James Richmond and Capital host Cabell Midland Friday night.
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:
Cabell Midland (5-1) at Capital (4-1) - The Knights rebounded from their first loss to thump Hurricane 63-14 Friday. The Cougars can only hope for the same after suffering their first defeat at Huntington 24-10.
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.
Hurricane (3-2) at George Washington (5-0) - These teams tangle for the fifth time in just over two years, with the Patriots taking the first four by similar scores - 35-0 (regular season) and 33-6 (playoffs) in 2011 and 41-14 (regular season) and 35-10 (playoffs) last season.
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are doubtlessly pleased that former GW whiz and Hurricane tormentor Ryan Switzer has moved on to college ball, but he's been replaced by Draven Riffe, who's given GW no dropoff at the running back position with 1,147 yards and 15 touchdowns - putting him ahead of Switzer's pace in either 2011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:
Wheeling Park (5-0) at Morgantown (5-1) - Beginning of a tough stretch for the unbeaten Patriots, who host Ohio power Steubenville on Oct. 25. Mohigans end up against Musselman (3-2), John Marshall (3-2) and University (5-1).
Oak Hill (5-0) at Point Pleasant (5-0) - What a matchup. Oak Hill's Jalen Jones, considered a top Kennedy Award candidate (963 rushing yards, 10.0 yards per carry, 12 TDs) against a Point defense that's allowed only 56 points.
Logan (4-1) at University (5-1) - Wildcats get a chance to show they deserve to be mentioned among Class AAA playoff contenders. Hawks end up with JM, Preston (2-4) and Morgantown.