Super Six Preview

AAA

#4 Spring Valley vs #2 Martinsburg

Spring Valley C&Co. Rating: 77.3

Martinsburg C&Co. Rating: 84.1

 

Martinsburg Offense vs Spring Valley Defense

Martinsburg’s offense presents Spring Valley with a major problem.  They can beat you either way.  They can run the ball behind Jackson and Grantham (The Timberwolves’ kryptonite last year) with Trey Sine potentially mixing in.  Behind a very good and experienced offensive line that is up to the challenge of the huge Spring Valley line. The Tyson Bagent passing game is spread out among a corps of very fast and sure handed group of WRs led by Shy Crawford and Matt Vanduzer.  Both WRs can beat you on any play.  Bagent has been a very consistent for two years now and his efficiency is ever improving.  That is a huge mountain for the Timberwolves defense to face.  They are monsters across the front and have faced the task of great skill from Capital, Hurricane, Huntington, Cabell Midland, and South Charleston.  So, Spring Valley is no stranger to facing speed.  Spring Valley’s defense has always been a little unorthodox in their style.  They have a very adaptable method that can change easily within the scheme to face the different styles of offense they face week to week.  The constant adjustments keep opposing teams from having a good game plan in the first quarter.  Therefore, adjustments have to be made on the run while their offense grinds you to a pulp.  The one major advantage the Timberwolves have is their front seven led by arguably the best inside linebacker within WV, Owen Porter, who has played his best football in the postseason.

 

Game Plan

Martinsburg will spread the Timberwolves out from hash to hash.  They will see the Hurricane film and notice that in the open field the Timberwolves are not a match.  They will sprinkle passes to Vanduzer and Crawford and force the Spring Valley defense to chase and break down.  They will run sweeps early and often to make the massive Spring Valley front seven fatigue.  After one quarter of chasing, the big dogs will be very tired and we might see a repeat of what Grantham did in 2016.  Spring Valley will try and provide a look that will confuse the Bulldogs early.  They will overload the wide side of the field and use the boundary as a 12th defender and place their best cover guy also to the boundary.  This gives them a chance to slow the passing game down a bit.  The problem is when the Bulldogs are in the middle of the field; it will be a chore.  Hurricane had two great WRs as does Martinsburg, and it won’t take long for the Bulldogs to get the matchup they want.  If the defense can get a group of plays from the hash and overload the field, they can let their massive front seven stop the running game.  This will give them a chance to slow the tempo.  One thing that cannot happen is for the Spring Valley team to give a cheap and long home run TD.  If that happens, it is over, and the Bulldogs are your State Champs.  Spring Valley is not built for come from behind football.

 

Spring Valley Offense vs the Martinsburg Defense

Mike Tyson used to say “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”  That is an easy way to describe the offense of the Timberwolves.  Make no mistake for those who haven’t seen the Timberwolves play, Doug Nester is everything claimed to be.  He has help too with perhaps his best assisting blocker being tight end Jacob Cassidy.  The best thing that could happen is the Timberwolves get the opening kickoff, and they make a 10-minute scoring drive in the first possession.  If this happens, it might force the Bulldogs to look for big plays and a few mistakes and this game is close at the half.  The longer the Timberwolves hang around, the bigger chance of an upset that can occur.  The defense of the Bulldogs is THE best in West Virginia.  Half of this unit will play on the next level.  Led by WVU bound Tavis Lee, this unit includes all-state linemen Jalen Hesen and Trey Henry as well as defensive back Grant Harman.  QB Derek Johnson will have his hands very full.

 

Game Plan

As stated before, Spring Valley will dance with what got them here and that is ride the massive offensive line.  Johnson has enough of an arm for a few Play Action passes to keep the Bulldogs defense honest.  The loss of RB Owen Chafin, the leading rusher of the Timberwolves, will hamper the ground and pound offense but why change what got you to back-to-back State Championship appearances?  We would not be surprised to see a saved spread look the Timberwolves have been prepping just for a game like this to take advantage of the line play.  Martinsburg will use more of a four man front early instead of their normal 3-3 look.  However, if the Timberwolves spread out the Bulldogs, they will need to resort back to their original.  Regardless, they will be prepared for anything.  Both units hold a large amount of experience and confidence.

