Friday, November 26
Greenbrier West Cavaliers (12-0) at Magnolia Blue Eagles (12-0)
The Magnolia Blue Eagles jumped on Chapmanville early and often and ousted the Tigers 56-14. The Blue Eagles scored in the very first minute as QB Justin Fox connected with sophomore receiver Stephen Rogalski on a 99 yard touchdown pass. Fox was for 9 for 13 for 305 yards and 4 touchdown strikes, including three to Rogalski who snared 6 balls for 232 yards. Jayson Keller had a big night as he rushed for 135 yards with three touchdowns, caught a scoring toss, and returned an interception to paydirt. Fox is 131-of 206 for 2230 yards with 26 touchdowns and only four picks. He has booted 62 extra points, including 18 in a row and has scored nine touchdowns. Rogalski now has 62 catches for 1158 yards and 16 touchdowns while Jayson Keller has rushed for 1150 yards and 19 scores. Magnolia has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 511-62. Blue Eagle head coach Mark Batton is seeking Magnolia’s first championship since 1964. The 12-year head mentor is 11 and 8 in the post-season while the school enters this week with 618 all-time wins.
Greenbrier West defeated stubborn Frankfort 21-15, their narrowest win of the season. The Cavaliers stopped Frankfort on a fourth and goal from the three yard line late in the game to preserve the victory. RB Dylan Trout fished his way for 67 yards and two touchdowns while QB Chase Fitzwater was 7 of 11 for 80 yards and a 58 yard scoring bomb to Cameron McQuain. Under the direction of Lewis McClung , in his tenth season, the Cavaliers had won every game by at least 21 points until this past weekend. Greenbrier West made its only semi-final appearance in 1991, shutting out three opponents before losing 31-22 to Spencer in the championship game. In the second round that year, the Cavaliers blanked Magnolia 6-0, ending the Blue Eagles 119 game scoring streak. They have won only one playoff game since then, defeating Valley 32-6 in 2002. The survivor moves on to the title game next Friday night against either Bluefield or Ravenswood.
Saturday, November 27
Brooke Bruins (10-2) at South Charleston Black Eagles (11-1) 1:30
Brooke overcame a 14 point third quarter deficit to defeat top-seeded George Washington 28-21. Brooke sophomore quarterback Alec Buchmelter was 8 of 13 for 92 yards with a touchdown pass to Joey DiNardo and two interceptions. Ryan Lazear rushed for 90 yards while Ian Morris ran for 128 stripes and a score while FB Billy Perkins added two short scoring runs. Lazear now has 1,214 yards and 19 scores while Morris padded his total to 996 and 12 scores. Buchmelter has completed 115 of 199 passes for 1,692 stripes, 20 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and has rushed for 700 yards. Joey DiNardo has caught 41 passes for 785 yards and 5 scoring receptions. Second year Brooke head coach Tom Bruney is now 23-3 for the Bruins, who have lost a total of only 80 games in 40 years to in-state opponents but is only 11-15-1 against teams from Kanawha County. Brooke lost in the finals last year to two-time champ South Charleston. The Bruins defeated South Charleston in the first round of the playoffs in 1990 by a score of 10-0. Brooke has state titles in 1985, 1987 and 1990 and was runnerup in 1986, 1989, 1992, and 2009.
South Charleston defeated Hurricane 30-26 in game that ended in a melee. Four Black Eagles have been suspended for this upcoming game, depending court rulings. According to the Metro News website, 2009 Kennedy Award winner Ty Harris and standout WR/DB Pierra Henry have been announced as two of those players. South Charleston has defeated Parkersburg twice by the scores of 48-34 and 62-7 in the first round of the playoffs. Brooke opened the season with a 39-17 trouncing of the Big Reds. The Black Eagles only loss was in week two to George Washington 21-7. The winner will play either Martinsburg or Morgantown for the state championship at noon next week.
Matewan Tigers (10-2) at Wheeling Central Maroon Knights (8-4) 7:30
Wheeling Central advanced in dramatic fashion by squeaking out a 24-20 decision over Bishop Donahue before a packed house in Moundsville. Trailing by three and facing a fourth and goal from the Bishop 20, the Knights attempted a 36 yard field goal. The kick was well short, but the Bishops had called a time out an instant before the kick. Given new life, Central regrouped and decided to go for it. QB Lee Peluchette found Austin Frohnapfel in the end zone for the winning score with less than a minute remaining. Bishop Donahue had allowed only 67 points all season, but the Knights tallied 21 in the fourth quarter. Donahue WR Ryan Jones was outstanding in defeat has he grabbed seven balls for 140 yards and a brilliant 50 yard touchdown reception late in the game. He finishes the year with 23 touchdown catches, on 58 receptions for 1,482 yards. QB Jordan Angalich was 14 of 29 for 212 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. For the season, Angalich was 127 of 213 for 2,606 yards with 33 touchdown passes and only six picks.
For Central, Marcus Clifford rushed for 80 yards and scored twice. Clifford has 1107 yards and 20 touchdowns for the year. QB Lee Peluchette was only 9 of 28 for 150 yards but came up with two clutch completions in the final drive. QB Peluchette now is 121 of 232 for 2,040 yards with 27 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. Wheeling Central is making its 12th consecutive playoff appearance, winning the title six times in that span. Knight head coach Mike Young, in his sixth year at the helm, has a remarkable 18-2 record in the post-season including three championships and two semi-final appearances. Both losses were to the eventual state champion including an 18-7 loss to Madonna last year. Wheeling Central and Matewan last met in 2008 with the Knights prevailing 40-23 in the second round. The Tigers also lost to Central 28-0 in the second round in 2001 and 40-22 in 1999.
Matewan is making its final season before consolidation a memorable one. The Tigers pounded undefeated Meadow Bridge 54 to 16. RB Justin Bradford ran for 155 yards and scored 5 touchdowns for the second straight week. QB Cody Centers was 7 of 9 for 190 yards and 2 scores. The Matewan defense forced six turnovers including 3 picks by Cory Daniels. Meadow Bridge also committed 160 yards in penalties. Matewan’s lone title came in 1,993 when they defeated Valley-Wetzel 21-13 in the finals. Head Coach Yogi Kinder’s team has lost only to Prestonsburg, Kentucky 34-28 and to River View 36-22. The winner moves on to the championship game next Saturday night against either Wahama or Wirt County.