MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Take a week-by-week look at the top matchups scheduled in the 2020 high school football season. The first Friday night of games is set for Aug. 28 and the regular season will conclude on Nov. 6.
Week 1 (August 28):
- Spring Valley (11-2) at Cabell Midland (13-1) – The rematch of a Class AAA semifinal contest is shifted up a few weeks to the season-opening spot. The Knights won both 2019 meetings (28-21 in the regular season, 31-0 in the semis). These two schools have split MSAC titles over the last two seasons. Future WVU lineman Wyatt Milum leads Spring Valley while Cabell Midland returns several of their key skill players from their Super 6 squad.
- Moorefield (6-5) at Frankfort (9-3) – In an interclass matchup, Moorefield begins their quest for a second consecutive playoff appearance. The Yellowjackets were the only team to defeat Pendleton County (11-2) in the regular season last year. Frankfort must fill several holes after losing a large senior class. The Falcons have won 17 games in the past two seasons.
Week 2 (September 4):
- Musselman (9-3) at Martinsburg (14-0) – The traditional regular season finale matchup has been moved up to early September. The Applemen ran their playoff streak to five seasons last fall and they have won twenty games in the past two seasons. Running back Blake Hartman is receiving Division I interest. Martinsburg owns the nation’s second-longest winning streak at 56 games dating back to the start of the 2016 season. Longtime assistant Britt Sherman was recently promoted to head coach after Dave Walker departed for Concord University. Naieem Kearney and Kevon Warren should for a formidable backfield combo for the Bulldogs.
- Capital (6-6) at South Charleston (4-7) – The Cougars have won playoff games in seven consecutive seasons after they defeated Wheeling Park in the opening round last season. Quarterback Evan Landers returns to lead the CHS offense. A quality senior class led by Marshall signee Kerion Martin must be replaced. South Charleston returned to the playoffs last season and they feature defensive end/linebacker Zeiqui Lawton, who has received multiple Division I offers.
Week 3 (September 11):
- Greenbrier East (7-4) at Poca (11-1) – In a new matchup on the schedule, the Spartans will make a long road trip to the home of the Dots. GEHS has advanced to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Poca averaged over 50 points a game in a 10-0 regular season last fall and they advanced to the Class AA quarterfinals. The Dots welcome back a host of quality skill players, led by Kennedy Award winner Ethan Payne and quarterback Jay Cook.
- Huntington (5-6) at Cabell Midland (13-1) – Huntington has qualified for the Class AAA playoffs in each of the past nine seasons. These teams have met eleven times since 2011 with six of those games decided by seven points or less. Cabell Midland has seven wins in that span.
Week 4 (September 18):
- Bridgeport (13-1) at Fairmont Senior (12-1) – The best rivalry in the Big 10 Conference returns to East-West Stadium. The Indians won ten consecutive games after losing to the Polar Bears 34-15 in Week 4, going on to claim the school’s tenth state championship. These two schools have combined to win five of the last seven Class AA titles. BHS has been reclassified into Class AAA for the 2020 season. From 2007-2016, Bridgeport won twelve consecutive games in the series but the Polar Bears have won the last four. FSHS returns first team all-state quarterback Gage Michael but lost future WVU center Zach Frazier to graduation.
- Independence (6-4) at Shady Spring (9-2) – The Patriots jumped out to a 6-2 start last season but missed the playoffs after dropping their last two games. Running back Atticus Goodson returns after an impressive sophomore season. The Tigers earned the No. 8 seed in the Class AA playoffs after allowing just 9 points a game in the regular season.
Week 5 (September 25):
- Man (8-3) at Wheeling Central Catholic (10-4) – Man won their first seven games last season and they welcome back sophomore running back Josh Moody. The Maroon Knights claimed their twelfth state title last fall, winning three playoff road games along the way. Central must replace Brown University recruit Curtis McGhee, three-time Sam Huff Award winner Adam Murray and Super 6 MVP Jacob Rine.
- Doddridge County (13-1) at Ritchie County (10-2) – This year’s Route 50 Border Battle matchup shifts to Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium in Ellenboro. The Bulldogs are coming off their best season in program history, advancing to the Super 6. They must replace a quality senior class led by the Bulldogs’ all-time leading rusher Hunter America, Griffin Devericks and Cole James. Ritchie is 17-6 with two playoff appearances in two seasons under head coach Rick Haught.
