By DAVE MORRISON

WEIRTON, W.Va. — Greenbrier West coach Lewis McClung only wants to see one set of lights when the No. 7 Cavaliers  (12-1) venture north to take on No. 1 Madonna (13-0) in the West Virginia Class A state championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Those at Wheeling Island Stadium.

He won’t be taking his players to see the lights at Ogelbay Park.

“I think our kids would be more interested in Cabela’s than seeing the Ogelbay lights,”  McClung said. “I’m really not sure what we are going to do. I don’t want them doing too much but then again, I don’t want them sitting around all day waiting to play Saturday night.”

Greenbrier West earned its trip with a 21-14 victory against Magnolia last week in Fairlea on an 18-yard pass from Malik Boatright to Garrett Smith with 38 seconds left.

Charles Milliken, Jr.

Greenbrier West beat Magnolia 21-14 in the semifinals of the playoffs.

Madonna beat Williamstown 42-28 at Jimmy Carey Stadium Friday.

Under the lights Saturday will be two teams who are not only removed by hundreds of miles but also who feature contrasting styles.

Greenbrier West likes to pound the ball, while Madonna is more wide open and can spread the field.

McClung knows that the lights at Wheeling Island may not shine as bright as Madonna standout seniors Ross Comis and Eliott Nero.

The two have put up huge numbers, led by quarterback Comis, who has rushed for 1,908 yards and 34 rush touchdowns and has thrown for more than 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions.

Nero has added 1,843 yards and 27 touchdowns, has 26 receptions for 343 yards and five scores, three punt returns for touchdowns and a kickoff return for a score.

“It’s going to be tough, no doubt about it,” McClung said of stopping the Blue Dons offense. ”Fortunately for us, defense has been our strong point this year. We just have to tackle. We have to break down and make stops.

“You can just pick one to stop. Obviously, the ball starts in Comis’ hands do we have to take care of him first. He really does a great job with that read option. But you can’t overlook Nero. That will be real challenge. Nobody has stopped them yet.”

Indeed, the Blue Dons have packed an offensive punch, averaging 48.7 points per game. In its three playoff games, Madonna is averaging 57 points per game.

“We’ve been blessed with some great athletes,” Madonna coach Doug Taylor said. “I think making it to the championship (losing 43-42 to Wahama in last year’s title game) left an impression on these kids and their sole focus this season was to take it one at a time and make it back.”

Garrett Cullen/MetroNews

Madonna head coach Doug Taylor has his team back in the state championship game.

They’ve done that.

West is making its first state championship appearance since losing to Spencer in the Class AA championship in 1991.

“You’d like to think that it is an advantage having made it, but West is a good team,” Taylor said. “You don’t make it to the state championship unless you are a good team. They are a good team. They beat Magnolia, which had been playing its best football of the year and they also shut out (No. 2) St. Marys the week before that. We have a lot of respect for Greenbrier West.”

The Cavaliers are led by diminutive quarterback Malik Boatwright, who rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown and threw two touchdowns in last week’s semifinal victory.

Boatwright, 5-foot-5, leads the team with 1,394 yards rushing at 19 touchdowns. He has completed 51 of 81 passes for 639 yards and nine touchdowns.

“They like to run the football first,” Taylor said. “Boatwright is a good quarterback and he is experienced. When you get a guy that size, elusive as he is, it is easy to loose him behind those linemen. We have to know where he is.

“They have a great backfield behind him. The fullback is huge and the tailback goes about 200. They run downhill and they run hard. They’re a physical football team.”

Corey Cox (5-10, 175 pounds) is the tailback and he has 877 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Chase McClung (6-1, 220)  is the fullback and he has added 396 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Grimmitt has added 414 yards and four touchdowns.

Taylor also lauded the defensive efforts of the Cavaliers.

Marquis Frazier (6-1, 191) leads the defense with 21 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss of yardage and has a team-best 84 tackles.

