By Cam Huffman
Six weeks of high school football are already in the books, meaning teams are coming down the stretch and battling for positioning harder than ever before.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the area and the state as Week 7 quickly approaches.
Wyoming East — After a loss to Mount View — one that broke a 31-game losing streak for the Golden Knights — most were ready to write the Warriors off.
But Friday night’s results turned a few heads. Not only did Mount View back up its win by downing Van 26-6, proving that the upset was no fluke, but Wyoming East also responded with an upset of its own, handing River View its second loss of the season.
Now 4-2 and ranked No. 10 in Class AA, the Warriors are on a path for a showdown with Shady Spring, if they can get past winless PikeView on Friday.
Woodrow Wilson’s defense — The Flying Eagle offense played well enough to win on the road at No. 1 Cabell Midland on Friday, but the defense wasn’t up to the task, giving up 10 touchdowns in a 70-34 loss that looked more like a Big 12 contest than a WVSSAC game.
That’s been a concern for Beckley all season. The Flying Eagles are giving up 32.1 points per game, including 111 in its two losses — a 41-12 defeat at Spring Valley was the other. If you take out a 44-0 shutout of Ripley, which was playing a backup quarterback and couldn’t get out of its own way, that number swells to 38.6 points per contest.
That’s a major concern as Woodrow (4-2) prepares to face Huntington (4-1), which is averaging nearly 32 points per game.
BY THE NUMBERS
1,000 — Four area running backs have already topped the 1,000-yard mark on the ground with plenty of football left to play. Meadow Bridge’s Jake Parker leads the way with 1,362 rushing yards, but Richwood’s Zach Bennett isn’t far behind at 1,137. Oak Hill’s Jalen Jones has 1,065 yards on the ground, while Greenbrier West’s Malik Boatwright is just ahead of the mark at 1,012.
39 — Shady Spring’s Adam Weeks needs just 39 yards to reach 1,000 in passing. He’s at 961 heading into Friday night’s game at home against James Monroe.
9 — If the regular season ended today, nine area teams would have the opportunity to keep playing. In Class AAA, No. 10 Oak Hill and No. 11 Woodrow Wilson would move on in the playoffs. No. 6 Bluefield and No. 10 Wyoming East would be included in Class AA, along with Liberty and River View, tied for No. 12. Greenbrier West, the highest-ranked area team at No. 2 in Class A, would make it in the smallest class, as would No. 3 Valley and No. 10 Meadow Bridge.
Teams knocking on the door include No. 18 Nicholas County and No. 19 Summers County in Class AA and No. 18 Midland Trail in Class A.
The top 16 teams in each class earn a spot in the playoffs. Only Bluefield, Greenbrier West and Valley would be at home based on the current ratings.
17.11 — Woodrow Wilson’s Ramon Edwards has just 27 rushing attempts this season, but he’s averaged more than 17 yards per tote. He’s likely to get the ball in his hands more and more the next few weeks.
AROUND THE STATE
The big battle this week will take place in Madison, where two of the three undefeated teams in Class AA will go head-to-head when No. 3 Wayne (5-0) goes on the road to No. 1 Scott (6-0).
Despite the rankings, Scott is the clear underdog in tonight’s game.
The Skyhawks, who returned nine starters on both sides of the football, are off to a great start, having knocked off Tolsia, Lincoln County, Chapmanville, Sissonville, Poca and Westside to jump out to a perfect start, paced by a veteran offensive line.
Wayne, though is the defending Class AA state champion, and it has outscored its opponents — Chesapeake (Ohio), Hoover, Ravenswood, Sissonville and Mingo Central — 283-75. It’s scored at least 42 points every time out.
In Wednesday’s Register-Herald, there was a story about Ansted High School’s 36-game winning streak in the early ’70s. The story referred to Ansted High as the Trailblazers, the mascot of Ansted Middle School. The great teams of the ’70s were actually known as the Highlanders. We apologize to the players, coaches and fans of Ansted High School.