Week 6 (October 2):
- Oak Glen (12-1) at Wheeling Park (8-3) – This is a new matchup on the 2020 schedule between northern panhandle opponents. The Golden Bears are coming off the best season in school history. They knocked off unbeaten Poca in the state quarterfinals before losing at eventual Class AA state champion Bridgeport in the semifinals. Oak Glen returns a senior-heavy roster with experienced skill players Nick Chaney (2,175 passing yards, 26 TD), Hunter Patterson (1,296 rushing yards, 17 TD) and Gage Patterson (617 receiving yards, 9 TD). The Patriots must replace West Virginia State recruit Alex Dunlevy (2,808 passing yards, 30 TD, 4 INT) but welcome back three of their top four receivers in Carson Namack, Shaheed Jackson and Sincere Sinclair.
- Midland Trail (6-5) at Nicholas County (8-3) – Route 19 rivals meet in Summersville in a new contest on the schedule. The Patriots are 28-8 in the past three seasons with three playoff appearances. The Grizzlies have advanced to the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons.
Week 7 (October 9):
- Spring Valley (11-2) at Fairmont Senior (12-1) – In a recently-added matchup, the Timberwolves will make a long trip to the Friendly City to face the Polar Bears. Both teams advanced to the Super 6 from 2016 to 2018. Over the last four years, these teams own some of the best cumulative records in the state. Fairmont Senior is 48-6 while Spring Valley is 47-8.
- Tolsia (7-4) at Tug Valley (6-4) – Two of the top Class A teams in southern West Virginia share the field in Naugatuck. The Rebels were seconds away from dethroning Wheeling Central Catholic in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to the Maroon Knights, 13-12. Tolsia defeated Tug Valley in a 44-38 shootout last season.
Week 8 (October 16):
- Shady Spring (9-2) at Mingo Central (9-3) – In their first season outside the Cardinal Conference, Mingo Central has several new opponents on their schedule, including the Tigers. This game is a rematch of an opening round playoff game from last fall, won by the Miners in a defensive struggle 13-7. Mingo Central returns senior quarterback Daylin Goad. He tossed 30 touchdown passes last year and ran for 21 more.
- Musselman (9-3) at Wheeling Park (8-3) – The Applemen have defeated the Patriots in each of the past two seasons in tightly contested, high scoring games. Musselman won on Wheeling Island 41-35 in 2018 and prevailed again in Inwood last fall, 26-24.
Week 9 (October 23):
- Parkersburg South (11-2) at Cabell Midland (13-1) – In a new matchup on the schedule, Parkersburg South will face Cabell Midland for the first time since 2004. The Patriots advanced to the state semifinals last fall before losing at eventual state champion Martinsburg. South must replace J.R. House Award winner Brandon Penn as the state’s top signal caller. Second-year head coach Nathan Tanner welcomes back their top running back in senior Devin Gaines.
- Pendleton County (11-2) at East Hardy (8-4) – The Wildcats are coming off their best season in school history. Pendleton collected postseason home victories for the first time with wins over Moorefield and St. Marys before falling to eventual champion Wheeling Central Catholic in the semifinals. PCHS returns dual-threat senior quarterback Isaiah Gardiner. East Hardy nearly upset the Wildcats last fall, losing 7-6 in Franklin. The Cougars advanced to the Class A quarterfinals with a 12-7 first round win over Midland Trail last fall.
Week 10 (October 30-31):
- Martinsburg (14-0) at Cabell Midland (13-1)/Oct. 31 – In a rematch of the 2019 state championship game, Martinsburg will make the 342 mile drive across the state to visit Cabell Midland. The Bulldogs defeated the Knights 49-21 in the Class AAA title game. This is a Saturday night game on the same day that Cabell Midland hosts the state cross country championships. Martinsburg leads the all-time series 5-0.
- Williamstown (10-3) at Doddridge County (13-1) – The Yellowjackets look to avenge a pair of 2019 defeats against the Bulldogs. Doddridge defeated Williamstown 20-7 in the regular season and 27-3 in the Class A semifinals. Williamstown owns the longest streak of playoff appearances in Class A at twenty years. Longtime assistant Chris Beck enters his first season as WHS head coach.
Week 11 (November 6):
- Bluefield (12-2) at Mingo Central (9-3) – In a new matchup on the schedule, Bluefield will make the two-hour drive to Miner Mountain to cap the regular season. The Beavers advanced to the Class AA state championship last year, falling to Bridgeport. They must replace a trio of Division I players in future WVU lineman Sean Martin, future WVU kicker Kaulin Parris and future Marshall running back J.J. Davis. The Miners and the Beavers have met just once. Mingo Central defeated Bluefield 35-22 in the 2015 Class AA semifinals.
- George Washington (8-4) at Capital (6-6) – A pair of Charleston schools meet in their traditional Week 11 contest. The Patriots edged the Cougars 20-16 in last year’s regular season finale. GW won seven of their last eight games in the 2019 regular season to secure the No. 7 seed in the Class AAA playoffs and they advanced to the quarterfinals. Capital leads the all-time series 12-11.