By Wes McKinney for WVMetroNews.com
Class AAA No. 5 Capital (2-1) at Class AAA No. 7 Cabell Midland (2-1)
Ivan Vaughn put Cabell Midland on his back to the tune of 278 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 41-21 win for the Knights against rival Hurricane.
“Ivan stepped up really big because we had some kids banged up,” Cabell Midland head coach Luke Salmons said. “I thought we could have executed a little bit better. It was a good game with a good atmosphere.”
Despite Cabell Midland having to do some plug-and-play early on in the season with a pile of injuries, especially at the skill positions, one thing has remained constant—the play of the offensive line.
“Our offensive line is obviously the most important thing of what we do,” Salmons said. “They see a lot of different looks. They never really know what they are going to see each week. They are smart and tough. They like us running the football in behind them.”
The matchup this week for the Knights is Capital—a game that has turned into a budding rivalry
“It seems like we play Capital twice a year now—we play them all the time,” Salmons said. “Capital has the perfect combination of everything—well-coached, tough and physical. We’ve played in a lot of good games since 2012.”
And Salmons is right, Cabell Midland has become familiar with the Cougars. The teams have butted heads each of the last two seasons in the playoffs with Capital downing the Knights each time, including in 2015 with a trip to the Super Six on the line.
Since the 2012 season, the teams have met up a total of seven times and four of those games have been decided by 10 points or less.
“It seems like every game has been a barn burner,” Salmons said. “We respect Capital and we know we have our work cut out for us each time.”
Priority one will be stopping Capital’s dynamic quarterback Kerry Martin Jr.
“He has played a lot of football,” Salmons said. “He can make plays with his feet or with his arm. They have a lot of good players around him. Capital has always runs the football well. We have to try to contain Martin, but there are a lot of other kids that can hurt you as well.”
Another factor in the game could be the discipline of each team on the field.
“I always tell our kids we have to do the little things like lining up right, not committing stupid penalties—all the things you preach from day one–but if you don’t line up right against these guys they’ll hurt you,” Salmons said.
“We know Capital is going to make plays, but we know we’re going to make plays too.”
Class AAA No. 13 Parkersburg (1-1) at Class AAA No. 3 Huntington (3-0)
Jadon Hayes continued his outstanding start to the season as he rushed for 251 yards and four touchdowns in a Huntington win over George Washington.
Hayes brought his season touchdown total to 10 in the victory over the Patriots that included a 98-yard sprint for six. While Hayes has been running wild on teams, the offensive line for Huntington has been steady all season and got another key contributor back versus George Washington
“We got Terrance Pankey back who had missed the start of the season,” Huntington head coach Billy Seals said. “We were a little sloppy Friday night, and probably didn’t play our best football. We got a win and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”
Seals is tightening up things in preparation for a visit from a rejuvenated Parkersburg program with first-year head coach Mike Byus.
“He’s honestly done a good job early on,” Seals said of Byus’ culture change. “They will be wanting to come in here and get a win against us. We definitely have to play good football. We have to play better because I wasn’t real pleased after the George Washington game.”
And Huntington has to be ready for a variety of looks from the Big Reds.
“Offensively, Parkersburg gives you a ton of different looks,” Seals said. “We printed out the breakdown on them and I think they were somewhere around 20 different formations. They’re trying to find mismatches and create confusion for the defense.”
Class AA No. 5 Sissonville (3-0) at Class AA No. 5 Mingo Central (3-0)
Mingo Central got another key road win as it took care of Logan early on with a 65-22 win.
“We always tell our kids to go out and finish games,” Mingo Central head coach Joey Fields said.
“We didn’t have our number ones on the field to finish, but our second and third string guys did a great job of finishing the game. We came out strong and responded, and just kept playing from there.”
Jeremy Dillon accounted for five touchdowns in the victory. Dougie Dillon rushed for two additional scores and went over 100 yards on the ground.
Sissonville will be the latest team to take a crack at the Miners when it visits Buck Harless Stadium.
“Eddie Smolder did a good job with that program and now Marc Wilson is doing a good job of having them ready to play each week,” Fields said. “Since I’ve been at Mingo Central we’ve had some good battles with Sissonville. They always have some tough kids that never back down from a challenge.”