 

Summary

Pride and momentum will keep this game closer in the first half than last year’s game.  Don’t expect a blowout early unless Spring Valley tries to deviate from what they do best.  If a Special Team TD or homerun TD occurs early for the Bulldogs then it might get ugly fast.  The grind-it-out style of Spring Valley, and if Martinsburg starts hurting themselves will give the Timberwolves a shot.  Expect efficient play from the Bulldogs with an occasional homerun play ready to be called to put the knife in the heart.  The odds are with Martinsburg.

 

Prediction

Martinsburg 42 Spring Valley 14

 

 

 

AA

#4 Fairmont Senior vs #2 Bluefield

Fairmont Senior C&Co. Rating: 72.0

Bluefield C&Co. Rating: 73.6

 

Bluefield Offense vs Fairmont Senior Defense

Bluefield is the fastest AA football team in the State.  This is undisputed.  Many who have not seen the Beavers in person might think it is just a Mookie Collier show- not so fast.  Truck Edwards has a very impressive presence in the middle to compliment Collier’s outside running.  Bluefield’s offensive line also proved their worth defeating Bridgeport at their own game without throwing a single pass.  Collier has a shot to score every time he touches the ball.  Enter the Fairmont Senior defense fresh off of shutting down one of the prolific offenses in the state. The Polar Bears schedule has prepared them for speed.  However, nothing has prepared the Beavers for DL Dante Stills.  He will require a double team, if not, expect some stress from Bluefield’s game manager at QB.  Man for man, Bluefield is faster, but Fairmont Senior has the experience.

 

Game Plan

The Beavers can not afford to get in a shootout with the Polar Bears.  They will need to stick to their usual inside-outside run game with Edwards and Collier.   If they have success with this, they will win.  They are very diverse in their attack with the use of unbalanced lines and Wing T concepts in their offense with the only passing attack of significance being play action.  Bluefield’s QB is a good game manager but he can’t beat you with his arm.  Bluefield feeds off big plays, and if they get on a roll they are very difficult to defend.  Fairmont Senior has a better front, however, the Beavers are so deadly beyond that.  They are used to grinding it out, but instead of giving up a 20 yard run to Jake Bowen, it will be an 80-yard touchdown to Mookie Collier.  That is the question, can they keep Bluefield in front of them?  They will need to make the Beavers play from behind- they are not built for that.

 

 Fairmont Offense vs  Bluefield Defense

The Fairmont offense is loaded with outstanding skill positions of its own.  Connor Neal is the captain of the offense; he can no longer be considered a first-year QB.  He’s seen much success especially as defense’s key in on dual threat star Bryson Gilbert.  Antonio Parsons is the threat on the outside catching. This trio gives Fairmont a top skill player on every level of the offense.  They also have big play capabilities.  The Polar Bears will look to spread the Beaver defense out and give itself advantages with the capability of running and throwing the ball.  The line is adequate enough to protect the passing game and provide a running attack.  Running outside or throwing deep will be a problem.  Bluefield will rely on a strong LB corps led by Truck Edwards to slant and blitz to handle the passing game.

 

 Game Plan

The plan for Fairmont will be to spread the Beavers out and use a very good one-two punch of Gilbert at RB and Parsons at WR and hoping to obtain a six or seven man box.  This will be key for the success of Neal.  If the running game gets established, Neal will have a field day with play action and a panicking Beaver defense.  Bluefield will need to decide to key in on Gilbert’s ground game or making Neal uncomfortable throwing.  We expect more of a loaded box.  The key in all of this is that Fairmont Senior most likely will not get a homerun TD.  People can downplay speed all they want, but being able to chase down players to save a score can be incredibly vital.  Bluefield can do that.  They must treat the Polar Bears like Bridgeport, keep it in front and let the other team make a mistake.

 

Summary

Expect this to be the closest or most exciting of the three matchups (or both).  The amount of talent on the field will make anyone proud especially considering the distances between the two teams.  This is simply speed vs experience.  However, that isn’t saying Fairmont Senior does not have speed, and Bluefield does not have experience.  Out of the three games, this is the least predictable.  It could be a shootout, it could be a defensive showdown.  Regardless, we are excited to see what happens.

