Being able to schedule games on the fly as counties come and go from West Virginia’s color-coded COVID-19 map is a good skill to have for Mountain State high school football coaches in 2020, and this week will feature some important contests as a result.
On Saturday it was announced that Spring Valley will travel to Martinsburg for a Friday game this week.
The Timberwolves and Bulldogs have been the state’s two most consistent Class AAA football programs over the last half-decade, with multiple meetings at the Super Six in Wheeling for the state title over that span. Friday will be different, obviously, in that Spring Valley is making the long trip from their home near the Kentucky border to the eastern extremes of the state to play mighty Martinsburg on its home turf.
There will be a lot on the line Friday at Coburn Field. The winner instantly becomes the favorite to win the Class AAA state championship this season. The Bulldogs are riding a 57-game win streak following last week’s season-opener against Musselman and have not lost to a team from West Virginia since 2015. Spring Valley opened with an easy win against visiting Parkersburg but was off last week as Wayne County went orange on the COVID-19 map. The Wolves are allowed back on the field this week, and are expected to have one of the best teams in program history this season — thanks in large part to players like offensive linemen Wyatt Milum (committed to WVU), Bryce Biggs (multiple FBS offers), tight end Corbin Page (multiple FBS offers) and senior quarterback Jack Roy — who shined in his debut at Spring Valley against Parkersburg after transferring this offseason into the state from Kentucky’s Fairview High.
That’s not the only new game on the schedule this week that will put teams with playoff hopes together on short notice.
Sticking in Class AAA, Wheeling Park will now visit Bob Sang Stadium to take on Huntington. The Patriots (1-1) are coming off an impressive win against Hedgesville last week after opening with a loss to a team from Ohio. Huntington, meanwhile, played Hurricane close but still lost in the season-opener before getting blown out by rival Cabell Midland last week in Ona. At 0-2 and coming off the loss at Midland, the Highlanders desperately need a win. The way this season is going teams will not know from week to week if they will be able to get games in, so when they do play they need to win. That is the only way to keep up with the hunt for a playoff spot, whatever the playoffs end up looking like when the time comes.
Wayne County rivals Tolsia (Class A) and Wayne (AA) are back on the schedule for this week while unbeaten Greenbrier West (2-0) hosts Pendleton County (1-1) in a newly scheduled clash of teams that both won at least one Class A playoff game last season.
Among the games previously on the schedule for this week, Fairmont Senior at Bridgeport is about as big as it gets in that part of the state. Bottom line: there are plenty of options for high-profile games to follow this week.
WEEK 2 NOTES:
- Parkersburg’s win against visiting Wheeling Central was wild. For starters, it was another game scheduled on the fly but was unique in that it placed one of that state’s smaller schools on the road at a large Class AAA opponent who also happens to have more wins as a program than any other team in West Virginia high school football history. The Maroon Knights jumped out to an early lead and were up by two scores early in the third quarter before Parkersburg roared back for a 38-21 win at Stadium Field.
- Martinsburg got the best of Mussleman in the clash of Class AAA Eastern Panhandle rivals, but the Bulldogs certainly had their hands full with Blake Hartman. The standout senior ran for 266 yards and five touchdowns for the Applemen against the four-time defending state champions. Off the top of my head, the last time someone went off like that against Martinsburg was Capital’s Kashuan Haley during the Cougars’ 2014 Class AAA state title run — and even then that Capital team was loaded so Haley had plenty of help that day in Charleston. What Hartman did against Martinsburg will be remembered for a long time, even in a loss.
- Robert C. Byrd running back Jeremiah King is off to a great start for the Eagles. King pounded East Fairmont for 215 yards and three touchdowns in a win last week. Prior to that, the RCB junior ran for 295 yards and four touchdowns against Elkins.
- Fairmont Senior’s Gage Michael showed why is considered among the top quarterbacks in the state in his season debut. The Polar Bear senior accounted for 442 of his team’s 506 total yards in a 41-21 win against Marion County rival North Marion.
Every week in this space we will highlight five (not yet mentioned) results from each class that caught our eye:
- Ripley 21, Lincoln County 7
- Jefferson 42, Greenbrier East
- Bridgeport 63, Liberty Harrison (AA) 0
- John Marshall 46, Preston 13
- Parkersburg South 42, Woodrow Wilson 6
- Independence 55, River View 8
- Point Pleasant 51, Brooke (AAA) 13
- Oak Glen 35, Keyser 12
- Frankfort 37, Weir 26
- Elkins 25, Lewis County 14
- Tygarts Valley 59, Webster County 0
- Williamstown 61, Ravenswood 7
- East Hardy 6, Moorefield 0
- Petersburg 20, Pendleton County 14
- Greenbrier West 49, Westside (AA) 26