A month into the school year and start of the fall sports season, there is finally a load of good news for the area regarding the Covid-19 metrics color map.
Every county in the region is either green or yellow on the latest map revealed Saturday. Green counties are Raleigh, Fayette, Greenbrier and Monroe. Those in yellow are Wyoming, Summers and Nicholas.
That means every school in those counties is free to hold in-person class instruction and fall sports teams are not restricted unless they have games scheduled against teams in gold or orange counties — there are no red counties this week.
That does not affect any area football teams, meaning this weekend's slate will go on as scheduled.
A couple of changes that were already in the works before Saturday involve Westside, where fall sports remain inactive until Thursday after a school employee was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Westside was scheduled to go to Liberty on Friday. Instead, the Raiders will make the trip to Wayne that was originally scheduled for Oct. 2.
A makeup game for Westside is pending.
Meanwhile, James Monroe has added a game at Tug Valley Friday night.
Three counties in West Virginia are orange — Boone, Harrison and Upshur. Gold counties are Kanawha, Jackson, Doddridge, Barbour, Randolph and Berkeley.
Kanawha County teams will get to play for the first time, albeit against other Kanawha teams or teams from the other gold counties.
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Many players have contributed to Liberty's perfect start to the season. Quarterback Isaac Atkins and running back Ryan Simms have been offensive mainstays, while Braden Howell and Shawn Pennington anchor a secondary that is arguably the Raiders' best in some time.
But they are not alone, and one guy stood out Friday against Independence.
Junior Logan Dodrill scored touchdowns in four ways as the Class AA co-No. 5 Raiders defeated the No. 12 Patriots 36-26 in Coal City.
Liberty fell behind 12-0 in the first quarter before scoring the next 36 points. Dodrill played a big part.
His 79-yard kick return got the Raiders on the board, and his 7-yard touchdown run put them ahead for good at 14-12.
Dodrill also had an 88-yard touchdown reception and returned an interception 35 yards for his fourth score. He also kicked four extra points.
"Logan's a very good athlete," head coach Mark Workman said. "I stay on Logan about being that guy and, 'Your time's coming.' Tonight was his time."
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Independence has lost two straight games after starting the season 3-0. Coach John H. Lilly said turnovers have been the culprit in losses to the Raiders and Petersburg.
"You can't turn over the ball against a good football team," Lilly said. "We're a good football team, but we've still got some learning to do. That was a senior team against a sophomore team."
Lilly said he isn't worried about the team's mindset despite the rough patch.
"We'll be all right," he said. "We'll get back to work and work on some things. We've just got to work on the little things. We start 14 sophomores and one freshman, and at times it shows. When you play against a good team, you can't afford to make mistakes."
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A couple of area teams picked up their first win of the season Friday night, including Woodrow Wilson. The Flying Eagles went on the road and defeated Preston 21-12, overcoming six turnovers.
Quarterback Maddex McMillen was 10-of-14 for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns went to freshman Elijah Redfern, who finished with 113 receiving yards.
Meanwhile, Caleb Bower had a monster game in leading Wyoming East to the first win of the Jimmy Adkins era. The senior rushed for 277 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-24 victory over River View.
Bower also returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.
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Speaking of firsts, Fayette County finally got to play football for the first time this season.
Oak Hill defeated Mingo Central 34-26 to win coach David Moneypenny's debut with the Red Devils. And rivals Midland Trail and Meadow Bridge finally got together for a game that was scheduled for Week 2 and rescheduled twice. Midland Trail picked up the 21-2 win at Meadow Bridge.
Oak Hill will host Greenbrier East in a big Class AAA matchup on Friday. Midland Trail will go to Independence for the annual Patriot Bowl, while Meadow Bridge will visit winless Webster County. The Highlanders have been outscored 152-6 the last two weeks.
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