We have reached the semi-final round of the 2022 High School Football Playoffs and in each class, the three teams that started down the playoff road as #1 seeds and the three teams that began that same journey as the #2 seeds are still alive and just one step away from the big show in Wheeling December 2nd and 3rd!
As expected, a couple of games that were played in the quarter-finals last weekend, were classics! And, ironically, they were both in the Class AA classification and featured two winning teams whose mascots are both Huskies! The first game that went down to the final seconds was the matchup between #1 Winfield and #9 Herbert Hoover. The #9 seeded Huskies scored on their first possession when sophomore QB Dane Hatfield found senior Jacob Burns from 60 yards out. The top seeded Generals would answer quickly as Winfield’s quarterback Brycen Brown found K-Juan Pearson for a 15 yard score and the game would head to the locker rooms at halftime all tied at 7! From there on, the excitement would take over as both teams see-sawed back and forth and with :92 seconds left in the game, Winfield found themselves with a 26-20 lead. However, that 1½ minutes proved to be just enough for Hatfield and company as the Huskies put together a game winning drive that ended in a 5 yard touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone from Dane Hatfield to Jacob Burns. Levi Paxton calmly put the extra point through the uprights and Winfield’s 10 game winning streak came to an end with the final score 27-26 in favor of Herbert Hoover.
In the other exciting Class AA game, the 6th seeded Huskies of North Marion traveled to Spencer to take on the #3 seeded and undefeated Raiders of Roane County. In a hard-fought defensive battle, North Marion’s 6′ Jr. Casey Minor rushed for 100 yards and scored both touchdowns as the Huskies derailed the Raiders 13-12! The game was scoreless in the first half with Minor scoring his first touchdown well into the 3rd quarter.
So, the semi-finals are now set and in all three classes we should have some very exciting games. In Class AAA, the top four seeds made it to 3rd round and both semi-final games will be played this Saturday, November 26th at 1:30pm. The #1 seed in Class AAA is Parkersburg South and the (11-1) Patriots will host the 4th ranked (10-2) Redskins of Hurricane at Erickson All Sports Complex. The two teams have not played each other since 1992 and overall have met a total of ten times with Hurricane winning 6 and losing 4! In the other semi-final in Class AAA, #2 Huntington (11-1) will host #3 Martinsburg (10-2) at Bob Sang Stadium. This game is a rematch of last year’s Class AAA title game played in Wheeling and won by the Bulldogs 62-21! With this road trip for Martinsburg, it will mark the first time in the last 18 playoff games, not counting trips to Wheeling for the Super Six, that Martinsburg will have played a playoff game away from home! The last time Martinsburg played a playoff game away from home was in 2015 when they lost in the semi-finals to Capital by a final score of 35-7! Both Class AAA semi-finals should be well worth watching!
In Class AA, #6 North Marion (9-2) will make the trip to Coal City this Friday night to take on the #2 ranked and undefeated Patriots of Independence (11-0). This will mark the first meeting between these two ballclubs and both have explosive offensive weapons. The other Class AA semi-final should be a classic as the #9 Huskies of Herbert Hoover will try and come down off the high of upsetting #1 Winfield as they must make the four hour plus bus ride to Ridgeley, WV to take on the very tough 5th seeded Falcons of Frankfort High. The Falcons have an impressive record of (11-1) with that only loss to a very good Mountain Ridge team from Maryland.
In Class A, we have a number of familiar names competing as #1 and undefeated James Monroe (12-0) will host the (10-1) 5th seeded Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central. The game is scheduled to be played at James Monroe High School in Lindside, WV and the unusual kickoff is slated for 4pm this Friday afternoon. This will be the first time the two ballclubs have met on the gridiron and it should be a battle of two very good defensive teams. James Monroe has shut out six of their 12 opponents this year and the most points they have given up to any WV team is 22. For Wheeling Central they have likewise been stingy on defense giving up a total of just 13 points to any one Mountain State team. The second Class A semi-final is a repeat of a game played just a few weeks ago as #2 Williamstown (10-1) will host #11 Doddridge County at Stadium Field in Parkersburg this Friday night at 7:30. The two teams met October 28th in West Union with Williamstown winning 41-14.
Be sure and join Dave Jecklin and me this Friday night for the last GAMENIGHT of the season! We’ll have all the scores of the games played on Friday and a complete look at the Saturday contests! GAMENIGHT is heard on 48 great radio stations around the state and the video and audio of the show is streamed live @wvmetronews.com!