“He’s quick and he’s long and he really comes off the ball,” Taylor said. “He is a hand full at defensive end. He’s one heck of a player. They are a very physical football team.”

Likewise, McClung is impressed by Madonna’s oft-overlooked defense.

“Players with size at every position,” McClung said. “People talk so much about the defense because there is so much focus on the offense, with good reason. But they are physical and they are talented.”

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Comments

  • trueblue

    True west

    It is digraceful in high school sports to quote " we are gonna knock out your quaterback."

    U need to check yourself right now and apologize. It is high school football.

    Get a grip.

    • al

      True West Fan: You are disturbed to want to see a high school player hurt. But your grammar shows your inteliingence. Has Charles Osgood ( the word merchant said) you cannot rise beyond your language

  • aL

    Be here Sunday Morning after we beat your a . Yeah Wahama's QB was going to stop madonna from scoring 77pts. Get Real Jerk. I can see you must be a Rhodes Scholar form West

    • true west fan

      really you think Madonna will win??????lol look how magnolia beat catholic central 24 to 0 lol you Madonna beat them 22 to 17 lol

  • true west fan

    hey dons 58 you want to know whats funny?????? you talk crap about magnolia right??? well they beat catholic central 24 to 0 OK your blue dons beat them 22 to 17 really really lol

  • true west fan

    Madonna fans check this out you guys beat catholic central 22 to 17 lol ok well magnolia beat catholic 24 to 0 lol go figure west will stomp Madonna butt..............

  • true west fan

    They have a great backfield behind him. The fullback is huge and the tailback goes about 200. They run downhill and they run hard. They’re a physical football team.”

  • true west fan

    “You’d like to think that it is an advantage having made it, but West is a good team,” Taylor said. “You don’t make it to the state championship unless you are a good team. They are a good team. They beat Magnolia, which had been playing its best football of the year and they also shut out (No. 2) St. Marys the week before that. We have a lot of respect for Greenbrier West.”

  • true west fan

    Taylor also lauded the defensive efforts of the Cavaliers.

    Marquis Frazier (6-1, 191) leads the defense with 21 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss of yardage and has a team-best 84 tackles.

    “He’s quick and he’s long and he really comes off the ball,” Taylor said. “He is a hand full at defensive end. He’s one heck of a player. They are a very physical football team.

  • comis-for-kennedy

    Comis should be a finalist. He is an animal. Its a shame that the award isn't given to the best in each class.

    • keke3270

      Comis will win the Kennedy. U really don't even hear about other contenders for the award.

      • comis-for-kennedy

        Chazzy thomas will get it.

        • Say What?

          What makes you think Thomas will get it? I really cannot.

      • comis-for-kennedy

        Is there a list

      • RJ

        I agree I think Comis will win it

  • K9 Bongo

    Go MADONNA BLUE DONS!!!'

    • WVSPORTSFAN

      I like catholic schools in class A it just adds good competition (most of the time)

  • lifetimehunter

    Private schools need to play private schools without state funding. Parents of private school students made a choice. I don't care if they have to go to alaska to find other schools to play.

    • Bishop

      .... and the hating begins. Private schools adhere to the same bylaws and guidelines of the WVSSAC, just like public schools.

      • Simms

        Bishop
        The problem is private schools recruit ! public schools don't that's why the big advantage Do you think josh Martin is from Madonna at 7'3" they went out and found him

        • Macgyver

          Could you please explain what you mean by recruit?

