Sometimes in life, the timing is just not right! Take for example, the 2021 Super Six Championships. In Class AAA, #2 Martinsburg defeated #1 Huntington…..in Class AA, #16 Fairmont Senior defeated #2 Independence…..and, in Class A, #4 Ritchie County defeated #6 Williamstown! At that time, Huntington, Independence and Williamstown left Wheeling Island very disappointed! Fast forward to the 2022 Super Six and those three teams that finished as runners-up last year, all won the championships this year! All three teams had to wait that extra year to hoist the big trophy on the Island and each of those teams were very deserving of the title they won!
On Friday night, the Class AA Championship kicked off at 7:05pm and while it took the Independence Patriots a little time to get rolling, once they did it was very obvious the young men from Raleigh County were taking the school’s first ever football championship back to Coal City, WV. With the score 14-0 at halftime, Head Coach John H. Lilly told our Network’s Chris Lawrence they would make a few adjustments in the locker room and come back out in the 3rd quarter ready to play “Patriot football”! They did just that, outscoring the #9 seeded Huskies of Herbert Hoover 28-7 in the final two quarters to take an impressive 42-7 victory and earning the school’s first ever State Football Championship! Leading the way was 5’8 senior Judah Price who set a championship game record by rushing for 377 yards on 32 carries, breaking the old record of 315 yards that was set by Bridgeport’s Dylan Tonkery in 2014. Price also broke the most points scored record by tallying 30 of the Patriots 42 points. The previous record of 24 points was held by J. Gilkerson of Wayne in 2006 and D. Waters of Grafton in 2008! Outstanding sophomore quarterback Dane Hatfield led the way for Herbert Hoover by passing for 106 yards and one touchdown and rushing for 48 additional yards.
In the Class AAA game that was played Saturday afternoon, the Huntington Highlanders used a very stingy defense to stop the very potent offensive attack of the Parkersburg South Patriots that came into the game averaging 52 points per contest over the regular season and had been scoring at a clip of 65 points per game during the playoffs. Huntington Head Coach Billy Seals had said he challenged his defensive unit all week in preparing for the Patriots and they came through with flying colors in keeping Parkersburg South out of the endzone! The Highlander’s Zah Zah Jackson rushed for 165 yards, while the Patriot’s Gage Wright led his team in rushing with 122 yards on 17 carries. Jackson was named Huntington’s Most Outstanding Player in the game, while Turner Garretson, who was credited with 10 tackles, won the award for Parkersburg South. By getting the win, Huntington picked up the school’s first State Football Championship!
In the final game of the Super Six weekend, on a very cold, clear night in Wheeling, the Williamstown Yellow Jackets came into the game as the #2 seed and they ran past the top seeded and previously unbeaten Mavericks of James Monroe by a final score of 52-20. The Yellow Jackets used a punishing ground game that accounted for 416 yards, with quarterback Max Molessa grabbing 272 of those yards to go along with five touchdowns. The five touchdowns scored by Maxwell ties the record for most touchdowns scored in the championship game which is now held by three other competitors. For the Mavericks of James Monroe, quarterback Layton Dowdy completed 7 of 11 passes for 114 yards.
This was the 29th Super Six Championship weekend on the Island in Wheeling and certainly a lot of memories were made! We congratulate the three champions……Huntington, Independence and Williamstown and also tip our hat to the three teams that finished as runners-up…..Parkersburg South, Herbert Hoover and James Monroe. Regardless of how others may feel, I find it hard to call any team that finished 2nd in the state in their classification as losers…..if you have a team that makes it through the very tough regular season and then survives the playoff rounds to make it to the championship games, six winners arrived in Wheeling and six winners departed the Island!
Until next year!!!!