 

Prediction

Bluefield 24 Fairmont Senior 21

 

 

 

A

#10 Wheeling Central vs #5 St. Marys

St. Marys C&Co. Rating: 60.0

Wheeling Central C&Co. Rating: 57.7

 

St. Marys Offense vs Wheeling Central Defense

During the middle stretch of 2017, the St. Marys offense did not click as it is was expected to.  The defending champions did their best to utilize 2016 State Championship MVP RB Jaiden Smith, but he did not find the same big play success.  However, insert their last bulk of games.  Their head on running style which relies entirely on Jaiden Smith, Matt Eichorn, and Dylan Gray.  It’s a rotating door in the backfield with any type of run coming.  Doing this, they have combined for nearly 3000 yards rushing and 47 touchdowns.  Their passing game isn’t as effective and will rely on play action for success.  Wheeling Central has a stout defense which has went up against some incredibly tough competition.  They have handled the speed of Freddy Canary and the air raid of East Hardy.  Sophomore linebacker Adam Murray is the man in the middle here and will be called on multiple times to slow down this rushing attack.  The line’s matchup mostly even with maybe a slight edge going to the Maroon Knights.

 

Game Plan

St. Marys offensive gameplan is simple.  Do what you do!  Line it up toe to heel, put your horses in the backfield, and challenge Wheeling Central to stop you.  They will try to control the clock to keep the ball out the Maroon Knights’ hands.  Electing to receive and pounding out a big long drive, taking a bulk of clock off, will put the pressure on Wheeling Central.  However, not even early homeruns will keep them away.  Wheeling Central has an experienced staff and will constantly make the right adjustments to get the advantage in the box.  The question is if Jaiden Smith summons his big game ability yet again and dominates for another year.

 

Wheeling Central Offense vs St. Marys Defense

A lot goes on behind the line of scrimmage for Wheeling Central.  Unlike their foe, they tend to not be under center to give their playmaker as much room as possible.  Curtis McGhee is the game breaker this year.  Though he has talented runners and receivers, he is the offense of the Maroon Knights.  Only being a sophomore, he started off slow in 2017 with it culminating to their previous six straight wins.  St. Marys has shown an ability to cover wider offenses and explosive ones at that.  Though East Hardy had incredible players, it cannot be understated enough how dangerous McGhee is.  He is liable to drop a snap, make a man miss, and run for a long touchdown.  However, St. Marys has been here for before.

 

Game Plan

The gameplan is simple yet again.  Key in on Curtis McGhee and make him uncomfortable.  He’s going to make plays, but the key is to keep them from being touchdowns.  St. Marys defensive is more experienced and overall in the front seven, outmaches the Maroon Knights.  Wheeling Central will rely on their system to open up passing lanes and running holes for chunk plays.  St. Marys needs to keep confidence in their system, and they will be perfectly alright.

 

Summary

On paper, this is a young and red hot 10th seed team playing a very experienced and accomplished and defending champions.  Both have solid units, and their are star players on both sides.  Wheeling Central is right at home but the drive shouldn’t affect St. Marys too much.  The Maroon Knights have an experienced staff and dangerous team.  This has all the makings of your typical Single A championship.  A close, tight game full of excitement!

 

Prediction

St. Marys 21 Wheeling Central 10

Playoff Preview: SEMIFINALS

AAA

#4 Spring Valley at #1 Huntington

A great rematch is in store with Huntington and Spring Valley.  The last time out, Jadon Hayes came alive in the second half to win 14-0 in a game of sloppy conditions.  This time around, Huntington is coming off several less than stellar performances though Hayes is still making a tremendous case for the Kennedy.  Spring Valley has played lights out since losing to Hurricane, however, they will be without leading rusher Owen Chafin.  Both teams bring a deep and an experienced squad to the table.  Only one gets to go to Wheeling.

 

 

#6 Capital at #2 Martinsburg

Perhaps the most entertaining rivalry of the 2010’s, the Cougars and Bulldogs have combined for six of the last seven state titles with an appearance by either in every one. The Cougars rely on stud QB Kerry Martin Jr. to hit his talented skill group or tuck it and run.  They are coming off their best two wins of the season.  They will need every ounce of heat to go into Martinsburg and make some noise.  Tyson Bagent is playing historically well at QB and the defense has allowed NEGATIVE six yards in the first two games.  No team has had this much hype around them in awhile, and they don’t disappoint.  Many believe Capital is the potential game changer though.

