Last weekend, the 2020 high school football playoffs got underway and once again it was the Coronavirus making the headlines. Of the 24 games scheduled in the 1st round last week, 12 games were played and 12 had to be forfeited because of the wrong color on the Covid map! In Class AAA of the 8 scheduled games, only 3 were played! In Class AA, 5 of the 8 games were played, losing 3 to Covid and in Class A, we had 4 games contested on the gridiron, while the other 4 had to be forfeited!
In the big schools division, in the three games that were contested on the field, #4 Martinsburg defeated #13 George Washington…..#3 Musselman outlasted #14 University and #5 Bridgeport took out #12 Washington. Seeds 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10 moved on to the quarter-finals via forfeiture.
In Class AA, 5 games were played and there were some “firsts” that took place on the field. For the first time since 1996, a #16 seed defeated a #1 seed when #16 Elkins defeated #1 Sissonville 42-27! The “first” that took place in that contest was it is the first time Elkins has won a football playoff game, so congratulations to the Fighting Tigers! In other games that were contested on the field, #2 Bluefield defeated #15 Clay County…..#13 Herbert Hoover upset previously unbeaten #4 Liberty Raleigh…#5 Oak Glen shutout #12 Point Pleasant….and #6 Fairmont Senior eliminated #11 Braxton County. Those teams moving on in Class AA via forfeit are #8 Robert C. Byrd, #10 North Marion and #14 Independence.
In Class A, it was 4 games on the field and 4 games due to the color coded map! And the winners on the field included #2 Greenbrier West as they defeated #15 Madonna, #14 East Hardy as the Cougars upset #3 Doddridge County….#7 Ritchie County winning over #10 Wirt County and #8 Pendleton County knocking off #9 Moorefield! In the games involving forfeits, the four teams moving on to play this weekend are #4 St. Marys….#5 Midland Trail…..#11 Tolsia and #16 Tygarts Valley. An interesting note, this will be the first time in West Virginia High School Football History that 2 of the 3 #1 seeds will not be moving on to round two! The #1 seed in Class AAA, Cabell Midland, is moving on because of a forfeit win over #16 John Marshall! In Class A, #1 Tug Valley was eliminated when Mingo County was in the wrong color on last Saturday’s map and in Class AA, #1 Sissonville was eliminated when they lost on the field to #16 Elkins. As mentioned earlier, the win marked the 1st playoff football win for Elkins and it was also the first time since 1996 that a Class AA #1 seed lost in the first round and that happened 25 years ago when #16 Tucker County defeated #1 Grafton 38-13! That feat has not occurred in Class AAA since 1997 when #16 Ripley upset #1 Morgantown 24-21 and to find out the last time the lowest seeded team upset the highest seeded team in Class A, you have to go back 48 years when only four teams made the playoff field and #4 Monongah defeated #1 Ansted 14-6 in 1973!
So what does the quarterfinal round look like? Well, of the 12 games scheduled, five could possibly have Covid 19 play a part in the outcome. In Class AAA, Wayne County will have to come out of the orange on this Saturday’s 5pm(???) map or the game between #6 Spring Valley and #3 Musselman will end in a forfeit to the Applemen! The other three Class AAA games will be played and all three are scheduled for a 7:30 kick this Friday night! Spring Mills (#9) will travel to #1 Cabell Midland…..#5 Bridgeport will be at #4 Martinsburg and #10 Princeton will travel to the Kanawha Valley to take on #2 South Charleston. In Class AA, much like Class AAA, we have only one game where the participants have to wait on the Saturday Covid map to see if they will play on Sunday and that is #16 Elkins at #8 Robert C. Byrd. If Randolph County is still in the orange or possible red color this Saturday, then the Flying Eagles would advance to semi-final play without having to play a quarter of playoff football. The three games scheduled for action this weekend in Class AA will find two games on Friday night as #10 North Marion will travel to Bluefield to battle the #2 ranked Beavers and #14 Independence will make the trip to Fairmont to take on the 6th ranked Polar Bears of Fairmont Senior. The lone Saturday game in Class AA this weekend will find #13 Herbert Hoover on the road to New Cumberland, WV to battle the 5th ranked Bears of Oak Glen! In Class A this weekend, we will have only one game guaranteed to be played out on the field and that game will take place Saturday afternoon at 1:30 when #7 Ritchie County travels to Charmco to take on the 2nd ranked Cavaliers of Greenbrier West! In the other three games in Class A, we will have to wait until the Saturday map to see if these contests will be played. Randolph County will have to trend out of the orange if #16 Tygarts Valley will get the chance to take on #8 Pendleton County…….Fayette County will also have to trend out of the orange if the #5 ranked Patriots of Midland Trail will have a chance to hit the road to Pleasants County to battle #4 St. Marys….and, both Hardy County and Wayne County will have to climb out of the orange if the game between #14 East Hardy at #11 Tolsia will have a chance of being played. If both counties stay in the orange, then the winner of the game between #2 Greenbrier West and #7 Ritchie County will move directly to the Class A Championship game in Wheeling on Saturday night, December 5th!
Come on Covid……give the kids a break!! And, come on West Virginians…put on the mask and give the kids a break!!!
Don’t forget, Dave Jecklin and I will be looking forward to talking with you this Friday night when we host the next to the last GAMENIGHT show of the season! Join us from 9:30 til Midnight on great radio stations all around the state and streamed at www.wvmetronews.com!