          • lifetimehunter

            Explain....its pretty clear and i f you say it isn't happening it would make you a liar

          • Simms

            That means they go out and find athletes to attend there school in exchange for school tuition private schools cost money. So madonna being in the playoffs every year is not because the weirton area is full of athletes. They go find people. Big city public schools don't have the success of Madonna ( morgantown, university clay battelle just to name a few because they have kid born and raised here. Madonna recruits ask coach Taylor

        • Bishop

          Simms - Another poster has noted many times that 16 of 17 Madonna seniors have played together since 5th grade. If Martin is not from Weirton area, where is he from then? In this day of social media, wouldn't be hard to find. What a ridiculous statement by you? "Big City public schools don't have the success ..." Absurd comparison, not to mention Morgantown and University have excellent sports programs. I ask you Simms, name the "recruits" on Madonna and their non-Weirton area hometown. Private school haters always cry "recruiting" but never ever provide proof .... because there is none. Bring concrete proof that private schools recruit or do not post on this subject again. And as for Madonna being in playoffs every year, so is Magnolia, Wahama, Williamstown, Moorefield, etc. I guess they recruit too by your logic.

          • lifetimehunter

            If the public school system is not good enough for these parents that is a choice. I respect that choice. I still don't understand why the state allows them in a public school playoff.

          • Bishop

            Simple life: All WVSSC member schools are eligible to compete for state titles. Nearly every school in WV is a member aside from a handful of Christian schools and Linsley. The 'state' has nothing to do with this issue and it is not a "public school playoff," it is a WVSSAC member playoff.

    • keke3270

      Madonna has never faced a defense like this Grennbrier West will bring to Wheeling Island. I think Madonna's offensive line will be exposed and Comis will be running for his life all game. Madonna coaches will be outcoached again in the championship game. Greenbrier West 34 Madonna 27

      • Macgyver

        Yeh. He was really outcoached. Margin of victory........1 point in double overtime.

        • Blue Dawn

          Exactly! The Wahama coach was smart enough to go for 2 and win the game. Coach Mclung will run schemes Madonna coaches have never seen or won't have a clue how to stop. Go West!!!!

          • steve

            Madonna by three touchdowns easily. You west people are delusional

      • Dons58

        Did some research on West, they played 9 WV teams and 1 Va team. Of the 9 there were 2 that had winning records. I'm not talking 5-5 or 4-6. There was 0-10, 2-8's, 3-7's. Of the 2 winning record teams they beat one of them. The one they beat played a good game with Grafton, who was one of the three teams Weir high beat. That being said I'll take the Dons in this one.

        • keke3270

          Both teams had weak schedules.I know u will say Madonna beat Wheeling Central and Steubenville Central but really this was Wheeling Centrals worst team in awhile and Madonna always beats Steubenville Central. Both teams had quality wins during the playoffs so this should be a much closer game than most people think. The West defense is for real and their running game can control the game. I expect a battle to the end. Good luck to both teams.

          • RJ

            There is one reason why Wheeling Central got eliminated as early as they did. They were 4-1 after beating Magnolia 21-20 then lost their QB Parker Henry torn ACL and CJ Burch broke his hand. Learn your facts before U start talking I believe West will beat Maddona but it will be a great game wish I was going to be there for it

        • Say What?

          You aren't giving Green West much credit considering the fact the last game they played, and won, was versus s team that nobody wanted to face.

          • Dons58

            That team that nobody wanted to face lost 4 games. Also 6 of Madonnas 10 were against playoff teams. How can u say a Defense is great when they are shutting down 2-8 teams. Go figure

          • RJ

            Yea and that ref screwed that team that West played or it could Maddona vs Magnolia in the title game

        • keke3270

          check the playoff games. which defense has given up the most points? Madonna will probably win cuz of comis and nero but it wont be easy.

          • Dons58

            Nothing in life is easy, I'm just saying you can't judge their D by the weak teams they played. If the teams they played scored a lot of points they might have winning records. But if everyone they played shut them down what does that do for the whole points against thing.

