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WV High School Football Notebook: Spring Valley Now the Team to Beat in AAA

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Spring Valley’s power running attack receives a lot of attention, and deservedly, but in arguably the biggest win in program history it was a pass play that might have been the most important in the game.

The Timberwolves were in a tough spot in the fourth quarter Friday at Martinsburg. SV led 15-13, but Martinsburg had just answered a long Wolves scoring drive by finding the end zone in just two plays. With a little more than five minutes remaining in the game, Spring Valley was facing a 4th-and-1 at the Bulldogs’ 41 yard line knowing if they failed and Martinsburg scored there would likely not be much time left to move methodically down the field. If the Timberwolves could get just a single yard and finish the drive with a touchdown, they could be the first team to beat mighty Martinsburg in nearly five years.

SV quarterback Jack Roy took the snap from under center and faked a handoff. When Roy pulled the ball back, he saw teammate Jace Caldwell running free behind the Martinsburg defense. The pass connected and after Caldwell’s catch and run to inside the Bulldogs’ 10 yard line, Spring Valley’s Cole Diamond took a handoff into the end zone for what proved to the game-winning score in a 22-20 victory. Roy’s pass to Caldwell was SV’s only completion of the game, but the Timberwolves made it the only one they needed to snap Martinsburg’s 57-game win streak (second longest in the nation prior to Friday) and also become the first team to beat the Bulldogs at home since 2007.

“That was a big moment for [Roy],” Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess told MetroNews Game Night on Friday. “In a big atmosphere like that, for him to come in — he just had to control the game. There were two really big offensive plays that we had to have in crucial moments — the one bootleg run that he ran and got down there [earlier in the game on a scoring drive] was a big play on third down and that seam pass off the play action there on fourth down was the biggest play of the game I thought.”

So with Martinsburg officially knocked off its pedestal as West Virginia’s top dog, the Wolves take the Bulldogs’ place, right?

Yes, but with a catch. Cabell Midland, just a short trip east on I-64 from Wayne to Cabell County, might have something to say about who the best Class AAA team in the state is. Don’t forget, when Spring Valley and the Knights last met it was a 31-0 Cabell Midland home win in last season’s state semifinals. Earlier in 2019 the Knights went to Spring Valley and won 28-21. Still, that was last season. Spring Valley beat Martinsburg, so for now Spring Valley is the best high school football team in West Virginia. Cabell Midland has looked very good in its wins so far this season against Parkersburg South and Huntington, but South and Huntington are not on the same level as Martinsburg. Not even close.

As it stands now, there is not a scheduled meeting between Midland and Spring Valley this season. With the way schedules have been forced to change on the fly, however, there is some hope the two could still meet before 2020 is done.

WEEK 4 NOTES:

  • Let’s play a little buy and sell with teams I think are on the upswing and teams I think could be fading. Teams I would buy stock in right now: Tolsia, Tygarts Valley, Spring Mills, Keyser, Petersburg, Greenbrier West, Oak Glen, Independence, Princeton, Bridgeport. Teams I’m selling after last week: Wayne, Huntington, Ripley, Hedgesville, Madonna, Magnolia.
  • Let’s do the same thing for players but I’m only buying. Here are some guys who have stood out through three weeks of play: Spring Mills QB Keon Padmore-Johnson, Musselman RB Blake Hartman, Martinsburg QB/RB Kevon Warren, Cabell Midland RB Jakob Caudill, Independence RB Atticus Goodson, Spring Valley RB Cole Diamond, Robert C. Byrd RB Jeremiah King, Fairmont Senior QB Gage Michael, anyone who touches the ball in Bridgeport’s new single wing offense.
  • Speaking of Bridgeport, last week’s 44-33 win against rival Fairmont Senior snapped a four-game skid to the Polar Bears. The Indians — back in Class AAA this season — might not be on the same level as Midland, Spring Valley and Martinsburg right now, but nobody outside that group — and maybe among it too — is going to want to face them in the playoffs.

IMPRESSIVE RESULTS:

Same deal as always here. Five results from each class last week that we haven’t mentioned yet or are worth mentioning again.

CLASS AAA

  • Princeton 34, Parkesburg South 14
  • Spring Mills 52, Jefferson 28
  • Hampshire 58, Buckhannon-Upshur 6
  • Wheeling Park 42, Huntington 21
  • Greenbrier East 56, Wyoming East (AA) 0

CLASS AA

  • Lincoln 26, Nicholas County 22 (Cougars win on a kickoff return TD as time expires)
  • Oak Glen 55, John Marshall (AAA) 46
  • Keyser 55, Washington (AAA) 35
  • Robert C. Byrd 41, Preston (AAA) 0
  • Frankfort 41, Berkeley Springs 0

CLASS A

  • Tolsia 59, Wayne (AA) 6
  • Petersburg 41, Pocahontas County 20
  • St. Marys 34, Ritchie County 26
  • Doddridge County 31, Lincoln County (AAA) 0
  • Wirt County 76, Webster County 6
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Tom has spent the last decade as a sports journalist based in West Virginia, most recently as the WVU beat writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and with previous stops at the Charleston Daily Mail, the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and the Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky. He was born and raised in Cross Lanes, West Virginia -- where he currently resides -- and is a 2010 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University.

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