 

 

 

AA

#4 Fairmont Senior at #1 Mingo Central

A rematch of the 2016 State Championship.  Both sides have changed faces yet the stars still remain.  Fairmont Senior has played incredibly efficient through two games with great QB play and winning the line of scrimmage.  Mingo Central has put up silly offensive numbers behind the dual lethality of Jeremy Dillon.  Their defense has played iffy though.  Mingo’s quick scoring offense leaves the defense on the field extended amounts of time; Fairmont Senior could very well capitalize on this.  Both teams are State Title game caliber, and it should be a trip up on Miner Mountain.

 

 

#3 Bridgeport at #2 Bluefield

Collier vs Bowen.  We both know both of these star players will show up in Bluefield.  The assisting crews will be the deciding factors.  Truck Edwards and Jon Merica might be more important in this matchup.  Perhaps, the line of the Indians will win the trenches and give Bridgeport a playoff birth.  This is one of two games where the two teams do not have any immediate history.  Both have been dominant over top programs and no one really knows what to expect.  Mitchell Stadium will be packed edge to edge and definitely expect plenty of red in the stands as well.

 

 

 

A

#5 St. Marys at #1 East Hardy

Another 2016 championship rematch!  After Jaiden Smith’s MVP performance to give East Hardy their second consecutive State Championship loss, the Cougars have since been on a mission.  Only being challenged twice to quality teams, it’s been easy riding for Skovron and Company.  St. Marys had not lived up to their 2016 campaign up until late.  Their last six quarters of play have been their best all year especially on defense.  Their last matchup was a classic, and we expect nothing less in this one.  The winner will take on one of two unexpected title contenders.

 

#11 Summers County at #10 Wheeling Central

Starting the postseason, we doubt anyone predicted Summers County and Wheeling Central battling for a title shot.  Summers County has improved week by week resulting in three straight shutouts.  Tucker Lilly has shown big play ability.  They will need their A game to compete with a red hot Wheeling Central who decimated a talented South Harrison team.  Curtis McGhee will be their main priority to stop as he’s playing out of his mind. The Bobcats have been doubted all year, and they will be once again traveling hours to Wheeling.

C&Co. 2017 All-State: GOLD

The final part of our 2017 All-State lists.  Unlike the 40 of Bronze and 25 of Silver, only 10 will be on the Gold list.  As we know, many will come to realize certain players have been left off all three lists.  If you believe a player has been snubbed, send us film!  We will be recognizing possible missed players later on.  The Gold list, however, is the smallest group we have made.  Any of these players could be argued to be number one so we refuse to rank- only to recognize the results of a lot of hard work, talent, and passion!

 

 

Without further ado:

 

 

GOLD

Tyson Bagent (QB) – Martinsburg

Mookie Collier (RB) – Bluefield

Jeremy Dillon (QB) – Mingo Central

Jadon Hayes (RB) – Huntington

Tavis Lee (LB) – Martinsburg

Kerry Martin Jr. (QB) – Capital

Doug Nester (OL) – Spring Valley

Dante Stills (DL) – Fairmont Senior

Cross Wilkinson (QB) – Wheeling Park

Darnell Wright (OL) – Huntington

C&Co. Quarterfinal Review

Few thought the quarterfinals would be more spaced out than the first round.  Out of the twelve matchups, two were close and boy they were close.  The top teams look even more frightening but also increase anticipation for their collisions coming the next two weeks.  The stage is now set for the history to be made.

 

 

Here is our take:

 

 

AAA

#9 Hurricane at #1 Huntington

In one of the only close games, it was CLOSE.  One yard and one point to be exact.  Hurricane, a team Huntington thumped weeks before, was playing their best ball.  The offense was moving better and the coaches were calling it almost perfectly.  Huntington is an insanely talented squad and once again relied on Kennedy candidate Jadon Hayes for 285 yards and four scores.  Those four scores had Huntington up 28-21 with little time left and a long field to cover for the Redskins.  A dramatic drive ensued ending with a Roy-Shine TD with a little over thirty seconds left.  They elected to go for two where Dakota Williams was stopped one yard short on a formerly successful end around.  Huntington would win 28-27.

