MADISON – Coming off a big win over Class AA No. 6 Liberty, the Scott Skyhawks look to pick up a signature victory on the road and improve their playoff standing when they travel to Poca to face the top-ranked Dots.
Scott, who was ranked 15th last week in the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission playoff ratings, jumped to ninth following the win over Liberty.
“We are excited to be in the playoff hunt, but a lot can change between now and the last week of the season,” Scott coach Jeremy Dolin said. “We are trying to stay grounded and focus on the game at hand.”
Top-ranked Poca is coming off a 14-12 win over No. 13 Logan, a team that defeated the Skyhawks, 21-12, on Oct. 8. The Dots are led by all state senior receiver Toby Payne, a Division I prospect, who is a threat anytime he touches the ball. Payne rushed for 71 yards on seven carries and caught three passes for 46 yards in the win over Logan.
“Payne will be tough to defend,” Dolin said. “Poca is a physical team, and they have some great athletes.”
Quarterback Jordan Wolfe scored two touchdowns and running back Malakai Woodard-Jones rushed for 102 yards to help the Dots remain unbeaten at 6-0.
Dolin feels that in order for his team to be successful, they have to limit the mistakes that cost them in their losses to Herbert Hoover and Logan.
“We have to be disciplined and take care of the football,” Dolin said. “We got to find a way to slow down their playmakers and make them work for everything they get.”
A win over Poca would put the Skyhawks in contention to host a first round playoff game. A win would almost certainly guarantee them their first playoff berth in seven years, while a loss doesn’t eliminate them from contention, but puts their backs against the wall with games remaining against Class AA No. 16 Winfield and one-win Nitro.
“It’s not every week you get to play the number one ranked team in the state,” Dolin said. “I hope we carry the same physical and discipline that we showed against Liberty and play like our playoff hopes depend on it.”
Tide entertains Cavaliers
The Sherman Tide will host Greenbrier West in a battle of Class A ranked teams Friday night at Zontini Field.
Sherman, ranked 11th in the latest Class A playoff ratings, will look to solidify its playoff chances with a win over the 14th-ranked Cavaliers. Both teams come into the contest with a 5-2 record, the winner of Friday’s contest can take a huge step toward qualifying for the Class A playoffs.
“Every game from here on out is a must win,” Sherman coach Kevin Buzzard said. “It’s going to be a tough game, they are big, well-coached and physical. We will have our work cut out for us.”
Sherman is coming off a hard-fought 24-14 victory over county rival Van in the “Showdown for the Shovel” series and will be looking for its sixth victory of the season.
“The Van win was big for us,” Buzzard said. “It got us back on track.”
Greenbrier West has lost two games by a combined seven points and relies heavily on its running game. Leading the way for the Cavaliers is Ty Nickell, who has rushed for 1,028 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Kadin Parker, who rushed for over 60 yards in last week’s 50-14 victory over Richwood, has rushed for over 150 yards this season and quarterback Cole Vandall has ran for 263 yards and threw for 494 yards.
The Cavaliers had 504 yards in total offense including 397 rushing yards in the blowout win over Richwood.
The Tide hopes to pound the ball and keep the Cavaliers offense off the field. Juniors C.J. Winnell (109 carries, 647 yards and 7 touchdowns) and Colby Buzzard (70 carries, 546 yards and 4 touchdowns) led the way for the Tide in the backfield. Junior quarterback T.J. Hager has thrown for 630 yards and eight touchdowns on 42-of-82 passing. Winnell has 13 receptions for 100 yards and Buzzard has caught 11 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown. Dalton Rollo has seven catches for 182 yards and three scores.
Van finds 10th game
For weeks, Van coach Mark Agosti has been working the phones in search of a 10th game for his 17th-ranked Bulldogs.
The wait is over as Van will face Hurley (VA) Tuesday night at Hurley. The game replaces the Hannan game, which was cancelled at the beginning of the season when the small Mason County school elected to not field a team this season.
The Bulldogs, currently 4-3 on the year, were hoping to secure a 10th game to better their playoff chances at seasons end. While there is no disadvantage or advantage of playing nine games as opposed to 10, for Agosti the decision was simple.
“We signed up to play 10 games and our kids want to play 10 games,” Agosti said. “Playing nine don’t hurt you in the ratings, but we didn’t sign up to play nine.”
Hurley is 1-4 on the season heading into Friday’s contest at Grundy (VA). The Rebels have been outscored 197-90 in five games this season and their win was over Rye Cove (VA), 34-14, on Sept. 28.
It will be the first of two games next week for the Bulldogs as they are scheduled to host Buffalo on Oct. 29 before closing the season on the road at Tug Valley on Nov. 5.
Win all three and the Bulldogs would likely qualify for the postseason for the first time in three years.