Wayne rolls into Class AA state semifinals
by Paul Adkins
WAYNE — The Wayne train keeps chugging along.
The No. 1-ranked Wayne High School football team, the defending Class AA state champions, rolled to a 47-0 win at home over Nicholas County on Friday night in the 2A state quarterfinals at Wayne’s Pioneer Field.
The Pioneers, a Cardinal Conference team, set a Class AA preliminary round playoff record with 680 yards of total offense against the No. 9-ranked Grizzlies.
Wayne (12-0) is scheduled to host No. 4 Robert C. Byrd (11-1) next week in the semifinals.
Mason Hodge ran for 144 yards and two scores, while also catching a 71-yard scoring pass. The sophomore scored on a 92-yard run on the opening play of the game.
Nearly lost in the shuffle for a change was senior running back Brandon Spurlock, who ran for 172 yards on 14 carries. Spurlock surpassed the 1,800-yard mark, and set the single-season school record for rushing yards.
But the carry that set the record might be unforgettable for a different reason. Spurlock broke into the open field with nothing but grass ahead of him, before pulling up with an apparent leg injury. He did not return.
Hodge also left the game with an injury to his ankle.
Both appeared to be in good spirits after the win.
Sophomore quarterback Grant Ferguson threw for 143 yards and ran for 34 more. The Pioneers rolled up 537 yards on the ground, which tied the playoff record set by James Monroe in 2005.
Nicholas County (7-4) had just 138 total yards.
Robert C. Byrd 34,
CLARKSBURG — Mason Compton returned the game’s opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown as the No. 4 Robert C. Byrd Eagles quickly proved it could match Bluefield’s speed in a 34-20 Class AA playoff victory on Friday night at home.
Robert C. Byrd’s size and ability to control the line of scrimmage was the difference though as it reached the school’s first-ever berth in the state semifinals.
Compton added a 60-yard touchdown reception as well as two interceptions on defense. RCB’s Tre Cox added a pair of touchdowns on the ground and Iziah Hill caught a 16-yard touchdown pass, his 12th of the season.
Bluefield’s potent ground attack was kept in check with 167 yards. Montel Leggett had 85 yards to lead the Beavers.
BRIDGEPORT — Brett Hathaway rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns, and the third-seeded Bridgeport Indians limited the Falcons to 161 total yards in Friday night’s 28-0 win over Frankfort in Class AA quarterfinal playoff action.
Anthony Caldera added an 8-yard touchdown run, and Tyler Marks returned an interception 24 yards for a score for the Indians which improved to 9-2.
No. 6 Frankfort (9-3) managed only 35 rushing yards, while Bridgeport (9-2) totaled 306 yards on the ground.
George Washington 41,
Lewis County 14
CHARLESTON — Ryan Switzer ran 18 times for 174 yards and four touchdowns and returned an interception 68 yards for another score Friday night as No. 3 George Washington earned a 41-14 Class AAA quarterfinal round playoff victory against No. 11 Lewis County at home.
Switzer had scoring runs of 1, 4, 53 and 11 yards for the Patriots (10-2), who travel to No. 2 Martinsburg in next weekend’s semifinals. GW lost to Martinsburg 35-27 in last year’s title game.
Also for the Patriots, Jacob Jackson stripped the ball from a Lewis County running back and returned it 90 yards for a second-quarter score.
For the Minutemen (9-3), playing in the quarterfinal round for the first time, fullback Mark Metzgar carried 23 times for 121 yards. Lewis’ other 1,000-yard rusher on the season, Caleb Butcher, was held to 35 yards on 15 attempts but did turn in two short TD runs.
HUNTINGTON — Shane Commodore has kept Morgantown’s playoff ship afloat.
The 6-foot-2, 193-pound senior tailback turned in 243 yards on 20 carries with four touchdowns to lead the No. 5 Mohigans past No. 4 Huntington 35-14 Friday night in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
A crowd of about 800 at Bob Sang Stadium watched Morgantown win its first game on the road in the postseason since 1996.
