By Cam Huffman
Oak Hill and Meadow Bridge have had their best players step up nearly every week. Every opponent knows who to stop, but few have been able to accomplish the task.
Summers County has had somebody on the list of game balls nearly every time, but the names keep changing, a sign of the Bobcats’ depth. Valley has also had a few different names earn recognition, and Liberty found a big night from one of its fastest players.
As a whole, Week 10 of the high school football season around the area was an exciting one, with plenty of showcase performances.
Here’s a look at The Register-Herald’s game balls for Friday’s top performances.
Jalen Jones (Oak Hill) — Jones had been bottled up in recent weeks, and many were beginning to question whether the Kennedy Award candidate had lost a step after a midseason injury. Those questions were answered Friday night as the Red Devil running back rushed for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Oak Hill to its first win over Woodrow Wilson since 1976.
Tre’Shaun McDowell (Liberty) — The Raiders came up with a dramatic 28-20 win over county rival Shady Spring Friday, and McDowell made many of the plays that made the win possible. McDowell rushed for 77 yards on just six carries and caught three passes for 19 yards. He found the end zone twice, forced and recovered a fumble on defense and had some big kickoff returns to set up field position.
Jake Parker (Meadow Bridge) — The Kennedy Award candidate, and one of the nation’s top rushers, put up yet another dominating performance, rushing for 152 yards on just 13 carries. He scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and spent most of the second half on the bench after his Wildcats had already built a 40-0 halftime lead on Sherman.
Keyshawn Payne (Valley) — One of the strengths of the undefeated Greyhounds is balance, but Payne is certainly one of the stars. In a 48-26 win over Midland Trail Friday, he rushed for 106 yards on just six carries, three of them going for touchdowns.
T.J. Smith (Summers County) — The former quarterback continued to shine in his new role as a running back/wide receiver, totalling 304 yards of total offense in the Bobcats’ 30-8 win over Richwood. Smith carried the ball 18 times for 151 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 153 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter.
Others deserving of recognition, but a little outside the top five honorees that will be in the running for this week’s Register-Herald Player of the Week, are recognized with helmet stickers.
Corey Cox (Greenbrier West) — Cox helped turn away an upset bid from Fayetteville as West moved to 9-1 with a 22-6 win. Cox rushed for 110 yards on 23 carries and caught a 5-yard pass.
Ryan Church (Meadow Bridge) — Church proved that Parker is not the only playmaker on the Meadow Bridge roster when he returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown and then brought back a punt 50 yards for a score to help set the tone early in the Wildcats’ 50-0 win. Church also had an interception on defense.
K.K. Goodman (Oak Hill) — Goodman made sure Woodrow Wilson wasn’t able to focus only on Jones when he rushed for 128 yards on 19 carries in the Red Devils big victory.
Tristan Jones (Wyoming East) — On a sloppy field at Independence High School, the Warriors’ left-footed kicker was a perfect 6-for-6 on extra points and twice pinned the Patriots inside their own 10-yard line on kickoffs. Wyoming East won 42-14.
Jacob Summe (Wyoming East) — The Warrior running back, who missed much of the early season with an injury, seems to be getting stronger every week. In the win over Independence Friday, he rushed for 84 yards on eight carries, including three first-half touchdown runs that helped put the game on ice.
— E-mail: chuffman
@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.