          • true west fan

            keke3270 listen OK iam gonna tell you something all you Madonna fans you have never faced a defense and hard hitting team like west lol they have the best defense and Frazier will put pressure on your quarterback....west is way more physical than Madonna lol....they stop st marys and caused fumbles likes crazy and they bring the heat you madonna fans think your gonna blow us away ??????not going to happen if boat wright plays his game we will win the game , so you so call people acting like west never really played anyone lol . i guess you will see come sat how good we really are lol west takes this 31 14

          • Dons58

            Just stating the facts, doesn't do anything to the outcome of the game. They are facts, the game is about matchups, we will see who matches up better than their opponent come Saturday nite. I didn't say it was gonna be a blow out. Any team in the playoffs had a chance to win it all, that's the beauty of a playoff. West has good players so does Madoona. Can't wait till Saturday.

          • Blue Dawn

            Boatwright too small to do much against Madonna. If West has a chance to win they must keep Comis in the pocket. Most teams make a mistake by blitzing him and he beats them by running or dumping off to Nero. Play a 44 defense against him and spy a guy on Nero and u might have a chance.

          • true west fan

            magnolia could have won lol it should have been 28 to nothing west got cheated out on a touchdown that should have been a touchdown . magnolia got lucky on some pass plays that should have been caught due to some west defenders that should have knock that ball out of the players hands..... the second half west shut Keller down and magnolia could not get hardly any yards,,as for the weak schedule lol it wasn't that weak west is just a good football team .,have you forgot they beat st Marys 18 to nothing???????should have been 30 -0 to be .honest........dons58 lol your a joke magnolia might have lost 4 games but they should have won them games lol are you to stupid to know magnolia is always a good team lol... i will tell you this west is way way toucher than Madonna is lol and a wayy way way better defense,, anyone can score on madonna proven fact but they have a good offense that won them games so .. but not this time . they are playing the best defense they will see all year long and we have more players to win for us then you guys. we have at least 5 guys that can win us this title and defense wins titles remember that Madonna fans........

          • Dons58

            Hey true west the facts are the facts, woulda, shoulda, coulda doesn't make a loss a win. Magnolia lost 4 of the 10 games they played. PERIOD To say anyone feared them is ludicrous.
            Madonna has been scored on, true,
            but 6 teams they played made the playoffs. West has been scored on too, by 2-8's lol. You say Madonna always beats Central. If you looked at the lifetime history you would realize how unknowledgeable you are on the subject. But hey when u babble and don't know facts, well, you get posts like yours. LOL
            Another fact is that Madonna has beaten 9 playoff teams this season.
            I like the Dons in this one. Nuff said

  • DR

    2 well coached football teams!!! Can't wait to watch this game.

    • al

      This is a reply to Tru West You don't have a chance Madonna by three touchdowns and all of Weirton will be in Wheeling. cheering on the # 1 rated Madonna. It will be like a home game I am traveling 6 hours to see My beloved Dons bring the Championship back to the House that Krivak Built

      • Simms

        You must be proud of your recruits for Madonna playing a public school for championship you should win no question

        • Bishop

          Simms - The Madonna football roster is posted on the WVSSAC website. Look it up and come back to this forum with the names of the recruits on the Madonna. Put up or shut up, you hater.

          • Say What?

            Simms won't look at the roster , for he will get confused with all the Italian names. Lol!!

        • Say What?

          Simms, you are a moron. RJ, you traveled all the way down to Greenbrier East to watch a game but you won't travel 35 miles to watch the title game?

        • Blue Dawn

          gotta give praise to the guy from Madonna who recruited 16 fourth graders to all come to st paul and st joe and play together all these years so they could win the championship 8 years later....genius plan!!!