Morgantown (10-2) will take on another Cabell County school in next week’s semifinals, playing at No. 1 Cabell Midland (12-0) with the date and time to be determined Sunday. The Knights edged No. 8 Spring Valley 28-26 Friday night.
Commodore has carried more of the rushing load since top back Chazzy Thomas was injured in the next-to-last game of the regular season. Commodore, who played wide receiver and only had a handful of carries on the season, was the leading ground gainer in last week’s 49-28 opening-round win over Point Pleasant with 153 yards and three scores.
Commodore had 190 yards on nine carries with four TDs at halftime of Friday’s win over Huntington. (9-3). He also came up with an interception in the second half from his safety position.
Cabell Midland 28,
Spring Valley 26
ONA — David Gaydosz found yards tough to come by Friday night against an inspired, physical Spring Valley team, but the Cabell Midland star couldn’t be kept penned up all night.
With two long runs, he essentially took down the Timberwolves.
He had lots of help from his fellow Knights, but his 48-yard touchdown run and 57-yarder to set up another gave Midland a 28-26 victory in a thriller before an overflow crowd at “The Castle.”
Top-seeded Midland (12-0) survived 155 yards by Spring Valley’s Ryan George and 152 yards by Elijah Wellman, with Wellman scoring three times and George once on a 34-yard run.
Both teams scored four touchdowns, but Nicholas Boone blocked an extra point and Tyler Hayes stonewalled Wellman on a 2-point conversion with 6:48 left. After that, defensive lineman Cameron Gould led a charge that didn’t give the Timberwolves (9-3) another chance.
But the highlight reel belonged to Gaydosz, who rushed for 179 yards despite having an early 58-yard TD run called back by a penalty. Gaydosz came to Cabell Midland this season after transferring from Winfield.
Midland was down 20-14 after Wellman’s 5-yard run, set up by consecutive George runs of 16 and 24 yards, and had to respond.
MARTINSBURG — Even before Martinsburg quarterback Justin Clinton had warmed up, his team gave him a lead.
He just happened to expand it.
In a big way.
The senior ran for 254 yards and four touchdowns as Martinsburg issued a resounding statement with a 50-7 win over Berkeley rival Musselman Friday night at Martinsburg’s Cobourn Field in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs.
Martinsburg (11-1) will now host George Washington in the semifinals next week in a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
Martinsburg got a big break right off the bat, when Tyshawn Smith recovered a Musselman onside kick attempt to start the game and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown and an 8-0 lead just six seconds into a the rematch of a game three weeks ago. Martinsburg won that game 73-0.
In addition to his big night on the ground Clinton also completed 9 of 15 passes for 112 yards.
Weirton Madonna 29,
St. Marys 14
WEIRTON — Ross Comis threw for 144 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 59 yards and two scores and came up with a big interception on the goal line as Weirton Madonna advanced to the Class A semifinals with a victory against St. Marys on Friday night.
The Blue Dons will face the winner of Saturday’s matchup between Tucker County (11-0), ranked No. 1 in the state, and Clay-Battelle (10-1).
Madonna’s Elliot Nero caught two of the touchdowns, including a 60-yarder on third-and-18 late in the fourth quarter to seal a victory.
David Gray paced the Blue Devils with 136 rushing yards. Derek Barnhart and Andrew Cosper scored the St. Marys touchdowns.
Madonna had advanced with a 58-12 victory over Tug Valley at home last week in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
Saturday’s other two Class A playoff games pitted No. 7 East Hardy (10-1) at No. 2 Magnolia (10-1) and No. 6 Greenbrier West (10-1) at No. 3 Wahama (11-0).
* In the Class AA playoffs, Saturday’s lone game had No. 7 Scott (8-3) traveling to No. 2 Keyser (10-1) to face off against the Golden Tornado.
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