ONA - In a first-round Class AAA battle of two powerful running teams, Cabell Midland overwhelmed outmanned Oak Hill 52-20 Friday night.
As expected, the No. 1 Knights (11-0) worked their trio of backs David Gaydosz, Lowell Farley and Kasey Thomas to slash through the Red Devil defense to the tune of 480 yards on 49 carries.
"We didn't play good early but that was because they were super-hyped," said Knights coach Luke Salmons. "We'll do better next week. They knew what they did wrong, but we won and that's all that matters.
"If we don't score 40 or get a shutout or hold them to 7 or so, our guys are pressing. We need to relax and understand there are going to be some close games and it's going to get tougher."
No. 16 Oak Hill (7-4) relied on the running and special teams play of Jalen Jones to put up a game effort early, but could not muster the defense to slow down the Knights' power rushing game or break the long runs of Gaydosz.
"A lot of people downed us because they want us to get in the MSAC, but I think we made a statement tonight," said Oak Hill coach Eddie Souk. "We played with these guys a little bit. We moved the ball up and down the field and that's all we can ask of these kids. You gotta remember we're one of the smallest triple-A schools in the state playing against the biggest school in the state."
The Knights led off the scoring with an electrifying 51-yard run by Gaydosz, who weaved across the field twice before breaking into the open for the score. The Red Devils returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Knights' 36, but could not move it from there.
On the next series, Gaydosz hit paydirt again on a 60-yard run through the middle of the Red Devil defense, giving the Knights a 14-0 lead.
Midway through the second quarter and down 21-0, the Red Devils got on the board as Jones scored from 3 yards out after returning a kickoff 60 yards to the Knights' 6-yard line.
The teams traded scores before the half as K.K. Goodman went in from 6 yards out for Oak Hill and Gaydosz reeled off another exciting 46-yard run on a well-executed trap play to set the score at 28-12.
The second half began with a 6-minute drive by the Red Devils that bogged down on the Knights' 22 when a bad snap on a fourth down turned the ball over. The Knights took it downfield on the following drive, with Farley going in from the 1 to stretch the lead to 35-12.
"We made some adjustments at halftime but, as we did in the first quarter, we shot ourselves in the foot in the third quarter," added Souk.
For the Devils, Jones ran for 135 yards on 25 carries and added three catches for 21 yards.
The Knights were led by Gaydosz's 268 yards on 15 carries. Farley added 70 yards on 12 totes.