GAMES TO WATCH

CLASS AAA

No. 9 Hedgesville (5-2) at No. 2 Martinsburg (7-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last week: Hedgesville suffered a hard-fought 12-7 loss to Musselman. The Bulldogs recorded their 35th straight win, slipping by Sherando (Va.) 50-45.

Why it’s important: Martinsburg always takes its opponents’ best shot and this one should be no different. As the state’s top program over the last decade, the Bulldogs take plenty of pride in what they do on a weekly basis and a win here would allow them to tie the state record of 36 straight wins held by Ansted and Wayne.

Hedgesville is a few plays from being unbeaten, but has yet to face a team this talented. The Eagles are likely a playoff team regardless of this result, but a win would do wonders for their playoff positioning and confidence.

Who to watch for Hedgesville: Wide receiver Malakai Brown is a big factor in the passing game, which is keyed by quarterback Owie Ash. Keenan Smoot helps provide balance on the ground.

Who to watch for Martinsburg: While WVU commit Dewayne Grantham has been out injured recently, the Bulldogs don’t lack for star power. Quarterback/defensive back Grant Harman is a leader on both sides of the ball and splits time as a signal caller with Elijah Banks. The two-QB system has worked well thus far and each’s job is made easier by throwing to receivers Jarod Bowie and Chelo Teneval. 

No. 3 Musselman (6-0) at No. 6 Wheeling Park (5-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last week: The Applemen earned their second straight close victory, prevailing with a 12-7 win against Hedgesville. Wheeling Park was dominant in its 31-0 triumph over Morgantown.

Why it’s important: The winner is in prime position to host at least two playoff games, while the loser falls back. The Applemen’s record is anything but a fluke, but the Patriots could well be the best team they’ve faced yet.

Who to watch for Musselman: Blake Hartman is a standout tailback, while quarterback Tre Beard looks to Sebastian Oldham and Keegan Teets to make plays in the passing game.

Who to watch for Wheeling Park: While Musselman’s defense has been one of the state’s best units to this point, the Patriots allowed only 168 total yards last week vs. the Mohigans. Their defense stepped up in a big way after allowing 57 points in a last second loss at Parkersburg one week earlier. Tailback Kenya Robinson gets a heavy workload and Stevie Mitchell has increased his offensive producitivity. 

CLASS AA

No. 10 Petersburg (4-1) at No. 14 Frankfort (6-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last week: The Falcons outscored Washington for a 62-37 win, while the Vikings were on a bye week.

Why it’s important: This is a matchup of two teams with one loss and while both have a good chance to be in the postseason, a loss here leaves little room for error down the stretch.

Who to watch for Petersburg: Quarterback Jacob Hartman is a dual threat with a lot of freedom in the Vikings’ offense. The defense scored a shutout in the team’s last game — a 41-0 win against Philip Barbour.

Who to watch for Frankfort: Nick Marley rushed for 227 yards and four touchdowns against Washington. Dalton Pollock added a rushing TD and a receiving score in the win.

CLASS A

Southern Garrett, Md. (4-2) at No. 6 Tucker County (6-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last week: The Mountain Lions bounced back from their first loss with a 21-12 win over East Hardy. Southern Garrett hung tough with Fort Hill (Md.) in a 16-9 loss.

Why it’s important: The Rams won eight games a year ago and have a strong team again this season, while the Mountain Lions want to remain in strong position to host at least one playoff game.

Who to watch for Southern: Hayden McLaughlin threw a pass to Brekale Washington last week for the team’s lone touchdown.

Who to watch for Tucker County: Liam Hood threw and ran for a TD a week ago, while Ben Callaway’s late 41-yard TD run helped preserve the win.

Other games: Berkeley Springs (0-7) at Hampshire (0-6); East Hardy (0-6) at Moorefield (2-5); Keyser (5-1) at Allegany (Md.); Loudoun Valley (Va.) at Jefferson (0-6)

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