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Semifinal Playoffs Breakdown

The semifinals are set for each class in the highs school football playoffs as only 12 teams remain alive throughout the state.  So, let’s take a look back at some of the best games in the quarterfinals and a look ahead to the semifinal matchups.



No. 4 South Charleston 30   No. 5 Hurricane 26

This was perhaps one of the best games all season in any class as South Charleston’s Ray Coleman came up with the huge defensive score late in the fourth quarter to give the two-time defending state champs the four point win.  But what will probably be most remembered about this game in the future is what the game ended in – an all out brawl between the two teams with both benches cleared. 


No. 8 Brooke 28    No. 1 George Washington 21

This is a no-brainer.  The Bruins made the state championship a year ago, but came into this quarterfinal matchup as the number eight seed.  Perhaps the Bruins felt overlooked heading into the postseason – and maybe they were.  Regardless, there’s no denying the second half domination by Brooke on Saturday as the Bruins reestablished themselves as a state title contender yet again.  GW led 21-7 at the half, but couldn’t hold on as Brooke stormed back to score three second half touchdowns and advance into the semifinals.


No. 3 Morgantown (11-1) at No. 2 Martinsburg (12-0)

The Mohigans had a strong test against No. 6 Capital in the quarterfinals, eventually prevailing 28-21.  The Bulldogs, meanwhile, handled Bridgeport 31-7.  Martinsburg and Morgantown also faced off last year in the opening round of the playoffs – a 19-13 Martinsburg win.  It’s another solid running back matchup between Morgantown’s Joey Musick and the Bulldogs’ David Gladden.  Musick had 251 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the quarterfinals.  Gladden, meanwhile, tallied three total touchdowns against Bridgeport, including a 98 yard kickoff return for a score.

No. 8 Brooke (10-2) at No. 4 South Charleston (11-1)

It’s a rematch of the 2009 title game – a contest South Charleston won 28-7.  The Black Eagles’ lone loss on the year came to the team Brooke beat to get into the semifinals – top ranked George Washington. Ian Morris and Ryan Lazear are both lethal scoring threats for the Bruins.  The pair combined for over 200 yards rushing in that win over GW.  Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see how South Charleston responds following last week’s four point win and skirmish against Hurricane.



Greenbrier West 21   Frankfort 15

Greenbrier West’s Dylan Trout sacked Frankfort quarterback Brian Bills in a late fourth quarter, fourth down play as the Falcons were trying to drive for the game winning score.  No team turned the ball over in the contest as Greenbrier West outgained Frankfort 303 yards to 214.


No. 2 Magnolia 56   No. 10 Chapmanville 14

Three of the semifinal contests in Class AA were blowouts, including undefeated Magnolia’s domination of Chapmanville.  Blue Eagles’ quarterback Justin Fox had a record setting night, becoming the school’s all-time touchdown passing leader.  He threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns against the Tigers, putting his career passing touchdown total at 65.  The tough Magnolia defense also held elusive Chapmanville running back Jake Robinson intact for the most part – keeping him to just 49 first half yards.


No. 3 Greenbrier West (12-0) at No. 2 Magnolia (12-0)

Two undefeated teams that have been dominant all year will face off in this semifinal contest.  Magnolia has been known over the past several years for a suffocating defense – but perhaps what’s been somewhat overlooked is their more than powerful offense led by quarterback Justin Fox.  Looking at the numbers, Magnolia has held its opponents to just 62 points while scoring 511. The Caveliers, meanwhile, can score as well.  Greenbrier West has been held to under 35 points just once this year – last week against Frankfort. Overall on the year, they’ve outscored their opponents 525-112.

No. 4 Bluefield (11-1) at No. 1 Ravenswood (12-0)

Ravenswood quarterback Cole Starcher seemingly made all the difference for the Red Devils last week.  The quarterback didn’t play against Roane County in the regular season – a 10-6 Ravenswood win.  Last week in a rematch with the Raiders, Starcher led Ravenswood to a dominating 48-20 win over Roane County.  This week, the Red Devils have a semifinal matchup against number four and defending state champion Bluefield.  The Beavers knocked off Wayne for the second time this season last week 54-8. Bluefield quarterback Levi Beckett totaled 3 touchdowns in the game, including a 71 yard touchdown run.  Meanwhile, the Beavers are rolling heading into this week’s semifinal matchup, having won their last three games by a combined 129 points.



Wheeling Central 24  Bishop Donahue 20

An impressive comeback by Wheeling Central ends in heartache for Bishop Donahue.  The Bishops led for much of the game and seemingly had the contest in hand after a missed Wheeling Central field goal late in the fourth quarter appeared to give the ball back to the Bishops with a 20-17 lead.  However, a timeout was actually called before the field goal attempt and Wheeling Central decided to instead go for the touchdown on fourth and 15 from the 20.  That’s when quarterback Lee Peluchette connected with Austin Frohnapfel for the game winning score.  In all, the Maroon Knight’s tallied 17 fourth quarter points to pull out the win and get back into the semifinals.


No. 7 Matewan 54   No. 2 Meadow Bridge 12

Number seven Matewan looked more like the team with the number two ranking on Saturday night as the Tigers rolled over previously undefeated and second rated Meadow Bridge.  The Wildcats jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but after that it was all Tigers.  Running back Justin Bradford finished with 155 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.  Meanwhile, Matewan quarterback Cody Centers finished with 190 yards and two touchdowns.  The Tigers also forced six Meadow Bridge turnovers that led to four Matewan scores.


No. 7 Matewan (10-2) at No. 6 Wheeling Central (8-4)

Plenty of people expected to see Wheeling Central in this semifinal matchup. However, Matewan makes the semifinals somewhat under the radar after tearing apart Meadow Bridge in the quarterfinals.  The Tigers are playing in their final football season as Matewan will consolidate following this year with Burch, Williamson and Gilbert to form Mingo Central High School.  Wheeling Central, meanwhile, will be looking to snap a two game losing streak in the semifinals and get back to the state championship game for the first time since 2007.

No. 4 Wirt County (10-2) at No. 1 Wahama (12-0)

Both teams won quarterfinal contests in drastically different ways to advance into the semifinals.  The Tigers won a defensive battle against Williamstown 13-10.  Wahama, meanwhile, won a shootout over East Hardy 73-38.  The White Falcons broke their own record for points scored in a Class A playoff game with the win – the previous record was set back in 2003 when Wahama scored 71 against Doddridge County.  That 2003 season was also the last time the White Falcons made the semifinals.  This year, Wahama is led offensively by Ryan Lee, Issac Lee and Anthony Grimm who all contribute to a solid rushing game.  Wirt County, meanwhile, is coming off of another impressive win over Williamstown – its second on the season.  Tigers quarterback Taylor Campbell connected with Alex Trembly on third-and-15 for the game winning score Friday night.  It sets up an interesting semifinal matchup between Wahama’s speed and rushing attack against another team very capable of throwing the football in Wirt County.  The White Falcons surrendered 464 passing yards to East Hardy last week in the quarterfinals – 377 of those, however, came in the first half.  Wahama and Wirt County also met last year in the regular season, a 36-32 Wahama win.

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