By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
While fans were bundled up in coats and blankets on what was the coldest night of the high school football season so far, there were plenty of players heating up the field, hoping to give their team that last push they need for the playoffs.
Here’s a look at the top five performers in our area for week 8.
---Isaiah Brown, Summers County. In his final regular season game at Garten Field, Isaiah Brown had one to remember. Brown had five total touchdowns, picking up 188 yards on the ground and another 38 through the air in a 39-32 victory over Nicholas County.
---Malik Boatwright, Greenbrier West. There’s no questioning Boatwright’s athletic ability. Friday night featured another display from the Cavalier quarterback. Boatwright picked up 170 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and was an impressive 5-6 for 61 yards and two touchdowns passing. He even caught a two-point conversion for good measure. The Cavs beat Webster County 61-18.
---Christian Whittaker, Liberty. When coach Jeff Alexander said his Liberty Raiders are young but talented, it’s performances like Whittaker’s he has in mind. The sophomore running back ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-18 victory over rival Independence, giving the Raiders their third victory of the season.
---Offensive line, Wyoming East. Most of the time, individual performances are selected for game balls, but after Wyoming East’s 27-6 victory over class AAA Shady Spring, there simply weren’t enough to go around. That’s not going to stop a massive and dominating Warrior offensive line from being honored, however. The front five protected quarterback Aaron Griffith, while also opening holes and coming up with key blocks to help three Wyoming East running backs (Jacob Summe, Nik Walker and Coty Bishop) rush for over 80 yards a piece, and over 300 yards as a team.
--- Wil Mayes, Nicholas County. Mayes continues to make a name for himself on both sides of the ball, this time with a pair of touchdown runs, a touchdown pass and 12 tackles on defense. The Grizzlies upended visiting Lincoln County 41-0.
--- Jalen Jones, Oak Hill. Holding most running backs to less than 60 yards is something any defense would be proud of. News flash: Jones isn’t most running backs. The senior Kennedy Award candidate ran for just 58 yards, but scored four touchdowns and kicked three extra points as the Red Devils beat Lewis County 27-17.
--- Jake Parker, Meadow Bridge. Parker continued to prove why he’s one of the top rushers in the state. The senior Wildcat picked up 208 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-32 loss against a stout Summers County defense.
--- Jacob Thayer and Dalton Davis, Webster County. When you come into a game with only 18 players, performances like Thayer and Davis’ are even bigger. Thayer, the quarterback, threw for 328 yards for three touchdowns, one of which was directed at Davis, who had 195 yards.
--- Tyler Hanson, Shady Spring. It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Tigers, but performances like Hanson’s Friday night against one of the top defenses in the region are the little victories to get excited about. Hanson picked up 118 yards on 21 carries in the defeat.
— E-mail: jrollins@
register-herald.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.