Diving into the state high school semifinal playoff contests


BUCKHANNON – If you follow college football, you know the Florida State and Clemson game was canceled at the last second because a member of the Clemson traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney blasted the Seminoles for the decision to cancel.

That got me thinking, could you imagine if the NCAA followed Governor Justice’s ridiculous color-coded map?

Could you see Big Jim calling up Nick Saban in Alabama and saying, “Sorry Nick, Alabama went red on the map, your Crimson Tide can’t play this week.”

It would be as ridiculous at the national level just like it is the state level.

Turning to the Fearless Football Forecast, we only had three games played last week on our schedule. I went 3-0 and my counterpart, Number One Auto Sales Manager Shea Phillips went 2-1.

With just this week and next week left, I own a 45-11 record while Shea holds a 37-19 record.

Now onto our, ahem, scheduled games as Shea and I agree on just one pick this week.

Bridgeport (7-1) at Cabell Midland (5-0)

Cabell Midland is the only top seed remaining in the three classes. Class AA’s Sissonville was upset by Elkins and Class A Tug Valley was chewed up by the map.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that the Bridgeport-Martinsburg game wasn’t played as I felt that game would have truly been an instant classic. If having last week off for the Indians didn’t make the Tribe rusty, and I don’t think it will, I think they will knock off the last remaining No. 1.

Duane: Bridgeport, 28-21; Shea: Bridgeport, 35-28.

Musselman (7-1) at South Charleston (6-0)

South Charleston actually had to play their game last week while Musselman didn’t. At this point of this absurd season, I don’t really know if that is beneficial or detrimental.

South Charleston is pretty good but Musselman is probably just a step better.

I think Musselman makes the Class AAA title game.

Duane: Musselman, 35-23; Shea: South Charleston, 21-20.

Fairmont Senior (9-2) at Bluefield (7-1)

Boy do these two teams have a long history of meeting in the postseason, as this is the fourth consecutive year, they will meet in the playoffs including twice in the Class AA title game. Bluefield beat Fairmont Senior in the title game in 2017, 29-26, Fairmont Senior defeated Bluefield in the championship clash in 2018, 23-13 and Bluefield beat Fairmont Senior last year in the semifinals, 40-24. No offense to the other semifinal game (see below) but this probably should be the championship game. Bluefield wins a close one.

Duane: Bluefield, 41-38; Shea: Fairmont Senior, 49-28.

Robert C. Byrd (8-2) at Oak Glen (8-1)

Oak Glen got beat in the semifinals last year by Bridgeport and they face another Harrison County team this year in Robert C. Byrd. I think it will be a different result for the Golden Bears this year, but they must find a way to shutdown Eagles tailback Jeremiah King who ran for 228 yards last week against Elkins and caught a 64-yard touchdown pass.

Duane: Oak Glen, 29-26; Shea: Robert C. Byrd, 28-21.

Oklahoma (6-2) at West Virginia (5-3)

Imagine the ramifications of this game if WVU had simply beaten three-win Texas Tech a few weeks ago. A spot in the Big 12 title game would be on the line. Not sure it really would have mattered though as we know there are a few things in sports that always happen, and the Sooners beating WVU is one of them.

Duane: Oklahoma, 37-13; Shea: WVU, 35-24.

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