Wayne looking to repeat as Class AA state champs
by Paul Adkins
WAYNE — The Wayne High School football team punched its ticket to Wheeling with an 18-0 win over Keyser in the Class AA state semifinals on Friday night at Wayne’s Pioneer Field.
No. 1-ranked Wayne (13-0), a Cardinal Conference team and the defending Class AA state champions, will go for two titles in a row when it is scheduled to play No. 2 Keyser (12-1) this coming Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Wayne junior Nathan Spurlock ran for a 212 yards in his first start at running back while Grant Ferguson and James Egnor combined for 202 more to lead the Pioneers over No. 4 Robert C. Byrd.
Robert C. Byrd was held to just 55 yards of total offense.
“It was a great Wayne victory and a great Wayne effort,” Wayne coach Tom Harmon said.
The Pioneers won the game despite not having the services of their top two rushers.
Brandon Spurlock, Wayne’s leading runner and a Kennedy Award contender for state player of the year, did not play after a leg injury sustained in last week’s win over Nicholas County. Mason Hodge was limited to defense only after suffering a leg injury in the same win.
But Nathan Spurlock and a dominating performance from the offensive line helped ensure his older brother would at least put on a Wayne jersey one more time.
“I would say brothers had some conversations about whether Brandon would get to play again. I had no doubt what kind of effort Nathan would put into it,” Harmon said. “The kid’s got a heart the size of a lion. He and James Egnor and Grant Ferguson took up some of the slack in our running game.”
The Pioneers (13-0) churned out 485 yards of total offense, including 436 on the ground.
The RCB Eagles ran 23 times for just 17 net yards as a team as Wayne dominated the game in the trenches.
After failing to score on its opening drive for just the second time all season, Ferguson put Wayne on the board first with a 13-yard keeper and a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. Wayne ground out another clock-eating drive in the second quarter, capped by Kurt Langdon-Arthur’s 5 yard sweep and a 12-0 advantage.
And while Egnor’s first 13 carries netted just 15 yards, the senior saved his best for late in the game, running for 76 yards on his last five attempts, including a 36-yard scoring run with 7:57 to go that was effectively the dagger.
The Eagles (11-2) ran just four plays from scrimmage in the fourth quarter.
KEYSER — The Keyser Golden Tornado advanced to the Class AA state championship game for the first time since 1969 on Friday afternoon, defeating the Bridgeport Indians for the second time this season, 42-14, at home.
Keyser (12-1) will face Wayne in the 2A state championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
For the Golden Tornado, who broke the school record for wins with the victory, Blake Ravenscroft rushed 13 times for 241 yards and three touchdowns of 28, 72, and 55 yards, while Danny Fife carried 12 times for 74 yards and a score.
Cody Eversole threw for 50 yards, including a 37-yard TD pass to J.R. Flint.
Bridgeport’s Brett Hathaway found the going difficult, carrying 33 times for 135 yards, partially inflated by a 34-yard carry in the second half, and a touchdown.
Cameron Stanley rushed six times for 39 yards and a TD. Troy Anderson completed 4-of-9 passes for 88 yards with an interception.
Ravenscroft scored on his first carry of the game after a Bridgeport punt to give KHS the lead for good. The Tornado led 21-0 at the half.
Cabell Midland 35,
ONA — David Gaydosz carried 22 times for 300 yards and one touchdown, a 96-yard gallop that broke a tie late in the third quarter in Ona Friday night and led No. 1 Cabell Midland to a 35-28 win over No. 5 Morgantown in the Class AAA semifinals.
Taylor Farley added 97 yards on 25 carries and three short TD runs for the Knights (13-0), who advance to the state finals for the first time in school history. Cabell Midland will meet No. 2 Martinsburg in the title game at noon on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Morgantown (10-3) led at halftime 21-14 on three big plays — a 60-yard run by Shane Commodore, a 31-yard interception return by Alex Weidman and a 44-yard pass from Mark Johnson to Blaine Stewart.
Commodore had 16 carries for 160 yards for the Mohigans.
George Washington 14
MARTINSBURG — On the very first play from scrimmage, a shotgun snap skidded past Martinsburg quarterback Justin “Cookie” Clinton, who was clearly not ready for it, resulting in a 19-yard loss and ratcheting up the pressure in an already crucial Class AAA semifinal game.
But as George Washington found out early and often, even in the most intense situations, this Cookie just doesn’t crumble.
Clinton more than made up for his early loss of concentration, running for 157 yards and five touchdowns in the first half alone and adding a record-breaking sixth in the second half as No. 2 Martinsburg steamrolled the No. 3 Patriots 63-14 Friday at Cobourn Field, punching a ticket to the Super Six at Wheeling Island Stadium next weekend.
The Bulldogs (12-1) will be looking for their third consecutive state championship, which would be a first in Class AAA since Charleston High School did it from 1968-1970.
But before Martinsburg worried about this year’s championship game, the Bulldogs more than took care of a GW team they beat in last year’s title game.
Clinton ended with a game-high 197 rushing yards on 22 carries and six scores, setting a Class AAA preliminary playoff round record for rushing touchdowns.
While Clinton was lethal running the ball, the Martinsburg defense did more than its part, bottling up Switzer for the most part while forcing mistakes out of the rest of GW’s offense.
Switzer accounted for 117 yards and a score on 23 carries, caught four passes for 69 yards and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Trevor Bell. But the rest of the GW runners accounted for just 6 yards on 16 rushes, and while Bell threw for 149 yards, he was picked off three times.
The end was actually sealed due to a couple of early, critical GW errors.
Down 14-0 in the first quarter, Switzer got rolling a bit as he ripped off runs of 25 and 16 yards to set the Patriots (10-3) up deep in Martinsburg territory.
After three marginal plays, Bell completed a pass to Trevon Johnson on fourth-and-9 that would have given GW a first down from the Bulldogs’ 11-yard line.
Instead, an illegal-procedure penalty negated the play, and after a fourth-and-14 attempt failed, Martinsburg marched back down the field to go up 21-0.
On the ensuing George Washington drive, the Patriots went 3-and-out, and to make matters worse, punter Clayton Anderson mishandled the snap and was tackled before he could get the ball off.
Martinsburg (12-1) took over at the GW 6-yard line and two plays later Clinton scored his fourth touchdown.
Needless to say, Black Friday turned out to be all that and then some for coach Steve Edwards Jr. and the Patriots.
Most importantly for the Bulldogs, Clinton turned out to be the total package on Friday. The senior, who is replacing two-time state-champion quarterback Brandon Ashenfelter, has churned out quite the season and is one step away from
completing one of the most dominant three-year runs any school has ever had in the history of the state’s highest classification.
While it was all smiles on the winning side, Edwards and GW fans will now have to say goodbye to a group of seniors that played in 11 playoff games over the past four years, among other accomplishments.
Trey Boyd added 79 yards on 12 carries and a pair of touchdowns for Martinsburg while Cedric Brown also added a 16-yard scoring scamper.
Martinsburg will face Cabell Midland in the Class AAA state finals next week in Wheeling.
* Both Class A state semifinal games were scheduled to be played on Saturday afternoon. No. 1 Tucker County (12-0) was slated to host No. 4 Weirton Madonna (11-1), while No. 2 Magnolia (11-1) battled with No. 3 Wahama (12-0) at home.
The two winners are set to meet next Saturday night in the Class A state championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium.
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