By Wes McKinney

No. 8 George Washington (9-2) at No. 1 Huntington (11-0)

Huntington scored 24 unanswered points to run away from a pesky, upset-minded Lewis County club last week as the Highlanders went on to win 31-7 in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs.

“Lewis County is a real good football team,” Huntington head coach Billy Seals said. “I’m definitely glad to move on with a win, regardless if its 60-0 or 2-0.”

Despite playing in the MSAC together, the Highlanders and George Washington haven’t met since the 2006 regular season.

“Year in, year out, (George Washington is) always in the discussion to win a state championship,” Seals said. “They are big and physical along the offensive line. (Running back) Draven Riffe is a north-south runner. Jacob Jackson is a little bit quicker. Their defense is big and physical as well and they pursue the football.”

Throughout the regular season, Huntington had to navigate past five teams that eventually made the postseason in Class AAA.

“I think we’re battle-tested,” Seals said. “When get in the playoffs – especially in the second round – everyone is good. We have been in situations throughout the regular season where we were in tight game and hopefully that helps us out against George Washington.”

 

No. 7 Cabell Midland (9-2) at No. 2 Martinsburg (10-1)

This game will be a rematch of last year’s Class AAA state championship game that Martinsburg won 38-14.

Cabell Midland has already disposed of one team from the eastern panhandle in beating Washington in the first round, 35-6.

Running backs Teran Barnitz and Donte Hendricks managed to reach the century mark in rushing with 103 and 140 yards respectively.

“I felt like we won all three phases of the game,” Cabell Midland head coach Luke Salmons said. “We were very physical on the defensive line and got after the quarterback.”

However, the Knights won’t have the confines of playing at home for their second round game. But, making a 325-mile journey to Martinsburg doesn‘t concern Salmons

“After going to the state championship game last year, the kids understand it’s not a trip, but it’s a game,” Salmons said. “They have that experience of playing in big games on the road.”

Cabell Midland expects to see some of the same players for Martinsburg from last year’s title game.

“Our kids respect their talent,” Salmons said. “I think it helps that we played them last year. Every good team is physical. You can’t win unless you’re physical. They run the spread offense and they play good defense.”

Martinsburg quarterback Malique Watkins finished last week with over 200 rushing yards and another 84 through the air in the Bulldogs’ 36-0 win over Spring Valley. The Bulldogs held Spring Valley to just 142 offensive yards in the win.

 

No. 5 Wheeling Park (10-1) at No. 4 Point Pleasant (11-0)

Point Pleasant made quick work of Logan in the first round of the playoffs.

The Big Blacks blocked two punts in the first half that led to 14 points and they never looked back as they won 41-14.

However, this will be the biggest test to date for the Big Blacks as they welcome in Wheeling Park, who defeated South Charleston 55-34 in the opening round.

“They have pretty good athletes everywhere,” Point Pleasant head coach David Darst said. “We will have to have a tremendous effort to beat a school like that. They had a tough schedule.”

For Point Pleasant, it will be all about neutralizing the speed and athleticism of Wheeling Park with a patient, ball-control offense.

“We like to be able to run the ball effectively and shorten the game and use the extra helmet to our advantage,” Darst said.

A huge crowd is anticipated in Pt. Pleasant – the Big Blacks have outscored opponents 356-99 in eight home games this year.

“It’s an atmosphere where our kids are comfortable,” Darst said. “Our home crowds are big. The kids seem to rise up and play big in these situation.”

 

No. 8 Sissonville (10-1) at No. 1 Wayne (11-0)

Wayne dealt Sissonville its only loss of the season back on Sept. 27th, 58-19.

Fullback Mason Hodge and quarterback Grant Ferguson both eclipsed the 100-yard mark. The bruising junior ran for 154 yards and four touchdowns, while the Pioneers signal caller scampered for 148 yards in the previous matchup.

Last week against No.16 Philip Barbour, Hodge, Nathan Spurlock and Cody Stiltner ran wild against the Colts. The trio combined for 327 yards and five touchdowns in a 53-25 rout of Philip Barbour.

