— By Wes McKinney

GAMES TO WATCH

CLASS AAA

No. 15 South Charleston (1-2) at No. 11 Spring Valley (2-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: Spring Valley was unable to slow down the explosive Cabell Midland offense as the Knights opened the game with a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. And the Knights didn’t stop there in a 28-21 setback for Spring Valley. 

“We didn’t play well and made too many mistakes,” Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess said. “We couldn’t limit their big plays. Cabell Midland had over 270 yards on three plays that went for touchdowns. When you play them, you can’t afford for that to happen.”

Why It’s Important: Dingess reiterated the mistakes made on both sides of the ball against Cabell Midland and how they have to eliminate those against an athletic and equally-explosive offense in South Charleston.

“I don’t know if anything stood out other than the fact we battled back in the second half and gave ourselves a chance to tie the game,” Dingess said of the Cabell Midland game. “We just made too many mistakes. You can’t have turnovers and penalties.”

Who to Watch for South Charleston: South Charleston has turned to freshman Trey Dunn at quarterback to make plays with his arm and feet. And Dingess is impressed with the young signal caller. 

“He does a good job of getting the ball out to his playmakers,” Dingess said. “People don’t talk about him running the football, but he’s fast and makes good decisions. It all starts with him and we have to try to contain him.”

Who to Watch for Spring Valley: David Livingston has had more of involved role on offense this season, but he and the Timberwolves’ secondary will be counted on to try to slow down Dunn and South Charleston offense. 

No. 11 Huntington (1-1) at No. 15 Woodrow Wilson (1-2)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. 

Last Week: Huntington came up short, 31-30, in a road loss to George Washington. “We made a lot of bone-headed decisions,” Huntington head coach Billy Seals. “We do what a lot of young kids do early in the season. Looking at there Friday night, we only had four starters from last year on the field.”

Why It’s Important: As if a loss was needed for Seals to get the attention of his team. Despite all the success of Huntington over the last decade, Seals hasn’t been particularly fond of some of past performances of his program at Van Meter Stadium in Raleigh Stadium. 

“We need to put this behind this and get ready for this week,” Seals said. “We’ll get ready to go to Beckley—a place we always seem to struggle at. It’ll be a tough environment. But we’re hoping we can be 2-1 and get back on track.”

Who to Watch for Huntington: Seals wants to see his tem be more physical on both the offensive and defensive lines after the Highlanders were not as aggressive against George Washington. 

“We were probably pretty average on Friday when it came to being physical,” Seals said. 

“We didn’t run the football as well as we normally do. I didn’t feel like we did a good job on the defensive line. We didn’t get as much pressure on RT Alexander as I would have liked.”

Who to Watch for Woodrow Wilson: Seals spoke highly of the team speed and athleticism of the Flying Eagles, but touted one particular Woodrow Wilson linemen more highly. “Woodrow Wilson has some guys that can run and are really athletic,” Seals said. “I think Ian Pomeroy is one of the best linemen in the state.”

Hurricane (1-2) at No. 1 Cabell Midland (3-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: JJ Roberts’ 88-yard touchdowns on the opening play of the game at Spring Valley set the tone for Cabell Midland to defeat the Timberwovles for the first time since 2015. 

“He’s electric. He’s a Division I football player for a reason,” Salmons said of the Wake Forest commit.  “He made the right read on the option, pulled it and scored. You always want to strike first—and fast if you can.”

The explosive scoring continued later in the game as the Knights had two more touchdowns go for at least 70 yards in the 28-21 win over Spring Valley. 

Why It’s Important: This game doesn’t need to be bulletin board material with the close proximity of the schools, but the 40-10 loss last year at Redskin Stadium certainly left a sour taste in the mouths of the Knights. 

“We know Hurricane is going to be ready to play us and we feel the same way,” Salmons said. “Hurricane beat us last year, and our kids understand that because they have it marked in their locker.”

Who to Watch for Hurricane: Even though Hurricane has lost tough contests to Spring Valley and Capital each of the last two weeks, Redskins’ quarterback Austin Womack has continued to fire away in the passing attack for Hurricane. 

Who to Watch for Cabell Midland: Roberts will be one to watch again this year. Not only did the Cabell Midland signal caller have the 88-yard touchdown to open the game, but he finished with four carries for 180 yards in the win at Spring Valley. 

CLASS AA

N0. 7 Sissonville (3-0) at Mingo Central (2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last Week: Daylin Goad threw for 267 yards and three scores as Mingo Central eased to an 52-6 win over Logan to go above .500. Even with the win, the Miners are just outside the top 16 in the initial release of the Class AAA WVSSAC ratings. 

Sissonville continued its early season defensive dominance by limiting Scott to six points in a 28-6 win. 

Why It’s Important: Since being held to seven points in the first game of the season against Pikeville, Mingo Central has averaged 52 points in wins over Wayne and Logan. And Goad has been leading the way as he has already thrown for over 700 yards in three games. 

Goad and the powerful Miners’ offense will be tested this week, however, against a stout Sissonville defense that hasn’t allowed more than a touchdown in any of its three wins to this point. 

Who to Watch for Sissonville: Though the Indians have stymied opponents on the defensive side of the ball, Dylan Griffith has been the offensive spark as he finished one yard shy of 250 all-purpose yards in the win over Scott. 

Who to Watch for Mingo Central: Drew Hatfield has hauled in over 500 receiving yards and has scored eight touchdowns in three games for the explosive Mingo Central offense. 

No. 8 Man (3-0) at AAA No. 11 Greenbrier East (2-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: Man shutout Westside, 40-0 to start 3-0 for the first time since 2015 when the Hillbillies got off to a 5-0 start on its way to an 8-2 regular season. Though Man has scored at least 40 points in all three wins, coach Harvey Arms and company have allowed just 14 points in three games.

Greenbrier East shook off a 24-7 loss at Woodrow Wilson, and went on the road to claim a two-touchdown win over St. Albans, 28-14. 

Why It’s Important: Man has enjoyed the early-season success, but this week comes the stiffest test for the Hillbillies. If the Hillbillies could pick up a AAA win over a team in Greenbrier East team that made the playoffs in 2018, Man could be in store for some big things. After the trip to Fairlea, the Hillbillies play River View and Lincoln County who are only a combined 1-7. 

Who to Watch for Man: Quentin Moody has three receiving touchdowns this season for a normally run-heavy offense at Man. 

Who to Watch for Greenbrier East: Kyle King is a do-it-all quarterback for the Spartans. 

CLASS AA vs. CLASS A

Westside (0-3) at No. 7 Tolsia (2-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. 

Last Week: The Rebels recorded a shutout with a 24-0 blanking of Lincoln County to get to 2-1 and pick up some valuable Class AA bonus points, allowing Tolsia to appear at seven in the first release of the Class A WVSSAC ratings. 

Why It’s Important: Though winless, a victory over Westside would give the Rebels some more crucial Class AA bonus points before critical matchups with Tug Valley and Buffalo await Tolsiua in two of the next four weeks. 

A 3-1 start to the season for Tolsia would be its first since starting 6-1 during the 2016 season. 

Who to Watch for Tolsia: John Wilson ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries for the Rebels in their win over Lincoln County. 

Other games: Point Pleasant (0-1) at Lincoln County (0-3); Tug Valley (2-1) at Van (1-2); Logan (0-3) at No. 6 Poca (3-0); No. 15 Buffalo (2-1) at Sherman (0-3); Chapmanville (0-3) at Nitro (1-2); Wayne (0-2) at No. 13 Winfield (2-1); Hannan (0-3) at Hundred (0-3)

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