer (South Charleston)
Writer OOI (South Charleston)

C&C Prediction: Woodrow Wilson (17) South Charleston (14)

 

 

Hurricane at #3 Huntington

The last time these two butted heads, Hurricane almost had one of the biggest upset of the playoffs in 2017- falling on a two-point conversion.  Behind their talented line, Ty Wilcoxon has thrived but left the game last week injured.  Hurricane has their own talented runner, Christian Hill, who has put up big numbers no matter who they played.  With a capable defense, this one might get interesting for the Redskins and Highlanders.

El Writer (Huntington)
Writer2 (Huntington)
Third Writer (Huntington)
Wide Writer (Huntington)
Shotgun Writer (Huntington)
Writer OOI (Huntington)

C&C Prediction: Huntington (28) Hurricane (10)

 

Tyler Consolidated at #3 Williamstown

Williamstown has looked real good since their opening loss to Wheeling Central.  Donathan Taylor and Carter Haynes have been paramount in this five game winstreak as well as Kole Sutton- a ball hawk in the secondary.  Tyler has won three straight with the offensive duo of Griffin Phillips and Mark Rucker.  Their lone losses are to Ritchie County and Doddridge County.  Their Yellowjacket matchup starts another stint of tough games.

El Writer (Williamstown)
Writer2 (Williamstown)
Third Writer (Williamstown)
Wide Writer (Williamstown)
Shotgun Writer (Williamstown)
Writer OOI (Williamstown)

C&C Prediction: Williamstown (35) Tyler Consolidated (21)

 

 

#9 Morgantown at #10 Wheeling Park

Though Wheeling Park comes in with only one loss, it might sting more than all three of Morgantown’s.  Their last second, comeback foiling, loss was not to say that Alex Dunlevy did not show out his passing ability.  Morgantown’s three losses have came close and hard to good teams, and this looks to be a potential trap game for the possibly hungover Patriot program.  Expect a hogmolly battle in the pits, hard nose running, and well-timed passing by both mobile quarterbacks.

El Writer (Morgantown)
Writer2 (Morgantown)
Third Writer (Wheeling Park)
Wide Writer (Wheeling Park)
Shotgun Writer (Wheeling Park)
Writer OOI (Wheeling Park)

C&C Prediction: Wheeling Park (38) Morgantown (32)

 

 

MAIN CARD

#8 George Washington at #7 Parkersburg

On the otherside, the Patriots and Big Reds come into Week Seven riding a good high.  George Washington impressed with a 24-13 win over Hurricane while Parkersburg, of course, held on to defeat an unbeaten Wheeling Park.  This game will feature two prolific quarterbacks, Grant Wells and Jake Johnson, and could have all the makings to be one of the most exciting games to see this week while also having a lot on the lines in terms of playoff points.

El Writer (George Washington)
Writer2 (George Washington)
Third Writer (Parkersburg)
Wide Writer (Parkersburg)
Shotgun Writer (George Washington)
Writer OOI (Parkersburg)

C&C Prediction: George Washington (43) Parkersburg (42)

 

 

Tolsia at #7 Mount View

Mount View, #1 in the SSAC ratings, will face their toughest test to date.  With stars allure such as Jesse Rose, Elijah Barner, Marqus Ray, and breakout runner Ty Powell- they have been rarely challenged.  Their speed will host a big Tolsia Rebel team.  The Rebels schedule does not get any easier so they need this win badly.  Devon Crum comes in as the Rebel star on offense and defense.  It will be a telling matchup between where both teams stand.

El Writer (Mount View)
Writer2 (Tolsia)
Third Writer (Mount View)
Wide Writer (Mount View)
Shotgun Writer (Tolsia)
Writer OOI (Mount View)

C&C Prediction: Mount View (42) Tolsia (17)

 

 

#6 Hedgesville at #5 Musselman

It’s been awhile since someone from the panhandle knocked off Musselman other than Martinsburg.  The Eagles looked prime to do so.  With one of their best lines in years, an improving defense, and the offensive trio of Owie Ash, N’iyjere Smith, and Malakai Brown- they look deserving as the #6 team in the state.  Musselman, led by Blake Hartman, is coming off a road win over Morgantown that was well earned.  A clash of styles, and a favorable playoff seed is what is up for grabs.

El Writer (Musselman)
Writer2 (Musselman)
Third Writer (Hedgesville)
Wide Writer (Hedgesville)
Shotgun Writer (Musselman)
Writer OOI (Hedgesville)

C&C Prediction: Musselman (28) Hedgesville (21)

 

 

#7 Weir at #1 Fairmont Senior

The Red Riders have picked up important wins against Petersburg and James Monroe.  Their blown loss to Keyser is indicative of playing without two-way star QB/DE Tyler Komorowski.  They have had to lean on Donovan Kirby all year especially since the injury.  Meanwhile, Fairmont Senior has decimated everyone in their path.  Connor Neal leads the Kennedy race alongside an incredible stable of backs and receivers.  We will see how big the gap truly is between #1 and everyone else.

El Writer (Fairmont Senior)
Writer2 (Fairmont Senior)
Third Writer (Fairmont Senior)
Wide Writer (Fairmont Senior)
Shotgun Writer (Fairmont Senior)
Writer OOI (Fairmont Senior)

C&C Prediction: Fairmont Senior (49) Weir (13)

 

 

MAIN EVENT

Sherando (VA) at #1 Martinsburg

Besides Capital and Spring Valley or Spring Valley and Huntington, this game might hold the most overall talent from both sides on a West Virginia field this year.  The Bulldogs have proven to be every bit as good as last year and come into Week Seven one game away from setting the all-time winstreak record in West Virginia history.  Led by a two-QB system of Grant Harman and Elijah Banks, quick wideouts Jarod Bowie and Teddy Marshall, dual runners Dewayne Grantham and Naieem Kearney, and a sackmaster/special teams phenom RJ Barrett- these Bulldogs look to defeat Sherando by more than a last second field like in 2017.

El Writer (Sherando)
Writer2 (Martinsburg)
Third Writer (Martinsburg)
Wide Writer (Martinsburg)
Shotgun Writer (Martinsburg)
Writer OOI (Martinsburg)

C&C Prediction: Martinsburg (24) Sherando (20)