BUCKHANNON – Well, I wasn’t very good at spelling West Virginia in my headlines (my apologizes to the Tenney family) on Tuesday, but I am pretty good at picking football games.
Not to brag, but I did call the No. 16 Elkins upset over No. 1 Sissonville last week. If there was only a way I could use my natural talents of picking high school football games for profit. But I digress fans, I’m not encouraging anyone to start betting on high school football games.
Anyway, as I write this column Wednesday morning, there may not be many games to choose from this week based on that-ever-so popular WV DOE COVID-19 metrics map.
Right now, with 12 playoff games schedules, four in each classification, only seven are on track to be played.
Saturday’s DOE map is the standard bearer on this week/weekend’s games unless you go red (yes, what a mess). On Wednesday’s daily map, 18 counties were either coded orange or red.
The games affected where schools need their county to drop from out of the orange and red include in Class AAA, No. 6 Spring Valley (Wayne County) at No. 3 Musselman, in Class AA, No. 16 Elkins (Randolph County) against No. 8 Robert C. Byrd and in Class A, No. 16 Tygarts Valley (Randolph County) at No. 8 Pendleton County, No. 14 East Hardy at No. 11 Tolsia (both counties) and No. 5 Midland Trail (Fayette County) at No. 4 St. Marys. (See parings below).
It certainly is going to be an interesting final three weeks of the season.
Last week, I went perfect again with a 5-0 mark while my counterpart, Shea Phillips at No. 1 Auto Sales, went 4-1.
For the season, I now own a 42-11 record while Shea is currently seven games behind at 35-18.
If we have games, here are our predictions.
Bridgeport (7-1) at Martinsburg (5-1)
I am truly excited to see how this game plays out if the game happens. Two of the most prominent programs in the state will get to finally meet on the football field with Bridgeport’s move up to Class AAA this year. Martinsburg saw their winning streak snapped this year, but they are still in line to win fourth straight championship. I think Bridgeport will put up a good battle, but Martinsburg will march onto the semifinals. Shea agrees.
Duane: Martinsburg, 28-21; Shea: Martinsburg, 35-28.
Elkins (6-3) at Robert C. Byrd (7-2)
This is one game that may not be played, and this is the problem with the set up this year. Robert C. Byrd may slip into the semifinals, just one game away from the state championships game, without ever stepping on the field for a contest. Just doesn’t seem right. Shea is jumping on the Elkins bandwagon after their win over Sissonville last week while I am jumping off. These two teams met in the regular season in week one and it wasn’t pretty as the Eagles won by a 35-12 score. Sure, a lot has changed since week one, but I don’t see the result changing.
Duane: Robert C. Byrd, 42-19; Shea: Elkins, 28-27.
North Marion (6-3) at Bluefield (6-1)
North Marion has put together a very nice season and are a legit team in Class AA, but there is no way they make the trip to Bluefield and pull out a win against one of the most successful Class AA teams over the last decade.
Duane: Bluefield, 44-22; Shea: Bluefield, 14-10
Independence (5-2) at Fairmont Senior (8-2)
We might be looking at another Fairmont Senior and Bluefield clash in the Class AA title game. I don’t think Independence will put a stop to that potential matchup Friday night in Fairmont.
Duane: Fairmont Senior, 38-14; Shea: Fairmont Senior, 45-28.
Charlotte (2-3) at Marshall (7-0)
Well, I saw that this game was canceled as we headed to press so it was too late to find a replacement game. If anyone cares, Shea and I both picked Marshall to win. So far, this was the sixth NCAA Division I game to be postponed or canceled this week. I am sure more will follow.