CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Now it starts to get interesting. Really interesting.
A series of showdowns among Class AAA schools Friday stands to juggle the playoff ratings as high school football teams begin their stretch runs.
At least a half-dozen games carry serious postseason implications for both teams, including a pair of Mountain State Athletic Conference clashes. All the schools involved in these contests were listed in the top 18 of the most recent SSAC playoff rankings:
Last year, a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns rescued Midland from a 13-7 deficit as it eased past Capital 21-13, keeping its unbeaten streak alive. The Knights won their first 13 before losing to Martinsburg in the state finals.
The Redskins are doubtlessly pleased that former GW whiz and Hurricane tormentor Ryan Switzer has moved on to college ball, but he's been replaced by Draven Riffe, who's given GW no dropoff at the running back position with 1,147 yards and 15 touchdowns - putting him ahead of Switzer's pace in either 2011 and 2012.
Other top AAA games from around the state:
Of course, the eyes of most AAA teams across West Virginia will follow the ongoing legal battle centering around Martinsburg senior quarterback Malique Watkins, who has been declared ineligible by the SSAC but received an injunction to play in Friday's 34-0 win against Washington.