SHORT GAP, W.Va. — For the first time in almost a year, West Virginia and Maryland high school football teams will play on the same night, as West Virginia enters Week 9 and Maryland schools begin their seasons.
Frankfort was set to highlight the night’s action, hosting Oak Glen in a clash of one-loss teams, but Mineral County announced Thursday that extracurricular activities for the Frankfort School District would be canceled Thursday and Friday, nixing a matchup between West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission points standings No. 3 and No. 4 teams.
Greenway Avenue Stadium sees its first high school football action as Allegany plays host to Northern.
Following back-to-back 60-plus point performances, Keyser looks to win its third in a row when the Golden Tornado travel to John Marshall.
Meanwhile, Petersburg looks to get back on the winning track when it hosts Tucker County.
Hampshire rounds out the night’s action when the Trojans travel to Washington.
All West Virginia games kick off at 7 p.m. Action at Greenway begins at 6:30 p.m.
Maryland high school action continues tomorrow afternoon, 1 p.m., at Greenway Avenue Stadium where Fort Hill plays Mountain Ridge.
East Hardy (5-1) is idle this week, as is Southern Garrett (0-0). Moorefield (3-2) had yet another game canceled due to COVID after the Yellow Jackets’ trip to Pendleton was halted after Pendleton County moved to gold in Saturday’s West Virginia COVID metrics map.
Northern (0-0) at Allegany (0-0)
Last season, the Huskies beat the Campers for the first time since 2011, ending a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 21-14 victory. This time around, Northern is favored to continue its winning ways.
The Huskies are led by Times-News All-Area first-team quarterback Zach Hallenbeck and feature a pair of dynamic runners in Jake Rush and Jamison Warnick in the backfield.
Hallenbeck passed for 871 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 610 more and eight TDs as a junior.
Rush was the team’s leading rusher before suffering an injury against Mountain Ridge last year, and he’s joined by Warnick, who eclipsed 1,000 all-purpose yards throughout his junior campaign.
Northern’s defense, meanwhile, pitched five shutouts in 2019 on its way to an 8-2 record. The unit is led by first team defensive lineman Jacob Glotfelty, who topped the Huskies in tackles a season ago.
Allegany is coming off a down season, in which a rash of injuries plagued the squad to a 2-7 finish.
Camper head coach Bryan Hansel is moving standout runner Trevan Powell to quarterback to spark improvement offensively. Powell carried it 156 times for 975 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, earning first-team running back honors last season.
Allegany will rely heavily on its offensive line with four returning starters, all seniors, providing protection up front. Joe Court (left tackle), Ryen Baker (left guard), Blake McCloskey (center) and Ryan O’Neal (right guard) should produce open holes for an inexperienced group of ballcarriers.
Senior inside linebacker Dillon Hogamier, who made first-team defense after leading Allegany in tackles last year, is the lifeblood of the unit.
Keyser (6-2) at John Marshall (5-3)
Gavin Root ran the show last week, as Keyser won its second straight in a 62-26 win over Petersburg.
The Golden Tornado’s offensive playcaller was 16 of 23 through the air for 239 yards — following up a 14 of 18 for 290-yard performance — with six carries for 66 yards as Keyser outgained the Vikings 565-303.
Root scored five total touchdowns, three coming through the air — 12- and 74-yard passes to Sammy Bradfield and a 23-yard toss to Dameain Emerick — and two via the rush from 3 and 25 yards out.
Drae Allen led the rushing attack with 112 yards on 18 attempts and three late scores to put the game out of reach.
John Marshall, who averages 42.75 points per contest, comes in tonight losers of two of its last three, having fallen 54-14 to Parkersburg last week.
Considering Keyser’s 50.6 points per game scoring average, tonight’s contest has all the makings for a high-scoring affair between Class AAA’s No. 13 team and No. 7 in Class AA in the Tornado.
Tucker County (1-4) at Petersburg (4-3)
Petersburg — whose performances over the next two weeks could determine if it hosts a playoff game, sits at No. 10 in Class A — led 19-7 midway through the second quarter, but Keyser reeled off 27 unanswered points and 34 third-quarter points to take down the Vikings.
Peyton Day accounted for three of the Vikings four touchdowns, reaching the end zone on 2- and 23-yard runs and hauling in a 24-yard pass from Cody Nuzum at 8:36 in the second period to put the Vikings ahead by 12. Petersburg’s final score came on a 38-yard pass from William Vanmeter to Jacob Landis in the third quarter.
Day led the way with 21 carries for 127 yards and Nuzum was 10 of 18 passing for 139 yards.
Tucker County, who fell 39-6 to East Hardy last week, is ranked No. 37 in Class A.
The Vikings have won the past five meetings with Tucker, including last year, 43-0.
Hampshire (2-6) at Washington (4-4)
Hampshire, who four weeks ago was coming off back-to-back wins, has dropped four straight following a 23-8 loss at East Fairmont last week.
The Trojans are currently ranked No. 26 in Class AAA, while their opponent tonight is just outside of a playoff spot in 19th.
Washington is the lone team to defeat Frankfort this year, defeating the Falcons 20-19 on Oct. 9. The Patriots narrowly fell to Jefferson, 32-29, last week.
The Pats won last year’s meeting with Hampshire, 58-0.
Kyle Bennett and Alex Rychwalski are sports writers at the Cumberland Times-News. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleBennettCTN and Alex on Twitter @arychwal.