CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Don't be swayed by the seedings in tonight's South Charleston at Wheeling Park game. All indications point to an entertaining, competitive contest.
The 12th-seeded Black Eagles (7-3), who end a three-year playoff hiatus with tonight's 7:30 kickoff, certainly have the full attention of the Patriots (9-1), the No. 5 seed who are hosting their first Class AAA playoff game since 2008.
"It should be real interesting,'' said Park coach Chris Daugherty, whose team has lost only a 41-38 overtime nailbiter to Morgantown.
"They can spread you out and have a ton of weapons - they can run the ball and they can throw the ball. But I think we're pretty balanced, too. We've done both all year long. I think we have some speed. Maybe not quite their speed, but we're pretty quick, too. It'll be interesting to see the matchups and how it plays out.''
Donnie Mays, South Charleston's first-year coach, thinks the game will be fun to watch and to play in.
"I've told a few people,'' Mays said, "that as a fan watching this game, I think it's going to be a heck of a matchup. You want games like this because you know your kids are going to come to play. Both teams are good and I think both are fairly athletic. We've got a lot of athletes and they do, too - offense, defense and special teams.''
For SC, whose only losses have come to No. 1 Huntington, No. 3 Capital and No. 8 George Washington by a total of 14 points, the ringleaders of the offense are sophomore quarterback Kentre Grier and junior running back A.D. Cunningham.
Grier has thrown for 1,969 yards and 25 touchdowns while completing 59.9 percent of his passes with only five interceptions. His top targets include returning all-stater Kevin Forrest (42 receptions, 771 yards, 10 TDs), Fred Crozier (38 catches, 444 yards, six TDs) and Marquel Hampton (24 catches, 369 yards, five TDs).
Cunningham, who missed one game with an injury, has gained 987 yards on the ground with 10 scores and is a viable option in the passing game with 13 catches for 202 yards and three TDs.