CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The next blockbuster game in the Mountain State Athletic Conference comes this week when Cabell Midland visits Huntington on Friday. But it certainly won't be the last this season.
When the co-No. 2 Knights (3-0) battle the No. 1 Highlanders (3-0) for the top spot in the Class AAA playoff ratings, it's just the latest in a long line of showdowns among MSAC contenders.
Some other games to watch later this season include:
The current combined record of those five teams is 13-1, with the lone loss being SC's 34-27 setback to GW on opening night. Also, all five of those teams are among the top 14 in the AAA rankings, including co-No. 2 GW, co-No. 7 Capital and co-No. 14 SC.
Those big, big battles don't even include games involving some other MSAC playoff hopefuls such as co-No. 14 Winfield (2-1), co-No. 16 Hurricane (2-1) and co-No. 19 Princeton (2-1). The MSAC sports eight teams in the top 20 of the ratings.
The Midland-Huntington game deserves its top billing in the MSAC this week. The Knights, last year's state runners-up, are winning by an average score of 58-9 and the Highlanders own an average victory margin of 32-5.
Midland, in fact, is the state's highest-scoring team, leading Morgantown by a single point through three games (173-172).
Passing the test?
The saga of Hurricane quarterback Austin Hensley, who has started 26 games over the last three years, has been well-documented.
During the 2011-12 seasons, Hensley experienced a lot more success against the lesser teams on the Redskins' schedule, averaging 165 passing yards and throwing for 19 touchdowns against five interceptions against 10 non-playoff teams.
In 13 games against playoff teams, Hensley's per-game average dips to 128 yards with 12 TDs against 17 picks.