CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Several lower seeds have their eyes set on state semifinal spots tonight as the Class AA football playoffs resume with the quarterfinal round.
A pair of double-digit seeds tangle in Ellenboro as No. 12 Ritchie County (8-3) hosts No. 13 Robert C. Byrd (8-3), while No. 11 Nicholas County (9-2) visits No. 3 Bluefield (9-2). Both games kick off at 7:30.
Dual-threat quarterback Alex Lipscomb directs the attack for Ritchie, rushing for 1,078 yards and 10 touchdowns and passing for 1,904 yards and 20 TDs. His top targets are Dylan Frye (24 catches, 565 yards, six TDs) and Jayden Allender (19 catches, 440 yards, six TDs).
RCB's rushing attack is balanced, with Juwan Jones-Wright (602 yards, 11 TDs) and Elias Grant (554 yards, seven TDs) at the top of the list. Julian Marino has thrown for 1,007 yards and 11 scores.
The Rebels are 3-2 against teams that made the postseason this year and the Eagles 1-3.
Bluefield, which has piled up 50 points or more seven times in 11 games, goes against a Nicholas defense that owns four shutouts. Aside from a 47-14 loss to Class AAA playoff entry Oak Hill, the Grizzlies have allowed only eight TDs in their 10 other games.
D.J. Stewart (1,061 yards, 19 TDs) and Cory Coppola (932 yards, 13 TDs) lead the running game for the Beavers, with R.J. Bourne (1,585 yards, 20 TDs) providing the passing.
On offense, the Grizzlies rely on the all-around play of running back-receiver-returner Wil Mayes and the passing of Tyler Sagraves. Austin Hill is a reliable kicker.