Class AA No. 5-ranked Mingo Central’s surprise 45-6 loss at Westside in Friday night’s regular season finale had a far-reaching, ripple effect across the West Virginia high school football playoff landscape.
Several teams moved up and down the rankings as a result and the cascading implications were felt locally in Logan County.
Coupled with Man’s 42-22 victory on Friday night at home over Van and with the bonus points gained with the Hillbillies’ win earlier in the season at Westside, Man (8-2) is projected to be the No. 5 seed for the Class A playoffs.
That would put Man in a possible first-round post-season game against No. 12 Tug Valley (7-3), possibly on Friday night at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
That, however, is unofficial at this time.
Man and Tug Valley met in last year’s Round of 16 playoffs with the higher-seeded Panthers winning 16-12 in a game played at Mingo Central.
The Hillbillies and Panthers just met a couple of weeks ago at Tug Valley as Man won a 14-12 overtime thriller.
The upset win by Westside will likely put the Renegades in the top 16 playoff field in Class AA.
With the loss, Mingo Central (8-2) would drop down to the No. 7 seed and would host No. 10 seeded Summers County (8-2) in a projected first-round game.
The Mingo Central-Westside game on Friday night was a highly controversial one and fodder on social media and on high school football message boards.
Mingo Central, reportedly, benched many of its starting players and rested some of its injured players, primarily using JV players against Westside.
Some posters allege it was done on purpose, so the Miners would drop in the ratings and get a more favorable draw.
More importantly, Mingo Central would be placed in the opposite bracket away from No. 1-ranked Bridgeport, the defending Class AA state champions and the overwhelming favorite in the tournament.
Bridgeport (9-0-1) is projected to meet No. 16 Independence (7-3) in a first-round playoff game.
Chapmanville Regional (7-3), which was idle on Friday night, is now projected to be the No. 8 seed and host an opening-round playoff game this weekend against No. 9 Robert C. Byrd (7-3). The winner of the RCB-Chapmanville game would then have to travel to Bridgeport most likely for a state quarterfinal game.
The Tigers have not hosted a home playoff game since 2008 when Chapmanville lost 33-0 to James Monroe.
The lower-seeded team gets the option of playing on either Friday night or Saturday afternoon. That is usually determined by travel distance and venue availability.
Westside is the projected No. 12 seed and would play at No. 5 Keyser (8-2). Projected No. 13 Lincoln (7-3) would play at No. 4 Fairmont (8-2). Fairmont lost 35-0 at Bridgeport on Friday night. No. 15 Weir (7-3) is predicted to play at No. 2 Bluefield (8-1).
The Mingo Central-Summers County winner would then likely have to play at Bluefield in the quarterfinals.
The projected bottom part of the Class AA bracket has No. 14 Liberty Raleigh (7-3) traveling on the road to play at No. 3 Tolsia (9-1) and No. 11 Herbert Hoover (7-3) going to No. 6 James Monroe (8-2).
The official playoff brackets in all three classes are expected to be released on Sunday afternoon. All playoff coaches are to meet on Sunday at the WVSSAC offices in Parkersburg.
Mingo Central’s unexpected loss to Westside on Friday night might have also cost North Marion a spot in the Class AA playoffs.
Needing a win on Friday night at No. 8-ranked Lincoln to stay alive, North Marion (5-5) was able to score a 51-42 victory. They were left out of the top 16, however, and Westside shot up with the Renegades’ win over Mingo Central.
Chapmanville is expected to garner 8.9 points and the No. 8 seed. RCB and Summers County are expected to have 8.8 points apiece with RCB getting the tie-breaker and the No. 9 spot.
Had Mingo Central beat Westside, Chapmanville would have been projected to play Summers County in the first round instead of RCB.
The Miners kept injured running back Deonte Joplin, quarterback Stephen Hammond, and other key players on the bench on Friday night at Westside.
It took less than two hours to play the game and less than two quarters for the Renegades to build a big lead.
“We had got wind of them keeping out some injured players,” Westside coach Larry Cook told the Pineville Independent-Herald.
Cook started sending in his second and third stringers in the second quarter.
Westside scored early and often.
“I’ve never been in a situation like this,” Cook said of the game.
The Renegades were subbing by the second quarter. Jacob Stafford had touchdown runs of 12 and 66 yards as the lead swelled to 39-0.
The projected Class A playoff field has: No. 16 Van at No. 1 Magnolia; No. 9 Pocahontas County at No. 8 Williamstown; No. 13 Meadow Bridge at No. 4 Moorefield; No. 12 Tug Valley at No. 5 Man; No. 15 Bishop Donahue at No. 2 East Hardy; No. 10 Pendleton County at No. 7 Wheeling Central; No. 14 Valley Wetzel at No. 3 South Harrison; and No. 11 St. Marys at No. 6 Buffalo.
The projected Class AAA playoff field has: No. 16 Princeton (5-5) at No. 1 Cabell Midland (8-2); No. 9 Brooke (7-3) at No. 8 Morgantown (8-2); No. 13 Spring Mills (7-3) at No. 4 Capital (7-2); No. 12 Greenbrier East (7-3) at No. 5 Martinsburg (7-2); No. 15 Musselman (6-4) at No. 2 Point Pleasant (10-0); No. 10 George Washington (7-3) at No. 7 Huntington (8-2); No. 14 Spring Valley (6-4) at No. 3 Wheeling Park (8-1-1); and No. 11 South Charleston (7-3) at No. 6 Jefferson (8-2).
Final Football Standings
TEAM CONF. ALL PF PA
Tolsia 7-0 9-1 439 229
Mingo Central 6-1 8-2 486 199
Chapmanville 4-3 7-3 389 330
Herbert Hoover 4-3 7-3 352 238
Wayne 4-3 5-5 303 305
Sissonville 2-5 5-5 273 215
Scott 1-6 2-8 208 396
Poca 0-7 0-10 182 592
Friday, November 6 games:
Logan 28, Scott 18
Westside 45, Mingo Central 6
Bluefield 41, Wayne 14
Tolsia 61, Poca 32
Herbert Hoover 36, Lincoln County 18
Sissonville 33, Braxton County 14
Chapmanville — BYE WEEK
END OF REGULAR SEASON
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).