jh hun
Photo Credits: http://www.Herald-Dispatch.com

 

 

#10 John Marshall at #2 Martinsburg

Few believed in John Marshall and rightfully so.  The historic Martinsburg defense has now allowed -6 yards of offense in its first two playoff games (two yards gained by the Monarchs).  Both of their first downs were via penalty.  On the other side of the ball, Tyson Bagent set a playoff record for completion percentage going 15/16 with four of those being touchdowns.  Trey Sine, Mikey Jackson Jr., and Dewayne Grantham all had huge plays which had this game out of reach after the first quarter.  The Bulldogs are putting out legendary performances perhaps never seen before.  In an awesome draw, they will host Capital, a program they have a notable past with.

 

 

#6 Capital at #3 University

University did not back up their schedule.  After much arguing, it seems as if the Cougars of the MSAC will be the ones laughing.  Though the score was not fully indicative of the game, Capital was head and shoulders better.  University shot themselves in the foot repeatedly including the opening kickoff which Capital scored off.  They would turnover the ball in the redzone and have several touchdowns revoked because of penalty.  We can not discredit Capital, they are playing their best football so far.  Kerry Martin Jr. is a shoe-in week in and week out to perform at a high level; this week with three total touchdowns.  Capital will hope to ride this impressive win all the way to the eastern panhandle.

 

 

#12 Cabell Midland at #4 Spring Valley

The ground game of the Scarlet Knights and the Timberwolves has been extraordinary in 2017.  However, the quarterfinals was all about defense.  Cabell Midland was held to their worst performance of the year tallying 76 yards.  Ivan Vaughn, the all-state workhorse, only got up to 56.  Spring Valley’s Owen Porter had a career day which was instrumental in the shutout.  He had SIX sacks.  When the defense plays like that, pressure is relieved for the offense.  Owen Chafin led the way for the partially stagnant Spring Valley defense with 103 ground gains.  However, it was discovered Chafin was injured during the game and will not be suited up as Spring Valley rematches with nearby Huntington.

op cm
Photo Credits: http://www.Herald-Dispatch.com

 

 

 

AA

#8 Liberty (Harrison) at #1 Mingo Central

Liberty went down swinging.  Many expected the Miners to run them out early, but the Mountaineers stuck around longer than anticipated.  Early success by the Lantz/Westfall duo, which ended with 184 combined and two scores, had them within arms reach of the defending champs.  Mingo’s liable defense was eventually relieved by the Dillon-Elia combo.  By the half, the two had heated up and began widening the margin.  Jeremy Dillon would finish with 200+ total yards and four scores where Dawson Elia ran it in three times.  Mingo Central will host Fairmont Senior in a rematch of the 2016 state championship; all eyes will be on their defense.

 

 

#7 Point Pleasant at #2 Bluefield

We thought it would be closer.  We thought.  Though the Beaver perform every week, there still seems to be a lot of doubt as they remain with three teams who have been in the semis for consecutive years.  Point Pleasant’s Cason Payne played decent but was not 100, and add in Point’s lackluster defensive play, and it was a wrap.  Mookie Collier would tote 167 and three scores and was well complimented by Truck Davis.  Perhaps, the most pleasant surprise was QB Chandler Cooper who tossed 117 and two scores.  A little bit of dual-threat could be an important part when they host Bridgeport this upcoming week.

 

 

#11 Winfield at #3 Bridgeport

And right back in the Semifinals is Bridgeport.  Despite a first-year coach and injuries on defense, the Indians find themselves with one loss and one game away from the ole familiar state championship.  We thought Winfield was dangerous and their quickfire offense would challenge Bridgeport… not even close.  Andrew Huff played decent with 187 and two scores but turned it over three times.  This was too much to give to a rushing attack where Jake Bowen scored four times on 201 yards while QB Jon Merica added two more.  Bridgeport controlled this game from the get go and will prepare for a much anticipated matchup with Bluefield.

jbvwin
Photo Credits: http://www.TheET.com

 

 

#5 Wayne at #4 Fairmont Senior

In the second North-Central vs Valley matchup, there were similar results.  Wayne’s usually consistent attack of Bartrum and Milum never got even close to going.  Fairmont Senior showed incredible experience and maturity to never let the dangerous Pioneers within arms reach.  Connor Neal has been specifically impressive in his first playoffs going for 171 and two scores.  The Polar Bear offense was the game icer, scoring five times on their first six drives.  After back-to-back great showings, they will travel to Miner Mountain to rematch with the Miners.  Many would argue the Miners are not the team of 2016 and the same for Fairmont.

