By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
The season’s halfway point for most teams was not devoid of big-time performances. Several local players led their teams to victories that could prove huge in the push for the postseason.
n Cory Coppola, Bluefield. The perennial Class AA power Beavers showed they are still as much of a threat as always, shutting down Greenbrier East’s potent offense. Bluefield, meanwhile, was as prolific as it has been all year, and Coppola had a big hand in that.
The 6-foot-4, 233-pound junior ran for 151 yards on 11 carries (13.7 yards per attempt) and scored three touchdowns as the Beavers won 57-18.
n Mike Mullens, Westside. The Renegades had lost three straight going into their game at Independence, but Mullens helped stop the bleeding. He ran 25 times for 317 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 50-20 win.
Mullens now has 1,027 yards through five games for 2-3 Westside.
n Brent Osborne, Woodrow Wilson. The Flying Eagles soared out of their bye week with a 50-10 Homecoming victory over winless Riverside.
Osborne, Woodrow’s junior quarterback, completed 8 of 18 passes for 101 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. But he also carried the ball 12 times for a game-high 210 yards.
n Jake Parker, Meadow Bridge. The Meadow Bridge senior’s weekly romp took him to Pendleton County, where Parker and his teammates won the battle of the Wildcats, 28-13.
Parker’s first half was a bit pedestrian by his standards, with 76 yards and no touchdowns. Things changed in the second half, when he scored on a 65-yard run and finished the night with 229 yards on 26 carries.
Parker now has 1,385 yards through five games.
n T.J. Smith, Summers County. Smith led the Class AA No. 3 Bobcats to a big 27-20 win over Class A No. 5 and previously unbeaten Greenbrier West. He ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, caught a 28-yard touchdown pass and recovered a fumble that led to a Summers County touchdown drive.
It was the Bobcats’ first win over the Cavaliers since 2007.
n Chase Hancock, Woodrow Wilson. Osborne certainly was not a one-man show for the Flying Eagles. Hancock scored three touchdowns and finished with 19 carries for 124 yards.
n Meadow Bridge defense. As good as Parker has been, it never hurts to have a solid stop unit. The Wildcats got just that Friday night, with 13 tackles from Shane Harless, two interceptions from Ryan Church and another from Craig Peters that he returned 82 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
n Isaiah Brown, Summers County. Last week’s Register-Herald Player of the Week turned in another strong performance. He ran for 142 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, and had a key interception in the third quarter.
n Isaiah Kinder, Greenbrier East. The Spartan quarterback completed 15 of 37 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort.
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