STATEWIDE — No. 1 Huntington (9-0) survived an upset bid on Friday night, coming from behind to beat South Charleston (7-3), 21-17. The No. 10 Black Eagles, behind 200 first half passing yards from quarterback Kentre Grier, led at the break, 17-7.
But the momentum flipped in the second half behind a stingy Huntington defense.
“Our kids got after it up front – we really wanted to put pressure on Grier and not give him a lot of time to throw it,” said Huntington head coach Billy Seals. “He hit us early with a couple of big passing plays, so we needed to pressure him to get him out of his comfort zone and our defense did a great job.”
Overall, the Black Eagles actually out-gained Huntington offensively, 344 to 289. The Highlanders were led by Nick Tubbs on the ground as he finished with 64 yards on 11 carries.
“A lot of credit to our kids to come back and play well in the second half against a team that, to be honest, I would not want to play again,” Seals said.
Meanwhile, in Morgantown, No. 7 University (9-1) defeated rival No. 9 Morgantown (8-2), 14-3. It was the Hawks’ first win over the Mohigans since 2007. Isaiah Utt scored University’s first touchdown, a two-yard run in the first half.
A 72-yard pass from quarterback Travis Renner to senior Andrew Frisco set up an eventual seven-yard touchdown run by Renner in the second half.
“I can’t speak enough about how well our offensive line played tonight,” Renner said. “It means everything to win this game. We grow up coming to MoHawk Bowls, dreaming of beating Morgantown in games like this – to do it in real life is just so much more.”
On the other side, it’s a Morgantown team that has had disappointing showings now in back-to-back games after Chazzy Thomas tweaked his ankle against Musselman two weeks ago.
“A lot of our offensive struggles today were a credit to U-High,” said head coach John Bowers. “But, we don’t sustain our blocks anymore. We used to bury people – but that’s probably just as much U-High getting off those blocks rather than us finishing them. Give U-High credit, they played well.”
Three-time defending state champion and No. 2 Martinsburg (9-1), meanwhile, continued its long instate winning streak by beating Musselman, 48-12. No. 4 Capital (8-1) was impressive again, taking down No. 16 Hurricane (5-4), 39-8. Capital’s Kashuan Haley finished 110 yards yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries, while quarterback Tyhree Pratt added a pair of touchdown passes as well in the win.
No. 4 George Washington (8-1) handled Ripley, 34-14, and No. 6 Wheeling Park (8-1) crushed Parkersburg South, 62-0. No. 11 Oak Hill (7-2) solidified its playoff chances with a 34-6 win over Woodrow Wilson. The Red Devils finished with 423 yards of rushing on 51 carries – Jalen Jones led the way with 240 yards on 21 carries.
“Our season is going great – it’s definitely not over yet,” Jones said. “We definitely had to get this win. This team has a lot of heart for a small Class AAA school. We just go out and play every week with a lot of heart.”
Out of the eastern panhandle, solid wins for Washington (6-3) and Jefferson (5-4) as both of those squads try to snag playoff berths. Washington took down Hampshire, 55-14, while Jefferson edged Hedgesville, 30-22.
No. 15 Lewis County (7-2) picked up a needed win over Liberty (Harrison), 69-0.
In Class AA, top ranked Bluefield and No. 2 Wayne both picked up wins to setup a showdown next week. The Beavers (8-1) handled James Monroe 60-14, while Wayne (9-0) won its 32nd straight with a 64-36 win over Chapmanville.
The Pioneers had over 630 yards of offense in the win. Wayne quarterback Grant Ferguson finished with 280 passing yards and five touchdowns. Cody Stiltner contributed 100 yards receiving, 122 yards rushing and four total touchdowns in the win for the two-time defending champion Pioneers.
No. 11 Keyser (6-3) sent a strong message Friday as well, handling rival No. 5 Frankfort (7-2) 42-3. Danny Fife led the way for the Golden Tornado on the ground, totaling 129 yards on 15 carries. Keyser, offensively, out-gained Frankfort 488-156 in total yards.
Class AA No. 12 Ritchie County (6-3) knocked off Class A No. 4 Williamstown (7-2), 38-31. No. 2 St. Marys picked up a solid win, beating Class AA No. 15 Ravenswood, 12-0. No. 5 Moorefield needed a late comeback to avoid an upset, taking down Pendleton County 33-30.
Also, No. 9 Clay Battelle (8-0) edged No. 10 Notre Dame (6-3), 36-34.
“This was a big win,” said Cee Bees head coach Ryan Wilson. “Two teams were at it hard and both teams played great. We’re happy to be 8-0 and we’ll get back to work on Monday.”
Clay Battelle next week will have a showdown against No. 1 Madonna (9-0), which took down Toronto, Ohio 41-20 this week.
You can see all the scores on the MetroNews High School Football Scoreboard.