 

 

 

A

#9 Sherman at #1 East Hardy

Sherman had a high rating but everyone knows that East Hardy is on a mission.  Though late success and early takeaways, the Tide never had too much of a shot.  The Cougars played a complete team game with everyone pitching in.  Brett Tharp affected the game more on defense with interceptions and slowing down the Will Hensley passing attack.  Aden Funkhouser was the standout in the quarterfinal matchup, catching several Clay Skovron touchdowns.  East Hardy bounced back to their blowout ways after a scary Williamstown game and now look to avenge their second state championship loss to St. Marys.  It will be one for the books.

 

 

#10 Wheeling Central at #2 South Harrison

Many believed Wheeling Central had a shot at the stunning South Harrison Hawks; nobody predicted a blowout.  Freddy Canary was held to 123 on 30 carries and 50 of those came off one run.  The impressive Maroon Knight defense was assisted by big plays from QB Curtis McGhee.  He finished with over 200 yards and multiple touchdowns including a momentum turning 93-yard score.  It seems as if the extremely tough schedule played has prepared them for about anything.  They will now take on the mysterious Summers County Bobcats at home; a team that has had three consecutive shutouts.

wc
Photo Credits: http://www.TheIntelligencer.net

 

 

#11 Summers County at #3 Midland Trail

The other of the two games that were not blowouts.  This was a defensive showcase for the books.  On the chilly night, neither offense could get quite going.  If they did, a failed fourth down conversion, missed field goal, or turnover would ensue.  Trail’s 2000 yard rusher, Thomas Ferris, appeared banged up after the impressive Summers County defense played out of their minds.  The game was scoreless until an early fourth quarter bomb thrown by Tucker Lilly.  Up 6-0, Summers County could not stay on the field to run the clock out.  Trail would need to travel the entire field in a little over a minute.  Insert two long QB draws and a wide receiver thrown pass and the Patriots were on the three.  Tragedy would follow as Ferris would lose grip of the ball and Summers County would recover.  The improbable Bobcats are heading to the Semifinals.

 

 

#5 St. Marys at #4 Tug Valley

Being the fifth seed can be slightly misleading.  St. Marys is a one-loss team and the defending champs.  Tug Valley has had a spectacular year but when Jonathan Blankeship, their top runner, left the game… it was all she wrote.  Jaiden Smith would run wild as he usually does for 206 yards.  The Blue Devil defense was ready to blow out the undefeated hosts as well, recording four takeaways.  St. Marys’ last six quarters of play have looked incredibly similar to the 2016 State Champions they are.  They will need to answer the call as they previously did as they rematch with East Hardy.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Quarterfinals

AAA

#9 Hurricane (64.8) at #1 Huntington (79.7)

Several weeks ago in Hurricane, Jadon Hayes ran rampant.  The usually stout defense of the Redskins was sliced and the high flying offense was ceased.  Hurricane has shown signs of being a contender this season and are 50/50 in big games.  Huntington hasn’t been stellar the last few weeks, making a lot of mental errors.  The Redskins will need to capitalize on every chance they get.  The length of this game will decided in the first.

 

 

#10 John Marshall (64.4) at #2 Martinsburg (84.1)

We’ll never count a team out.  John Marshall proved a lot of critics wrong going to Parkersburg and controlling the game.  They proved to have multiple players capable of moving the ball… but this Martinsburg team is playing at an unmatched level.  The defense is clicking just as much as the offense with an all-state player in every group.  Being in Martinsburg, we see no chance.

 

 

#6 Capital (74.8) at #3 University (73.1)

Now we’re cooking with gasoline!  The North and the Valley go head on.  After many MSAC fans critiqued University’s quality, here you go.  University came alive last week after starting slow while Capital played one of their best games of 2017.  Star players will litter the field, and it should be a sight to see.  Capital’s entire game will rely on Kerry Martin Jr. and his ability to make plays.

