August 23rd, 2018 seems like a long, long time ago, yet from that Thursday night in late August when the first high school football games of the 2018 season were played until today, those 82 days have really flown by! And, in those 82 days we have seen the number of high school football teams still eligible for those coveted state championship trophies cut down from 116 to only 24! In just 82 days, 92 teams have seen the dream end and when I write this column next Monday, another 12 will begin turning their football equipment in!
Looking pack on last weekend’s first round play, we saw a lot of points scored and maybe even a few surprises! I am certainly not one to say there were “upsets” last weekend, because I honestly feel that every team that survives the tough eleven week schedule in high school football has a better than even chance of moving on in the playoffs each week.
In looking at the number of points scored, in Class AAA the winning teams outscored the losing teams 334 to 93 for an average per game score of 42-12. Two “upsets” occurred in AAA as #11 Hedgesville defeated #6 Parkersburg 35-29 and #9 Parkersburg South edged by #8 Wheeling Park 28-21. In Class AA, the winning teams outscored their opponents 371-109 for an average per game score of 46-14. Only one “upset” occurred in AA as #12 Weir traveled to #5 Poca and outscored the Dots 41-14! In Class A, the winners out dueled their opponents 278-98, for an average per game score of 35-12. And, the only mild upset happened in Class A when #9 Magnolia defeated #8 Pendleton County 28-6.
So, let’s look ahead to the quarter-final round and for the 24 teams remaining, as expected, the competition gets just a little tougher. Interesting to note, of the twelve games scheduled for this weekend, there will be eight played on Friday night and the other four on Saturday afternoon at 1:30! Also, in each class we will have just one rematch from the regular season. In Class AAA, #7 Huntington will travel to #2 Spring Valley Friday night in a rematch of the last regular season game for both teams and in that one, Spring Valley prevailed 28-16. In Class AA, the only rematch will find #6 Robert C. Byrd traveling to #3 Bridgeport Friday night in a rematch of a game played at Bridgeport on September 21st and won by the Indians 41-35. And, in Class A, the only rematch should be a great game as #9 Magnolia will visit #1 Wheeling Central on Friday night in a rematch of the only game the Maroon Knights lost this season. It was November 2nd and the last game of the regular season when Wheeling Central paid a visit to Magnolia and found themselves leaving New Martinsville with a 21-12 loss!
It has often been said by a lot of coaches, of the many goals they set for their team as the season begins, certainly one is to still be practicing on Thanksgiving. With a win this weekend, that goal will be realized by 12 of the 24 teams remaining.
Once again, I invite everyone to listen to GAMENIGHT this Friday night from 9:30 to Midnight as Dave Jecklin and I will have all the scores of the eight games being played this Friday night, plus we will take an in-depth look at the four games scheduled for Saturday afternoon!
Talk with you Friday night!!