GAMES TO WATCH

CLASS AAA

No. 16 Preston (4-6) at No. 1 Martinsburg (10-0)

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Last week: The Knights backed their way into the playoffs after a 26-12 loss at Brooke. The Bulldogs were on a bye week and last played in Week 10 when they handled Musselman, 57-14.

Who to watch for Preston: J.J. Townsend surpassed 750 rushing yards this season and has been a catalyst for the Knights’ offense.

Who to watch for Martinsburg: While the list of major contributors is a lengthy one on this roster, wide receiver Jarod Bowie is having one of the better seasons of any player in the state. Though undersized, Bowie is a quality route runner with reliable hands who’s extremely difficult to bring down in the open field.

CLASS AA

No. 16 Winfield (7-3) at No. 1 Fairmont Senior (10-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: The Generals were no match for Mingo Central in a 55-20 setback. The Polar Bears blanked East Fairmont, 53-0, to record their 24th straight win.

Who to watch for Winfield: Tailback John Covert has been a standout throughout the season and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns in last week’s loss.

Who to watch for Fairmont Senior: Much like the aforementioned Payne, FSHS quarterback Gage Michael is squarely in the mix for the Kennedy Award. The dual threat is the straw that stirs the drink for the Polar Bears. Michael has plenty of weapons at his disposal and is protected by an experienced offensive line that features Zach Frazier, a West Virginia commit. 

No. 15 Lewis County (7-3) at No. 2 Bridgeport (9-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: The Minutemen beat Grafton, 26-13, to secure a playoff spot. Bridgeport won its sixth straight game, blanking Philip Barbour, 48-0.

Who to watch for Lewis County: Marshall Hobbs has paced the rushing attack, but the Minutemen will likely need a few big plays and a couple turnovers to make it interesting. Although it was way back in Week 1, Bridgeport won the regular season meeting between the two Big 10 Conference schools, 28-0.

Who to watch for Bridgeport: Carson Winkie is vital to what the Tribe do on both sides of the ball. Winkie and fellow senior Trey Pancake have played prominent roles in plenty of important games over their high school careers.

No. 14 North Marion (7-3) at No. 3 Poca (10-0)

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Last week: The Huskies lost out on any chance at homefield advantage in the first round by falling at Liberty Harrison, 21-8. The Dots finished off a 10-0 regular season with a 32-0 win at Wayne.

Who to watch for North Marion: The Huskies’ offense never got on track in last week’s loss to Liberty. As a result, North Marion opens the postseason with a tougher first-round matchup. To play with Poca, the Huskies need a sharp performance from quarterback Gunner Murphy, who will look to Tariq Miller and Jahkari Mesidor on the perimeter.

Who to watch for Poca: Tailback Ethan Payne easily led the state in scoring this year with 276 points that came via 46 touchdowns. Payne is a focal point of what the Dots do on both sides of the ball, but quarterback Jay Cook can also hurt opposing defenses.

No. 12 Liberty Harrison (8-2) at No. 5 Keyser (9-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: The Mountaineers locked up a playoff bid with an impressive 21-8 win over North Marion. The Golden Tornado handled Mineral County rival Frankfort, 35-0.

Who to watch for Liberty: Much like Keyser, Liberty has a powerful rushing attack keyed by a stable of ball carriers. Seth McIntyre and Sayveon Beafore head the list, though quarterback Noah Leggett threw two touchdown passes against the Huskies.

Who to watch for Keyser: Between Caden Biser, Drae Allen, Ryan Shoemaker and Aaron Lyons, the Golden Tornado don’t lack options for their ground game. If Keyser can limit Liberty’s rushing attack, the Golden Tornado will feel great about their chances of advancing.

CLASS A

No. 16 Madonna (6-3-1) at No. 1 Doddridge County (10-0)

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Last week: The Dons had a bye week and last played Oct. 2 when they tied Conotton Valley, Ohio at 14-all. The Bulldogs posted an impressive 46-7 win at Tygarts Valley to finish off their second straight unbeaten regular season.
Who to watch for Madonna: In a pass-happy attack, quarterback Santino Arlia passes for 282 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns to Brennan Secrist in the team’s last outing.

Who to watch for Doddridge County: Hunter America, the Bulldogs’ big-play and workhorse tailback, is the focal point of any opposition’s game plan. Griffin Devericks makes big plays in a number of ways, particularly in the secondary, as well.

No. 15 South Harrison (6-4) at No. 2 Ritchie County (9-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: The Hawks secured a spot in the playoffs with a 60-30 win at Tucker County. The Rebels finished off a 9-1 season with a 48-12 victory at Calhoun County.
Who to watch for South Harrison: For the Hawks to be successful, Landon McFadden has to get going on the ground and play a role in the passing game. McFadden is the team’s best big play threat and the Hawks will likely need at least a few big plays to hang around, considering they lost the regular season matchup 38-12.

Who to watch for Ritchie County: Tre Moss and Garrett Owens form a steady combination in the backfield that have given other teams trouble throughout the season.

No. 13 Tygarts Valley (7-3) at No. 4 Greenbrier West (9-1)

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Last week: The Bulldogs lost for the third time in five games, falling to Doddridge County, 46-7. The Cavaliers had their way in a 44-12 win over Mount View.
Who to watch for Tygarts Valley: Quarterback Joshua Bright and tailback Daniel White key an offense that’s scored at least 21 points in all seven wins, but no more than 13 in any loss.

Who to watch for Greenbrier West: Noah Brown accounted for 180 points — the fifth highest total of any player in the state this season. He also scored 27 touchdowns for one of Class A’s most explosive offenses.