 

 

#12 Cabell Midland (74.6) at #4 Spring Valley (77.3)

Cabell Midland had a great ground game in every matchup… except in their 56-28 loss to the Timberwolves several weeks ago.  Spring Valley hasn’t had a close game in nearly a month, and they’re playing their best football.  The Scarlet Knights can appreciate the short trip after a slugfest in the Eastern Panhandle.  The defense will need to bring their big boy pants this week if they want the outcome to be different.  Remember, beating the same team twice is easier said than done.

 

 

 

AA

#8 Liberty-H (55.7) at #1 Mingo Central (70.7)

What’s the best perk of being #1?  The path.  While the other top four seeds play Point Pleasant, Wayne, and Winfield, Mingo will take on Liberty.  Liberty has had a fantastic season thanks to a dual threat ground game, but they’ve been shut down on multiple occasions.  Put them up on Miner Mountain against Jeremy Dillon who has averaged over 400 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games… well, better bring your A game.

 

 

#7 Point Pleasant (67.8) at #2 Bluefield (73.6)

We’re loving the playoff rematchs.  Many might remember the Beavers blowing out the Black Knights midseason, however, one must understand that a lot went right for Bluefield that game.  We predict a much closer score this time with it being an honest toss-up.  Cason Payne and his Point Pleasant offense is on fire as well Mookie Collier and Bluefield.  This is a perfect crash course where every single possession will matter.

 

 

#11 Winfield (70.7) at #3 Bridgeport (68.4)

The most intriguing game to be played Friday.  The high powered General offense facing off against the one-loss Indians.  Though Bridgeport still carries that sense of intimidation, Winfield might be the scarier team here.  Andrew Huff has played electric especially in big games while the Indians rely solely on Jake Bowen to make it happen on all three sides of the ball.  However, it is a home game, and the Indians have an incredible amount of experience.  Anything can happen.

 

 

#5 Wayne (65.3) at #4 Fairmont Senior (72.0)

In yet another case of the the Valley vs the Central, a good matchup should be in store.  Wayne’s typical running game with the occasional yet efficient passing will fair against a loaded Polar Bear squad.  Fairmont Senior has been here and done this. We expect a good game, but we also expect the Polar Bear offense to do their thing.  We aren’t sure anyone on the Pioneers can slow down Bryson Gilbert and if they do, there’s still more to come.

 

 

A

#9 Sherman (58.9) at #1 East Hardy (63.5)

The Sherman Tide rolled round one while #1 East Hardy won late against Williamstown.  Sherman will need to be ready for yet another incredibly long drive.  Ben Salmon has proven his worth as a three down back, but every phase of the game will need to be won to take down the perennial state-runner ups.  One could argue that last week’s win was their best as it required character and facing adversity.  Sherman might hang around for a little, but this is still East Hardy’s to lose.

 

 

#10 Wheeling Central (57.7) at #2 South Harrison (65.8)

Wheeling Central is dangerous.  If common opponents are any indication, the Maroon Knights handled East Hardy much better.  However, that was prior to Freddy Canary breaking playoff rushing records.  With his partner in crime gone, Canary has put the Hawks on his back.  Wheeling Central needs not to try and stop him, just to slow him down.  Central will need their textbook efficient playstyle with capitalization and no mental errors to upset South Harrison; it is very much a possibility.

 

 

#11 Summers County (47.8) at #3 Midland Trail (60.7)

The top two Single A’s in the Coalfield Region remain and get to go head-to-head for the 2017 Coalfield Crown.  Midland Trail is the definite favorite here.  Sporting a consistent and deep team, the Patriots are completely ready for anything Summers County has to offer.  Tucker Lilly is a dynamic young QB and will give Trail problems occasionally, but we expect Midland Trail to grind their way early and often to a trip to the semifinals.

 

 

#5 St. Marys (60.0) at #4 Tug Valley (53.0)

Tug Valley is flying in hot off an emotional Round One victory.  Though they expected a bigger win, it showed character.  St. Marys, on the other hand, battled and defeated a spectacular Doddridge defense.  Though The Blue Devils will travel, they have been granted the favorite.  The defending champs still have the 2016 State Championship MVP, and we don’t expect a road trip to Tug Valley to alter their road for a repeat.

