KEYSER, W.Va. — Facing off in what could be the regular-season game of the year, the Bridgeport Indians (6-1), rated No. 2 in West Virginia Class AA, pays a visit to Keyser to take on the No. 4-rated Golden Tornado (6-1) in a critical match-up in the West Virginia playoff seeding chase tonight, 7 p.m., at Alumni Stadium at Tornado Alley to highlight week 9 of high school football in the area.
State playoff races are likely to heat up in both Maryland and West Virginia this weekend as tonight Allegany (5-2), which slipped to No. 3 in the Maryland 1A West Region, hosts Northern (3-4) at Greenway Avenue Stadium, while undefeated Frankfort (7-0), rated No. 3 in West Virginia AA, will be in Charles Town for its eighth win in a row, taking on Washington (1-6).
Elsewhere, Mountain Ridge (0-7) is at Southern (2-5), Hampshire (4-3) hosts Hedgesville (2-5), Petersburg (4-3) is at Moorefield (3-4) and East Hardy (6-1) hosts Berkeley Springs (0-8).
All games kick off at 7 p.m. with the exception of Petersburg-Moorefield and Berkeley Springs-East Hardy which begin at 7:30 p.m.
Two area games will take place on Saturday, as Fort Hill (5-2), winner of three straight and rated No. 2 in the West Region, will host Chestnut Ridge (4-3) at 2 p.m., while Bishop Walsh (6-1) has a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Brother Stephen F. Paul Spartan Stadium against the Virginia Lions (1-6) of Purcellville, Va.
Bridgeport at Keyser
The Golden Tornado, in the midst of its late-season roll, has won three in row, beating Jefferson last week, 20-6, behind Danny Fife’s 190 yards rushing and three second-half touchdowns.
Fife’s first touchdown, a three-yard run, broke the scoreless tie with 5:24 to play in the third quarter and Tyler Hamilton’s first of two extra points gave the Golden Tornado a 7-0 lead. Fife set up his second three-yard TD run with a 34-yard run.
After Zack Johnson recovered a Jefferson fumble at the Keyser 28, Blake Ravenscroft broke a 70-yard gain, allowing Fife to go in on the next play from two yards out at 4:27 of the fourth.
The Indians are hot themselves, coming in tonight on a five-game winning streak, having beaten North Marion, Byrd, East Fairmont, Elkins and University this season. Their lone loss was at Wheeling Park, 14-13.
Bridgeport averages 29 points and 288 yards rushing a game. The Indians have given up 14 points per game.
This will be the first meeting between the schools.
Northern at Allegany
Northern comes into Greenway on a three-game winning streak, while Allegany is coming off its second loss in three games.
The Huskies beat Mountain Ridge last week, 28-8, as Tommy Durst rushed for 156 yards, 81 coming on a touchdown run. Jeremy Bender scored a pair of touchdowns for Northern
The Campers fell last week at Calvert, 37-30, with the Cavaliers speed and spread option offense being too much for the Campers to keep up with in a back-and-forth, down-to-the wire game.
Madison Wolford rushed for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Allegany. Christian Thomas and Wade McGee also scored.
Northern won last year’s game, 41-12, while Allegany leads the series, 11-1.
Frankfort at Washington
Frankfort won its eighth game in a row overall with a 47-0 win over Petersburg. Chris Faidley rushed for a touchdown for the Falcons and returned a kickoff 82 yards for another one.
Frankfort drove 99 yards for a touchdown on its opening drive and went from there with two touchdowns by Thane Cutter and one each by Damian Morgan, Brady Watson, Trent Lloyd and Tyler Cook, who returned an interception for six.
Washington has lost six straight games this season and lost to to the Falcons in overtime last year, 26-20. Frankfort leads the series, 2-0.
Mountain Ridge at Southern
Mountain Ridge lost to Northern last week, 28-8. Logan Jefferies rushed for 117 yards and scored a touchdown for the Miners.
Meanwhile, Southern fell to Fort Hill, 42-6. The Rams got to within 7-6 in the first half on a Brian Wildman touchdown, but then gave up a 73-yard kickoff return to Fort Hill’s Ty Mance, and the Rams would get no closer as the Sentinels scored 29 second-half points.
Mountain Ridge won last year, 35-7.
Hedgesville at Hampshire
Hampshire fell hard to Musselman last week, 56-12, as the Trojans slipped to No. 20 in the West Virginia Class AAA ratings. Calab Landis and Lucas Powers scored the touchdowns for Hampshire.
Hedgesville's only wins have come over Mountain Ridge and James Wood. Since then, the Eagles have lost three straight, giving up 164 points to Martinsburg, Musselman and Boonsboro.
Hedgesville won last year, 56-22.
Petersburg at Moorefield
After winning four straight, Petersburg has lost two straight, losing to Southern and Frankfort by a combined score of 88-6. Moorefield is coming off a 39-20 loss to East Hardy.
Moorefield won last year’s game, 56-13.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org