#1, #2, #3, #5, #2, #5, #14, #16, #2, #4, #6, #8……those are the seeding numbers of the 12 teams remaining in the hunt for three State Championship football trophies!
The classification that came the closest to the top seeds advancing is Class AAA where #1 Huntington (12-0), #2 Martinsburg (11-1), #3 Bridgeport (12-0) and #5 Cabell Midland (11-1) have advanced to the semifinals that will be played this weekend. The #4 seed was University and the Hawks were ousted this past Friday night by Cabell Midland who posted at 46-21 victory over the previously undefeated Hawks!
In Class AA, the remaining seeds are #2 Independence (10-0), #5 Poca (9-2), #14 Bluefield (7-3) and #16 Fairmont Senior (7-4)! This season marks the first time a #14 seed and a #16 seed have advanced to the semifinals! The #1 seed in Class AA was Herbert Hoover and the Huskies came into tournament play with an undefeated record but was quickly bounced out by #16 Fairmont Senior in the first round, losing 30-28!
In Class A, the remaining seeds are #2 Doddridge County (11-1), #4 Ritchie County (11-1), #6 Williamstown (10-2) and #8 Wheeling Central (9-3). The #1 seed in Class A was Cameron and the Dragons, much like Herbert Hoover in Class AA, entered the playoffs with an undefeated record but was quickly disposed of by #16 Gilmer County by a final of 19-14 in week number one of the playoffs. The Titans of Gilmer County lost last weekend to #8 Wheeling Central!
So, as we enter into the semifinals this weekend, we will, for the first time, have a game played at 1:30 on Black Friday…..in fact, we will have two games played on the Friday afternoon following Thanksgiving Day! Of the six games that will be played this weekend, five of those will be played on Friday with the lone Saturday game kicking at 1:30pm!
In Class AAA, #1 Huntington (12-0) will host #5 Cabell Midland (11-1) at Bob Sang Stadium this Friday night at 7:30pm. This will mark the second time these two powerful teams have met in 2021 and for the Knights of Cabell Midland it will mean a rematch with the team that gave them their only loss. Back on September 10th, Huntington defeated Cabell Midland by a final of 21-17! Over the years, Huntington and Cabell Midland have played 29 times with the Knights winning 17 and losing 12! In the other Class AAA semifinal, #3 Bridgeport (12-0) will travel the 185 miles east to Cobourn Field to battle the #2 seed Martinsburg (11-1). The only loss for the Bulldogs came on October 29th, when Martinsburg traveled to Spring Valley and lost 35-30. This past Friday night, Martinsburg knocked Spring Valley out of the playoffs with a convincing 35-6 win over the TimberWolves! Bridgeport and Martinsburg have met three other times with Martinsburg winning in 1952 and 2010 and losing to Bridgeport in 2007.
In Class AA, #2 Independence (10-0) will entertain #14 Bluefield (7-3) this Friday afternoon at 1:30pm at George Covey Field in Coal City. The two teams scrimmaged back in late August but did not meet during the regular season! For Independence, their road to the semifinals included wins over #15 Shady Spring and #10 Roane County, while Bluefield defeated #3 Point Pleasant and #6 North Marion. The game this Friday afternoon will mark the first time Independence and Bluefield have met on the gridiron! The other semifinal game this weekend in Class AA will find #5 Poca (9-2) playing host to #16 Fairmont Senior (7-4). The game is scheduled to kick off this Friday night at 7:30 at O. O. White Stadium in Poca. The #5 seeded Dots of Poca defeated #12 Liberty Raleigh and #13 Frankfort on their way to this weekend’s play and for #16 Fairmont Senior, their wins included upsets over #1 Herbert Hoover and #8 Robert C. Byrd. Friday night’s game will mark the first meeting between the Dots and the Polar Bears!
In Class A this weekend, #2 Doddridge County (11-1) will host #6 Williamstown (10-2) this Friday afternoon at 1:30 at Cline Stansberry Stadium. The Bulldogs only loss this season came back on October 29th when the Yellow Jackets outscored them 26-24 in a game played at Williamstown. Over the years, these two great Class A teams have met 28 times with Williamstown winning 19, losing 8 and 1 game was tied. They have met one other time in the semifinals and that was in 2019 when Doddridge County defeated Williamstown 27-3 before losing in the championship game the following week to Wheeling Central. The other Class A semifinal this weekend will feature the #4 Rebels of Ritchie County (11-1) as they host the #8 seeded Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central Catholic (9-3) this Saturday afternoon at 1:30 at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium in Ellenboro, WV. Ritchie County defeated #13 Clay Battelle in round one and then ran past #5 Mt. View in the quarterfinals. For #8 Wheeling Central, their playoff wins have been over #9 Moorefield in the opening round and #16 Gilmer County in the quarterfinals. Ritchie County and Wheeling Central have met only one other time in football and that was in the quarterfinals of the 2019 playoffs when the Maroon Knights defeated the Rebels 13-0!
So, only 12 teams remain in the hunt for the 3 championship trophies that will be given out on December 3rd and 4th in Wheeling. Twelve teams and six games…….five this Friday and one on Saturday afternoon. I know it is the week of Thanksgiving and a lot of folks will have friends and relatives in town – a great way to celebrate is by taking in a high school football playoff game! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
And, just a reminder……be sure to join Dave Jecklin and me for the final GAMENIGHT show of the season this Friday night from 9:30 to Midnight on your favorite radio station. If you can’t find the show on the radio in your area, the live video and audio is available at www.wvmetronews.com! And, don’t forget to tune in the final edition of “The Road To The Super Six” which will air this Sunday evening from 7p to 8p!
I sincerely wish for you and your family a very warm and happy Thanksgiving!