CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Class AAA playoffs are becoming almost a given for George Washington, but coach Steve Edwards Jr. doesn't want it to seem that way.
He wants his players to remain humble and hungry, starting with tonight's first-round game against No. 9 seed Oak Hill (8-2) at Steve Edwards Sr. Field in South Hills.
It marks the seventh straight playoff season for GW (8-2), this time as a No. 8 seed. For the Red Devils, it's just the second trip since 2003, the other one coming last year when they fell at top-seeded Cabell Midland 52-20.
Even though the Patriots are used to making playoff runs, Edwards shot down any notion that his team might be looking ahead to a possible quarterfinal game against No. 1 seed Huntington - the one Mountain State Athletic Conference power GW hasn't met this season.
"They've been really good about focusing on Oak Hill,'' Edwards said. "It shows me that they have some experience about being in the playoffs. They know what they need to do, and that's encouraging to me.
"They know that when they get to the playoffs, it could be one and done. It's single-elimination, and there's not time to look ahead. There's no time to make mistakes because everybody's in the same boat we're in. They don't want their seasons to end, either. That's what makes it so much fun, and that's what makes it so important.''
Oak Hill arrives with a high-scoring offense led by Kennedy Award candidate Jalen Jones (1,535 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns). The Red Devils have scored 47 or more points five times this season.
They've also met four playoff teams, going 2-2 in those games (one a win against AA Nicholas County), while GW is 3-2 against teams in the AAA postseason.
"I understand that when you're in the playoffs, it's a big deal,'' said Oak Hill veteran coach Eddie Souk, who coached for many years at Mount Hope. "I don't know how many times George Washington has been there, but they have a great tradition with Coach Edwards and his staff.
"The kids understand what's facing us - it's a big challenge for us. Hopefully, it's a big challenge for George Washington. We're pretty deep in the backfield and we've got decent depth on the line.''
GW counters the Oak Hill punch of Jones, Jarrell Green and K.K. Goodman with its own high-scoring offense led by Draven Riffe (1,524 yards, 19 TDs). While Riffe sat out three games with an ankle injury, Jacob Jackson (1,221 yards, 15 TDs) filled in nicely.