C&Co. 2017 All-State: SILVER

Our second list for our 2017 All-State!  Once again, we don’t base it off position or division.  The lists are Gold (top ten), Silver (next 25), and Bronze (the 40 after that).  Once again, lineman fly under the radar more than any position so keep sending us film if a player you know gets snubbed (that goes for every position).  The Silver List is incredibly hard to land on.   Enjoy!

 

 

Without further ado:

 

 

SILVER

Jake Bowen (DB) – Bridgeport

Freddy Canary (RB) – South Harrison

Jacob Cassidy (TE) – Spring Valley

Curon Cordon (WR) – Hurricane

Shy Crawford (WR) – Martinsburg

Bryson Gilbert (RB) – Fairmont Senior

Dewayne Grantham (LB) – Martinsburg

Grant Harman (DB) – Martinsburg

Deshawn Harper (WR) – Capital

Jalen Hesen (OL) – Martinsburg

Breece Hoff (LB) – Capital

Mikey Jackson Jr. (RB) – Martinsburg

Drew Joseph (LB) – South Charleston

Jordan King (OL) – Cabell Midland

Jacob Northcraft (RB) – Musselman

Brady Ours (DB) – Keyser

Cason Payne (QB) – Point Pleasant

Owen Porter (LB) – Spring Valley

Amir Richardson (WR) – University

Steven Shine (DL) – Hurricane

N’iyjere Smith (DB) – Hedgseville

Brenton Strange (DB) – Parkersburg

Brett Tharp (WR) – East Hardy

Ivan Vaughn (RB) – Cabell Midland

Grant Wells (QB) – George Washington

 

 

Our Gold List will be released next week!

C&Co. 2017 All-State: BRONZE

Coalfields and Company is doing our All-State list differently than the norm.  The composition of a team based on position is overdone and leaves a lot of deserving guys out since the best athletes of a team are usually put at either quarterback or runningback.  We will release three lists: Gold, Silver, and Bronze.  Gold being our top ten players (not in order), Silver being the next twenty five, and Bronze being the forty after that.  Honestly, the biggest position left off will most likely be offensive lineman because that is a position needed to be seen multiple times in person or on film.  We will have a slew of awards later on based on the hogs, so if you think we’ve missed out- send us film!  Our list also disregards division and tries to find the Top 75 players statewide.

 

 

Without further ado:

 

 

2017 BRONZE TEAM

Griffin Adkins (DB) – Cabell Midland

Jimmy Allison (OL) – Bridgeport

Clay Bailey (QB) – University

Trevor Barnhart (LB) – University

Josh Bartrum (RB) – Wayne

Kobie Carpenter (QB) – Lincoln

Rennie Clark (RB) – Wheeling Park

JT Cooper (LB) – Hurricane

Mikal Dawson (WR) – Huntington

Isaiah Duncan (RB) – Cabell Midland

Truck Edwards (LB) – Bluefield

Dawson Elia (RB) – Mingo Central

Brier Elswick (OL) – Cabell Midland

Thomas Ferris (LB) – Midland Trail

Chris Fox (QB) – Musselman

Will Hackney (QB) – Sissonville

Jacob Hartman (QB) – Petersburg

Drew Hatfield (WR) – Mingo Central

Dereck Hess (RB) – John Marshall

Trey Henry (DL) – Martinsburg

Andrew Huff (QB) – Winfield

Derek Johnson (QB) – Spring Valley

Jeremiah Johnston (RB) – Richwood

Tyler Komorowski (DL) – Weir

Ty Konchesky (RB) – Morgantown

Dalton Malcomb (QB) – North Marion

Hunter Mason (LB) – Philip Barbour

Connor Moore (DB) – James Monroe

Connor Neal (QB) – Fairmont Senior

Anthony Pittman (WR) – Capital

Nate Philips (DB) – Wheeling Park

David Robertson (OL) – Musselman

Mark Scites (QB) – Riverside

Dylan Smith (RB) – Chapmanville

Jaiden Smith (RB) – St. Marys

Hayden Starcher (DL) – University

Tayton Stout (WR) – Braxton County

Connor White (RB) – Scott

Dakota Williams (WR) – Hurricane

Matt Vanduzer (WR) – Martinsburg

 

 

Our Silver List (11-45) will be released tomorrow (11/16/17)!