Wellman, committed to play at West Virginia, took over in a big way. With his team facing fourth-and-5, the 6-foot-3, 232-yard back bolted around left end for 42 yards, finally going down at the Midland 18. After Brown was bailed out on a fumbled snap, Wellman scored from 17 yards and made it look easy.
There was no question who would get the ball on the 2-point conversion.
"If I had to call that play again, I'd call it 10 times. I'd put it in [Wellman's] hands," said Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess.
But on this carry, Wellman never came close to getting those game-tying 3 yards. Hayes led the swarm of Knights, struck Wellman dead center and never let go.
"Defense played well," said Midland coach Luke Salmons. "They made plays when they had to, and that's how it is in the playoffs. You're not going to shut anybody out, and you've got to bend at times, and when you've got to make a stand, they made a stand."
No. 8 seed Spring Valley got the ball back with 4:12 left and went in reverse. That started with George getting belted for a 3-yard loss and Wellman being stopped for no gain on second down.
On third down, Brown tried a keeper and got tossed around by Gould in what looked like a human hammer throw. After a false start, Brown couldn't connect with Cory Hughart on a fourth-and-17 pass, though Hughart wanted a pass-interference call.
Midland advances to the semifinals next weekend to take on Morgantown, which will return to Cabell County after dispatching Huntington. Spring Valley, which started the season with losses to Midland and Huntington, came to a thrilling, agonizing end of the road.
"I just look at the beginning of the year, to what they did in this game, and those kids have come leaps and bounds," Dingess said. "For the most part, especially when we were on offense, we controlled the line of scrimmage and blocked them. That makes you feel good in a way, but that's a tough way to lose a ballgame."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.