SHORT GAP, W.Va. — Four West Virginia Class AA heavyweights square off in a pair of games tonight, as Frankfort hosts Fairmont Senior and Keyser goes to Bridgeport, while Mountain Ridge celebrates Homecoming by welcoming an opponent that ended the longest active winning streak in American high school football, the Monessen, Pa. Greyhounds.
A total of nine games are on tap as Week No. 7 of the high school football season kicks off this evening, with the 7 o’clock games featuring Fairmont Senior (4-1) at Frankfort (5-0) in the Falcons’ Homecoming, Keyser (4-2) at Bridgeport (5-1), Monessen (5-1) at Mountain Ridge (1-4), Allegany (3-2) at Calvert (1-4), Fort Hill (5-0) at Walter Johnson (1-4), and Southern (2-3) at Petersburg (2-4).
At 7:30 p.m., Hampshire (3-2) is at Buckhannon-Upshur, Moorefield (5-1) visits Fayetteville and Tucker County (4-2) is at East Hardy (5-0).
Fairmont Senior at Frankfort
Fairmont Senior is 4-1 and tied for fourth in West Virginia Class AA a week after being the No. 1 team in the class before falling to Bridgeport. The Falcons, on the other hand, are rated No. 2 in the class, trailing only Wayne by two-tenths of a point.
Frankfort rolled by Mountain Ridge last week, 50-14, as Brady Watson scored five more touchdowns, ran for 109 yards on seven carries, and had a fumble recovery and an interception on defense to lead the Falcons. Quarterback Gage Shaffer completed five passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Frankfort won last year’s meeting with Fairmont Senior, 40-20.
Monessen at Mountain Ridge
It’s Homecoming at Mountain Ridge and the Miners will not be hosting your typical Homecoming opponent. The Monessen Greyhounds, one of the smallest schools in Pennsylvania, field some pretty large accomplishments, having ended Clairton’s 66-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in American high school football on Sept. 20. The Greyhounds beat Clairton, 42-24, to snap the 10th longest winning streak in American history, as the Bears had not been defeated since Sept. 4, 2009. Coincidentally, Clairton’s winning streak began with a 46-0 win over Monessen on Sept. 11, 2009.
The Greyhounds use the pass and the run, with running back Clintell Gillaspie (6-0, 226 pounds) in with nearly 600 yards rushing for 11.3 yards per carry, and Javon Brown with 500 rushing yards and close to 200 receiving yards. Quarterback Noah Rullo is 34-for-64 passing for 806 yards and 12 TDs. Gillaspie has caught 12 passes for an average of 29 yards per catch and has 19 total touchdowns.
In the loss last weekend to Frankfort, the Miners scored twice in the fourth quarter, Nevada Shriner going in from five yards out, and Tyler Redman scoring from two yards. Ty Brooks led the Mountain Ridge running game with 89 yards on 15 carries.
Keyser at Bridgeport
Another big game in West Virginia Class AA, Bridgeport is No. 3 behind Frankfort in the state ratings, while Keyser currently stands at No. 10.
Keyser is coming off a 49-20 win at Hampshire. Quarterback Cody Eversole ran for four touchdowns and passed for another one, rushing for 208 yards and passing for 82 for the biggest game of his career. Garrett Crites rushed for 98 yards on seven carries and Blake Ravenscroft 91 on 11 carries as the Tornado totaled 462 on the ground.
The Indians find themselves riding rather high as well, as they defeated Fairmont Senior last week when Fairmont was the top-rated team in the class.
Keyser beat Bridgeport in the regular season last year, 25-0, and again in the Class AA semifinals, 42-14.
Fort Hill at Walter Johnson
Undefeated Fort Hill, like Allegany, will be on the road for the third straight week, as the Sentinels will be in Bethesda to take on the 1-4 Walter Johnson Wildcats.
The Sentinels made it 5-0 last week with a 37-21 win at Central. Dekarai Darr scored four touchdowns, two coming on fourth-down plays, and gained 206 yards on the night. Ty Johnson rushed for 106 yards and intercepted two passes on defense.
The Sentinels rushed for 426 yards in the game, with the offensive and defensive lines taking over the lines of scrimmage to help Fort Hill win its fifth straight.
The Sentinels, the top-rated team in the Maryland 1A West Region, were 3-for-3 on fourth-down plays.
Allegany at Calvert
Allegany will look for some revenge this evening at Calvert, the Campers having lost to the Cavaliers the last two years, including 37-30 last season.
Currently, Calvert is 1-4, while Allegany enters 3-2 after its 42-0 win at Ridgway last week. Darian Lopez rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns as the Campers racked up 325 yards on the ground. Fullback Kirk Robinette led the ground attack with 125 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Trenton Eirich hooked up with Wade McGee for 30 yards and Lopez for 26 on the second scoring drive of the night.
Allegany is in fourth place in the 1A West Region.
Hampshire at Buckhannon-Upshur
Hampshire, currently rated No. 19 in Class AAA, looks to rebound from the loss to Keyser. Shane Ennis hit Dane Heavener for a pair of touchdown passes and Evan Staley kicked two field goals for the Trojans.
Hampshire won last year’s meeting, 40-7.
Southern at Petersburg
Southern stopped Tucker County four times inside a foot from the end zone in the final moments of the game last Friday to post its second straight win, 28-20, at Rams Stadium.
Seth Kisner rushed for 171 yards on 15 carries for Southern, while Travis Newton gained 90 yards on 13 carries, and Reese Haskiell 79 yards on 12 carries. Dalton Cooper, Tristan Nazelrod and Brandon Wotring made the big stops during the Rams’ game-ending goal-line stand.
Southern beat Petersburg last year, 41-6.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at email@example.com