George Washington (1-2) at Class AAA No. 13 Spring Valley (1-1)
Spring Valley got its first victory of the season with a resounding 46-7 win over St. Albans.
The Timberwolves put up over 500 yards of offense while the defense stuffed the Red Dragons’ offense. “When we finally pulled our starting front seven guys on defense, I think St. Albans was somewhere around negative-50 in rushing,” Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess said. “We got to the quarterback and had some sacks.”
But such is life in the MSAC, programs can’t dwell on wins or losses for too long. Spring Valley hosts George Washington in its home opener who is in search of a much-needed win.
“You can’t look at their record and say they are not any good,” Dingess said. “They have one of the the best quarterback in the state—if not the best. They have some great receivers, great skill guys.”
Dingess was impressed with the Patriots against Huntington despite a George Washington loss.
“They were able to put some points on Huntington and we couldn’t—that’s enough to show you how good they are,” he said. “We have our hands full. If you take out a couple of the runs by Hayes, they did a really good job on Huntington.”
Even though both teams possess some notable names at the skill positions, both teams have equally as good line play.
“You have to win the line of scrimmage,” Dingess said. “The team that does that gives itself a real chance to win Friday night. They are talented up front—it’s going to be a challenge.”
Class No. 13 Point Pleasant (2-1) at Herbert Hoover (1-2)
After a pair of nail-biters, Point Pleasant snagged a comfortable 54-7 win over Warren Local, Ohio last week.
Even though quarterback Cason Payne and running back Justin Brumfield had solid nights for the Big Blacks, it was the defense that caught head coach David Darst’s attention.
“Our defense started gelling—I was real happy with that,” Darst said. “We gave up an early score. But we had an interception for a touchdown and that got everyone going.”
Since giving up 14 first-half points against James Monroe in week two, Point Pleasant has allowed just one touchdown since then that included a key goal-line stop to sew up a road win against the Mavericks.
The Big Blacks will prepare for another road trip on grass this week as they play at Herbert Hoover.
“Herbert Hoover seems to be pretty active on offense with the veer and shotgun veer,” Darst said.
“Head coach Tim Meyer has done a good job with that program. They run an even front on defense with guys stunting and coming from every direction each play. It’s going to be one of those nights where we are picking up the stunts and paying attention. We know it’s a tough place to play football.”
Wayne (1-1) at Class AA No. 13 Winfield (2-1)
Wayne suffered a loss before its bye week. The Pioneers fell at Mingo Central, 47-28.
Mikey Bartram accounted for three of the four scores for Wayne despite only rushing for 57 yards.
The Pioneers were edged by Winfield last season, 23-22, at home.
Class A No. 13 Van (2-1) at Lincoln County (2-1)
Van bounced back from a tough loss against Scott with a pivotal win over Tug Valley, 30-22, which could loom larger later in the season.
The Bulldogs have a chance to earn some key points with the matchup against Class AA Lincoln County.
Meanwhile, for the Panthers—since being shutout against Shady Spring to start the season—they have outscored their opponents 60-27. Lincoln County has defeated Roane County and Tolsia to move to 2-1.
Last season, Lincoln County didn’t win its second game of the season until Week 9. The Panthers haven’t won three games in a season since they had four victories in 2011.
Class A No. 13 Tug Valley (2-1) at Phelps, KY
Tug Valley was edged against Van last week by eight, 30-22.
This is the second of three straight road contests for Tug Valley. Phelps is off to a 3-0 start, but the next two opponents for the Panthers—Buffalo and Tolsia—are both winless.
Logan (1-2) at Poca (1-2)
These two teams are coming off polar opposite results last week.
Logan suffered a 65-22 setback at the hands of the defending Class AA champion, Mingo Central, while Poca broke a 39-game losing streak as it shutout Buffalo 30-0 on the road.
Troy Cowart had 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Wildcats in the defeat against Mingo Central. David Early threw for 129 yards and a score versus the Miners.
Westside (2-1) at Tolsia (1-2)
Gilmer County (0-3) at Sherman (2-1)
Chapmanville (1-2) at Nitro (1-2)
Hannan (0-3) at Hundred (0-3)