By Cam Huffman
A great deal was on the line in the next-to-last week of the high school football regular season in West Virginia, and area players, fighting for playoff positioning, performed well under the spotlight.
If big-time players step up in big-time situations, as coaches often claim, our five game ball winners from Friday night are shining examples.
Malik Boatwright (Greenbrier West) — The Cavalier quarterback helped West finish off a 9-1 regular season by rushing for 47 yards on five carries, including a touchdown, and throwing for 91 yards on just two passes, one of them a touchdown strike. Boatwright also found Josh Martin on a 2-point conversion pass in the 44-21 win over Fayetteville.
Justin Cogar (Westside) — The Renegades (5-4) managed to keep their playoff hopes alive with a convincing 62-24 win over Mount View, and Cogar, a sophomore quarterback, was a big reason for the victory. Cogar rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns, while throwing for 109 yards and two more scores. He also played a part in three 2-point conversions.
Jalen Jones (Oak Hill) — The Red Devils star running back had just four carries in a 62-6 blowout win over PikeView Friday, but he still managed to rack up 173 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Jones, who could make a push for the Kennedy Award, also returned a punt 65 yards for a score as Oak Hill improved to 7-2 — providing the Elkins forfeit stays in place.
Jake Parker (Meadow Bridge) — Parker helped the Wildcats score 40 unanswered points in a 40-7 win over Sherman on Friday. He racked up 213 yards on 36 carries, scoring four touchdowns as Meadow Bridge finished the regular season 8-2. Parker topped 2,000 yards on the season.
Houstin Syvertson (Shady Spring) — The Tigers’ senior running back was on his game Friday night in a rivalry game against Liberty, rushing for 138 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries. He also threw a 21-yard pass and caught three passes for 49 yards and two scores, helping Shady Spring improve to 5-4 and keeping its slim playoff hopes alive.