Wahama, Greenbrier West likely to grind it out
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When No. 3 Wahama travels to Point Pleasant today to play Greenbrier West in the Class A state football quarterfinals, don't expect the ball to be in the air much.
"We're going to have to play our best and run the ball hard," said Wahama coach Ed Cromley. "Greenbrier West is a very good team, so we're going to have to hold on to the ball."
Wahama and West kick off their quarterfinal game at 1:30 p.m. at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field, where Wahama has gone 6-0 all-time in playoff games.
The White Falcons (11-0) have a lethal one-two offensive punch in the backfield with junior Kane Roush and senior Zach Wamsley. Roush has accumulated 1,460 yards on 94 carries and 22 touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per carry, while Wamsley has rushed 151 times for 1,070 yards and 20 TDs.
"Kane does a lot of rushing on the outside, while Zach gets the tough yardage up the middle," Cromley said. "They really complement each other and their stats really show it."
However, don't be fooled into thinking that Wahama doesn't have good passing attack. Quarterback Trenton Gibbs went 49 for 92 for 987 yards and 12 touchdowns with only four interceptions on the season.
"Trent does a real good job managing the game," Cromley said. "He does a fine job throwing the ball. He's really important to our offense."
Defense also plays an important part for the White Falcons, who have 20 takeaways - 13 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries.
"To have a lot of interceptions, you have to have people that will throw against you," said Cromley. "We had 26 interceptions last season, but more and more teams are becoming conservative nowadays."
One of those conservative teams is No. 6 Greenbrier West (10-1).
Quarterback Malik Boatwright has thrown the ball for 344 yards and four touchdowns this season, but feels more comfortable running the ball. Boatwright has 176 carries for 1,589 yards and 17 TDs, while running back Tyler Parker has racked up 1,057 yards and 18 touchdowns for Greenbrier West.
"We've been blessed to have these guys on the team," said Cavalier coach Lewis McClung. "They both have different styles. And with Malik as quarterback, that gives us the chance to run the option."
Receiver Josh Martin, who stands at 6-foot-7, reeled in 25 passes this season for 616 yards and eight touchdowns.
"We don't throw the ball just to throw the ball," McClung said. "Josh has taken a lot of heat off of our running game. He's a big target and defenses have to respect him. He's made the most of the opportunities he's been presented with this season."