“We had some guys step up and fill critical roles for us last week,” Wayne head coach Tom Harmon said. “It’s nice to move on. The opponents will keep improving so we need to as well.”

Now, Wayne will focus on their rematch against Sissonville.

“The stakes are higher now and they are more comfortable with their team than the last time,” Harmon said. “They have all the pieces to play a great elimination game. That’s all it is at this point.”

 

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Comments

  • Bulldawg

    Point Pleasant fans will be leaving at half time. This ones over by the end of the second quarter. Point chokes like they did in 2011.

  • Russell M.

    Mburgfan is the biggest doofus I've ever seen on here, he has no idea what he's talking about. Martinsburg will lose 21-10. They almost lost to Lewis County.... Cabell Midland is on a hot streak and will stop the Bulldogs in their TRACKS.

    • EP Haters

      Martinsburg didn't play Lewis County

  • Bucky

    GW is so over-rated it's pathetic. The media loves them and do everything they can to prop them up.

    Huntington will beat them by at least 3 td's.

    GW couldn't win it all with Switzer. They couldn't even get to the championship game last year with him. They sure as heck aren't going to do it this year.

    Good riddance to those crybabies and their whiny parents.

  • steve

    Dogs 42 Cabell Midland 0 U heard it here first

  • Big R

    Tanner you are terribly mistaken.... Martinsburg WILL put up at least 50. Wheeling Park is the best team I have ever seen play in WV. And Bill Morgantown lost to a University team that's going to lose to Capital by 20.

  • Bill

    Morgantown High will win

  • Tanner Hastings

    Martinsburg WILL LOSE! A double upset by GW and then by CM! The Bulldogs aren't gonna know what hit them whenever Cabell Midland rolls into town. Huntington shouldn't be a #1 in the first place, they never played anyone! Oh, and Wheeling Park is gonna get stopped by Point Pleasant's D. Park has barely any speed compared to Point Pleasant. Let's go Point, Midland, and GW!

    • Reaper

      Tanner, your joking right? Park barely has any speed? Lets talk about Parks HUGE offensive line. I looked at P.P. size. Park is gonna run wild on P.P. Your defense is gonna be too tired trying to stop Savion Johnson. Not to mention Banks and a handful of others. Enjoy your fantasy cause tomorrow its GAME OVER for P.P.

      • Rick

        Point Pleasant WILL destroy parks line and rack up 15+ sacks in the process. Park loses 35-14

        • Reaper

          YO!!! RICK!!! GAME AND SEASON OVER!!!! Thought that defense was gonna smash Park. Ooops

        • Reaper

          Rick, you should really do some research. I looked at Points schedule. They opponents are 38-62. No wonder they finished undefeated beating teams of that cailber. Next, I looked at their size. They are small. Park has guys weighing in at 340, 260, 230, 225, 275, and 230. Parks line is huge compared to Points line which averages about 185. Park has played better opponents than Point. Park played Morgantown, University, South Charleston, Stuebenville, and Bridgeport. Point hasn't played anyone of that size. This game will be over at half time. Since you want to issue a score, at halftime....Park 38 - Point 7. At the end of the game...Park 55 - Point 14.

    • CMHS_fan

      I hope you're kidding... If not you're the biggest dingbat ever.

    • Mburgfan

      I was laughing when I read the comments in this area. The first one about Morgantown winning is definately a joke - I like a Cynic. The biggest joke of the day thought, is the Martinsburg WILL LOSE! shout by another Cynic. As a Martinsburg fan I must admit a little concern with Cabell Midland comming to the area this weekend - there appear to be a decent team - a best. Martinsburg was off to a slow start last week and I am hoping the come out early, score often and send a big message back to the Huntington area and it surroundings that the 4-PEAT is a done deal.

  • 304Livin

    Let's go Martinsburg!

  • Bucky

    Let's go Capital!!!

  • Interesting123

    Lets go Park!!!

    • Reaper

      Parks gonna roll. I looked up P.P. size. They're small. Parks huge line is gonna open up huge holes.

  • Point fan

    Lets go Point!

  • Reaper

    Lets go Park!!!