By Michael Minnich
Mineral Daily News Tribune
Border battles, plus the match-up of a pair of quick starters, highlight Week 3 of high school football in the Eastern Panhandle.
AAA No. 1 Martinsburg (2-0) at State College, Pa. (1-1), 7 p.m.
Quarterback Malique Watkins returned to the fold for the Bulldogs last week, and rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns as MHS built a 27-0 lead and hung on to defeat Sherando (Va.), 27-13, for their 11th straight victory.
State College opened with a 14-10 loss at Liberty (Pa.) before crushing Central Mountain, 71-28, last week.
The Little Lions’ Anthony Paffie-Misher scored on an interception return, a rush, and a reception, and even passed for a TD.
State College went 9-4 last year, losing to McDowell, 42-0, in the PIAA football championship game.
The two schools did not meet last year.
AA No. 4 Keyser (1-1) at Fort Hill, Md. (1-0), 7 p.m.
Keyser had zero issues against Berkeley Springs last week, allowing only three first downs in a 59-0 victory.
Ditto for Fort Hill: the Cumberland-based Maryland power opened with a 54-6 win over Silver Oak Academy behind three touchdowns from Ty Johnson.
Many consider this to be the premier match-up this season in the Cumberland area: Fort Hill was 1A West regional finalists last year, Keyser advanced to the Class AA championship game, and both return most of the pieces from those teams.
Keyser has won just seven of the 45 all-time meetings, but last year’s convincing 51-22 victory was one of them.
The score was tied at the half, but Josh Coffman blocked and recovered a punt in the end zone early in the third quarter to turn the tide for Keyser, who racked up 323 rushing yards.
Jefferson (2-0) at Hampshire (2-0), 7 p.m.
A great start to the season for both schools, usually middle-of-the-pack at best in AAA, will continue for someone on Friday.
Jefferson, admittedly, has defeated a Spring Mills team in its first year and a Mountain Ridge program that has lost 12 in a row, but the Cougars have looked good doing it, scoring 86 points and allowing only 12.
Last week, Jefferson forced two early fumbles, scored on three of their next four drives following the second turnover, and cruised past the Miners, 28-6.
Hampshire, who narrowly missed out on the playoffs last year, won at Elkins last week, 30-7, breaking open a close game on a 95-yard fumble recovery and return by Dennis Hammonds.
Shane Ennis and Dane Heavener hooked up on a 42-yard touchdown pass to open scoring.
Sherando, Va. (1-1) at Washington (2-0), 7 p.m.
How the worm has turned for Washington: five years after founding their program and losing five games by 35 or more points, the Patriots embarrassed the newest addition to the Panhandle, beating Spring Mills, 75-0, last week.
Washington, which scored 61 points in the first half, ran for 578 yards.
It’s the third game against a West Virginia foe in as many weeks for Sherando, which defeated Musselman, 40-13, before their 27-13 loss to Martinsburg.
Sherando won last year’s meeting easily, 41-7.
Musselman (0-2) at Spring Mills (0-2), 7 p.m.
Jalen Jones ran for 318 yards on 32 carries, scoring four times, as Oak Hill broke open a 15-15 halftime tie to defeat Musselman, 48-35, last week.
Trevon Wesco had 151 rushing yards and 54 through the air for the Applemen.
Spring Mills has been out-scored by a 133-6 margin in their first three games.
Mountain Ridge, Md. (0-1) at Hedgesville (1-1), 7 p.m.
Hedgesville evened its record at 1-1 with a 37-21 win at Millbrook (Va.) last week. Troy Markley threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns, completing 20 of his 28 passes. He rushed for three touchdowns, too.
Rashawn Johnson scored Mountain Ridge’s lone touchdown last week on a fake punt.
Two safeties were among the lowlights for Mountain Ridge in last year’s 43-0 Hedgesville win.
Moorefield (1-1) at Southern Garrett, Md. (0-1), 7 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets lost in a valiant effort at home against Frankfort last week, 37-34.
Wil Schoonover had two kick returns for touchdowns and rushed for 125 yards and another score for MHS.
Brady Watson rushed for four scores for Frankfort, including the winning TD that gave Frankfort the lead for good, but for the first time since the first quarter, with 30 seconds left.
Southern lost at home to Allegany (Md.), 24-8, last week. Moorefield won last year’s meeting, 44-26.
Berkeley Springs (0-2) at Petersburg (0-2), 7 p.m.
Berkeley Springs hasn’t scored a single point this year, while Petersburg suffered their second straight close loss to a team from a lower classification, falling at Pendleton County, 22-13, last week.
Craig County, Va. (1-1) at East Hardy (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Craig County defeated Bland-Rocky Gap (Va.) by two points, 20-18, in their opener before falling to Auburn (Va.) by a 31-0 score last week.
East Hardy was idle after edging Page County (Va.), 37-34, in their season opener.
BYE: Frankfort (2-0)