KEYSER, W.Va. — While playoffs will be on the back of everybody’s mind, it will be all about bragging rights when Frankfort butts heads with Keyser for the 39th time tonight in the Mineral County Bowl tonight, 7 o’clock, at Alumni Field at Tornado Alley.
Keyser, the No. 2 team in the Times-News Area Poll and 11th in the West Virginia Secondary School Athletic Association Class AA playoff standings, will be going for its ninth win over the Falcons in the last 10 years, while Frankfort (No. 3 Times-News, No. 5 Class AA) is seeking its first win since 2009.
Top-ranked Fort Hill makes the short trek west to play Mountain Ridge as it looks to further cement its hold on the No. 1 seed in the Maryland 1A West, and No. 4 Hampshire hosts Washington, hoping to spoil the Patriots chance at a berth in the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs.
In other action, Northern hopes to answer two straight losses with a win over a Berkeley Springs squad that just tasted victory for the first time this year by beating East Hardy last week. Spring Mills looks to carry the momentum of its first win in school history into Oakland to play Southern, and Petersburg breaks a two-game home stand by traveling to play Tucker at 7:30.
Frankfort (7-1) at Keyser (5-3)
The Falcons swarm into Keyser coming off a 52-20 slaughter of Petersburg while Keyser regrouped on a bye week.
Frankfort got three touchdown passes from Gage Shaffer — one each to Noah Bible, Cole Smith and Tyler Crock — and ran for 257 yards as a team. Brady Watson ran for 107 of those yards, scored two touchdowns and now sits as the area’s third-leading rusher (965 yards, 126 carries) and its leading touchdown maker with 20.
Keyser had a week to prepare for the Falcons’ balanced attack after getting a late interception from Cody Eversole to seal a 47-41 win over Jefferson on Oct. 18.
Danny Fife threw a 35-yard pass to Jacob Shoemaker and also returned a kickoff to help the Golden Tornado stay out in front of the Cougars.
Keyser won last year’s meeting 32-7 and have won the last three by a combined score of 121-14.
Fort Hill (8-0) at Mountain Ridge (3-5)
Frostburg will feature a battle of the area’s two leading rushers when Fort Hill and Dekarai Darr clash with Mountain Ridge and Rashawn Johnson.
The two enter the ninth week as the only area backs with 1,000 yards as Darr sits at 1,003 and Johnson leads the area with 1,315. The Sentinels running back isn’t the only one on the team his lineman are opening holes for as Ty Johnson ranks fifth in the area with 559 yards, and Alex Barnes is seventh at 477.
Darr scored the winning touchdown with 3:59 remaining as the Sentinels held on, 21-17, against Chestnut Ridge last weekend. He finished with 113 on the ground, with Johnson adding 99.
Johnson put up a 245-yard performance in the Miners’ 36-17 win over Southern, accounting for almost 70 percent of Mountain Ridge’s total offensive output. He also scored three touchdowns (4, 33 and 59 yards) which helped fill-in quarterback Dalton Jeffries to go 4 of 6 for 64 yards in the air.
Johnson also leads the area with 1,941 all-purpose yards.
Berkeley Springs (1-7) at Northern (2-5)
Trevon Jones and Meshach Metz scored two touchdowns apiece but the Northern defense couldn’t slow the Campers down enough during a 47-27 loss Friday in Accident.
Jones scored on a 31-yard pass from Logan Yommer with 53 seconds left in the first half and on a 15-yard run in the third quarter. Metz ran in the final two scores from 5 yards out and the one, and led the Huskies once again with 25 tackles.
Jones has the fifth-highest rushing average in the area at 69.6.
Berkeley Springs racked up 293 yards and had three rushing touchdowns during a 26-8 win over East Hardy. Preston Hovermale had 103 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown.
Washington (5-3) at Hampshire (6-2)
Lucas Powers had five touchdowns and 262 rushing yards as Hampshire rallied to beat Hedgesville 50-34.
The Trojans (No. 12 Class AAA) scored 36 straight points to come back from 20 down to win by 16. They tallied 22 points in the fourth quarter alone and picked off three passes to stop the Eagles on offense.
Washington got two touchdowns from Colin Gustines during a 21-7 win over Musselman.
Spring Mills (1-4) at Southern (2-6)
Seth Kisner had a six-yard touchdown and another from three yards in the Rams 36-17 loss to Mountain Ridge last week.
Travis Newton threw for 87 yards and added 58 more on the ground, and Lucas Ritchie booted a 30-yard field goal.
William Sweeney had two touchdowns, including a long run in the fourth quarter to lead Spring Mills to its first-ever win, 21-14, over Clear Spring.
Petersburg (3-5) at Tucker County (5-3)
In Petersburg’s 52-20 loss to Frankfort, Aaron Holler scored two touchdowns, one on a 90-yard kickoff return and the other on a six-yard run. Trevor Harman scored the first touchdown of the evening for the Vikings.
Tucker held off Pendleton, 21-18, getting over 100 yards on the ground out of quarterback Luke Yokum.
Chris Appel is a reporter for the Times-News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org