      • true west fan

        yea right 3 touchdowns lol omg iam laughing so hard . west will win they cant stop nobody's run and west is physical and plays hard defense , Madonna has never faced a defense like this and that Frazier boy will blitz his butt all day long.......Boatwright. will get lose very easy you guys don't have anyone to catch him if he gets lose lol plus we have a big fullback as well that you guys cant stop .........west wins this this at least 2 touchdowns go west ....were gonna knock your quarterback out come sat night boys

      • true west fan

        whatever lol you think??????? guess what we have a defense that can pressure your quarterback very easy,,,,,,,,,he will be running for his life come sat night.....al your so full of crap and thinking you guys will beat us 3 touchdowns????????? lol really Williamstown should have won that game to be honest with you.. west has a way way better defense then williamstown so remember that...nobody on your team has the speed to get boatwright

        • al

          tru west the sportscaster on WTRF Channel seven in wheeling says Madonna will romp Saturday night. On his spots show he said Martinsburgh, wayne, and Madonna all win easy.

          So tru fan you should stay at home

          • true west fan

            really stomp west thats what st Marys thought lol and magnolia lol and if you look at it everybody has scored on Madonna lol west has a defense OK and they hit hard we have Frazier who rushes the quarterback very easy i guess all you big mouths will see sat lol they shut out st Marys very easy Madonna should have lost that game last week they was down so .this is west different story this time boys

          • true west fan

            really they said that??????lol do they play for west al??????thats what the radio said against them when they play st Marys lol and west was supposed to lose to magnolia lol oh well i guess our defense isn't tough lol you got have not been hit really hard lol guess what the west train will be coming in wheeling soon ......

        • Say What?

          True west fan, it is past your bedtime. Please get that grammar homework caught up!

      • Falcon75

        This is to Al, Weirton must be a very small town, because we played you in Wheeling last year in the title game and we had 3 times as many fans from Wahama as Madonna did from Weirton. We played Madonna in Weirton this year and Wahama had as many or more fans in the stands than Madonna for their "home" game. Greenbrier West doesn't have to worry about the Madonna crowd noise bothering their team. Lol!!!!!

        • al

          What happen Falcon we laid 77 on your ? Wahama is done so go sit in your corner and cry

          • true west fan

            al wahama lost the quarterback that is the difference in the game ....thats why they lost. you guys beat catholic central ohio 22-17 right well magnolia beat them 24 to 0 lol west beat magnolia should have been 28 to 0 .. west should beat magnolia 28 to 0 but they got lucky on some pass plays lol

        • al

          Hey Falcon Madonna will do to West what they did to Wahama

          • true west fan

            al your full of crap our defense will knock your little baby quarterback out of the game... you guys can not stop our offense at all. look at the teams that scored on you every time lol i will say this you guys are gonna get hit hard come sat night AL....oh yea AL. we don't recruit like Madonna does we get our guys home grown......you guys look around for players OK thats the difference big mouth.. Madonna will lose this game . we have to many weapons for you guys,,,,,,,,,,,you have nobody who can catch boatwright lol

          • Say What?

            True west fan, your use of the English language is very disheartening. When you get off the short bus in the morning at school and make it to your LD English class, please pay attention. Thank you.

          • trueblue

            True west
            It is digraceful in high school sports to quote " we are gonna knock out your quaterback."U need to check yourself right now and apologize. It is high school football.Get a grip.

        • Falcon75

          Hey Al, you should come down to Mason and see the real pretty trophy we won last year as the single A state champs. It looks good sitting in our trophy case.

          • mike dz

            The reason there werent alot of people at the wahama game 2 weeks ago was because of the weather.
            Dont forger people from all over the ohio valley will be in wheeling tomorrow night to cheer the blue dons.
            We have two football trophies if you want to look at them.

          • mike dz

            Forget not forger.

          • mike dz

            Also it is against wvssac rules to recruit. Thats why linsly academy cant participate. We recruit by records. Wins and losses and good coaching is the best recruiting tool out there.

        • al

          Falcon come up to madonna and view the 3 football trophies 2-basketball 3-baseball and those are recent to your lousy one

          • Falcon75

            Al, are you saying that our win against Madonna was lousy. BTW, Greenbrier West will get a pretty trophy tomorrow night when they win the single A title.

          • al

            Remember falcon 77 points, 77 points, 77 points now go back to that hell whole you call home