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Breaking Down The Playoffs

Another high school football regular season is in the books and now it’s time for the playoffs.  So, lets take a look at some of the favorites and interesting matchups in all three classes.



George Washington (10-0) – The No. 1 ranked Patriots have certainly earned plenty of respect this season, going undefeated with a difficult schedule that included wins over two time defending state champion South Charleston, No. 6 Capital and No. 13 Parkersburg.  It’s hard not to put them in this spot.


South Charleston (9-1) — Two-time defending state champs, Tyler Harris, Perry Henry.  Enough said.

Morgantown (9-1) – Morgantown’s lone loss came to Ohio power Steubenville.  Head coach John Bowers’ Mohigans have plenty of offensive weapons  — Chris Glover and Joey Musick have been hard to stop coming out of the backfield in a wildcat-similar formation. 

Martinsburg (10-0) — The Bulldogs are led offensively by talented running back David Gladden.  They survived some tough games early to finish undefeated despite being without last year’s starting quarterback Kam Puller who came down with an undisclosed illness in the offseason.

Capital (8-2) – First year head coach Jon Carpenter has the Cougars going in the right direction.  No. 6 Capital fell by just four to George Washington earlier this year and always has a threat to score in running back Keion Wright. 


Brooke (8-2) – The No. 8 Bruins loss to Steubenville, Ohio and Morgantown on the year, but have shown they have the talent to get back to Wheeling Island after falling in the state title game a year ago.


No. 10 University (8-2) at No. 7 Bridgeport (9-1)

Both teams made it to the semifinals a year ago.  The Hawks have been near the top of the rankings all season long before a week 10 loss to No. 3 Morgantown dropped them out of the top eight.  Bridgeport is coming off of a 21-13 win over Fairmont Senior – a team University edged 14-13 back in week six.

No. 13 Parkersburg (6-4) at No. 4 South Charleston (9-1)

These two teams met earlier in the year, a 48-34 Black Eagles win.  The Big Reds, meanwhile, have come up short in almost every big game this year. Those four losses for Parkersburg all came to playoff participants: Brooke (39-17), South Charleston (48-34), George Washington (35-14) and Capital (34-7). Still, never count out the Big Reds when it comes to the postseason.



Bluefield (9-1) – It’s hard not to go with the defending state champions as the favorites.  The No. 4 Beavers closed out the season with a bang, pounding Wayne 47-6. Their lone loss on the year came Charlotte Country Day out of North Carolina.


Ravenswood (10-0) – The Red Devils are undefeated and ranked number one.  Clearly they are one of the favorites in the Class AA field.  Ravenswood survived close calls against playoff participants Roane County and Point Pleasant earlier in the year.  The Red Devils edged Roane County 10-6 and knocked off Point Pleasant in overtime 27-24.

Magnolia (10-0) – Defense wins championships and the Blue Eagles are once again dominant on that side of the ball.  Leave out a 21 point “letdown” against Williamstown in week number two, and No. 2 Magnolia has given up just 27 combined points in each of its nine other games.  They’ve given up the fewest points by any team in any class.  They’re certainly not bad offensively either, averaging just under 40 a game.

Greenbrier West (10-0) – We’ll find out more about the Cavaliers once the playoffs begin.  They come in No. 3 and undefeated, having faced two Class AA playoff participants on the year – a 35-14 win over Pikeview and a 53-14 win over Shady Spring. There’s no denying Greenbrier West can score the football as they put up 459 points on the year.

Wayne (8-2) – The Pioneers are always contenders in the postseason.  But, Wayne will need to bounce back in a big way this postseason after falling to Bluefield 47-6 in the final week of the regular season.  Still, up until that final game, the Pioneers’ only loss came to Point Pleasant back on October 1st, 13-8.


Point Pleasant (7-3) – Point Pleasant is hosting its first playoff game since 1979 against Roane County.  If the Black Knights can survive that first round game, they’ll have a possible rematch with top ranked Ravenswood – a team they fell to in overtime 27-24 back in week number seven.  Point Pleasant has solid wins on the year over Wayne and Chapmanville.  They also own a season opening head-scratcher loss to 2-8 Tolsia. 


No. 9 Roane County (8-2) at No. 8 Point Pleasant (7-3)

It’s a typical 9-8 matchup that could go either way.  Roane County is giving up just 12 points per contest while the Black Knights are giving up just under 14.  Both teams also come in with close losses to both Ravenswood and Herbert Hoover on the season.



Wheeling Central (6-4) – Sure, the Maroon Knights have four losses – but against an absolutely brutal schedule.  To be at number six in the rankings with just six wins says plenty about the quality of teams Wheeling Central has played on the year.  The Maroon Knights being favored is nothing new for Class A.  Still, they’ve not made it to the title game now for two straight years, giving head coach Mike Young’s club an even greater sense of urgency heading into this year’s postseason.


Wahama (10-0) The White Falcons capped off their first undefeated regular season since 2003 with a 40-8 win over rival Buffalo last week.  Wahama has a stingy defense that’s produced five shutouts and given up just 61 points on the year.  Offensively, the White Falcons are well balanced rushing the football behind Anthony Grimm, Ryan Lee and Issac Lee.  Eight of Wahama’s 10 wins on the year came against teams out of Ohio.

Bishop Donahue (10-0) — The Bishops are led offensively by receiver Ryan Jones and quarterback Jordan Angalich.  Bishop Donahue made a huge statement in week number 10 of the season with a 21-6 win over defending state champion Madonna.  The Bishops followed up that game with a 61-0 pounding of Paden City to close out the regular season undefeated – the first in school history.

Meadow Bridge (10-0) The Wildcats have a solid rushing attack behind backs Devonte Petitt and Tyler Bennett.  Meadow Bridge has wins on the year over Fayetteville and Pendleton County.  They finished out the season by crushing Richwood’s playoff hopes with a 52-12 win.

Williamstown (8-2) Williamstown is always one to watch in Class A.  The Yellow Jackets have losses on the year to Class AA’s Magnolia and Class A No. 4 Wirt County, 13-7.  Still, they’ve scored more than 60 points three times on the year. 

Madonna (8-2)The Blue Dons may be ranked at number 13 in Class A, but there’s no doubting the defending state champs will still have plenty to say in the postseason.   The Blue Dons are led offensively by dynamic running back Connor Arlia.


Wirt County (8-2)The Tigers have quietly positioned themselves as the No. 4 seed in Class A behind three wins of six or less points.  One of those wins came over perennial power Williamstown, 13-7. 


No. 13 Madonna (8-2) at No. 4 Wirt County (8-2)

The reward for finishing out the season number four?  A matchup with defending state champion Madonna in the opening round of the playoffs.  Still, the Tigers have certainly proven themselves more than capable on the year of picking up the big win.  If the game is close, it’ll be nothing new for Wirt County – six of their games have been decided by 13 points or less this season.

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