With impressive wins over Spring Valley and at Parkersburg, Cabell Midland had already made a strong case for a top-five ranking in Class AAA when the first playoff ratings come out.
The Knights gave Kanawha County its first glimpse on Friday and did nothing but build upon their early success.
Using a three-headed monster of a backfield, Midland rode its ground game to the tune of 474 rushing yards, including 100-yard games from three different backs, in a dominating 52-19 win at Riverside.
The numbers and points piled up while a couple of school records went down, and all the while Cabell Midland looked every bit the part of a state championship contender.
"It's tough to play on the road," Midland coach Luke Salmons said. "It's a challenge but the kids did a good job tonight. The offense played well at times, made some mistakes, but expectations just change. Last year we were 0-2 playing Riverside, now it's 2-0 playing Riverside and it's different. The kids have done a great job. They've worked hard for this and anytime you can win on the road in this conference it's a good thing."
Senior fullback Lowell Farley churned out a game-best 165 yards on 16 carries and scored a trio of touchdowns from 72, 12, and 1 yard out. In the process, he also became Midland's all-time leading rusher.
"I didn't even know who the all-time leading rusher was or if I broke it," Farley said. "But it's an exciting moment when they tell me that I am. Especially as a fullback. Just running downhill, working hard to get extra yards, and I guess it paid off in the end."
Farley, David Gaydosz (138 rushing yards on 14 carries) and Stephen Matthews (139 yards on 12 carries) could run down, around, or uphill on Friday as Midland's offensive line consistently blew the Warriors off the line of scrimmage in visibly dominating fashion.
Often times, the Midland backs weren't touched until they were deep into the second or even third level of Riverside's defense, and with a full head of steam and room to operate, all three were more than a handful to stop all night.
"[The offensive line] is good," Salmons said. "We knew that going into the year. We have four out of five starters back and two kids that rotate in. So we have six offensive linemen and they're fresh, they play offense only. Without them, we don't have anything."
Trevor Rumberg and the Warriors had their moments and looked poised to jump back into the game coming out of the half. William Jackson took the opening handoff of the second half and sprinted 60 yards for a score to cut the Knights' lead to 35-19.