PARKERSBURG -The opening round of last week's Class A state football playoffs in West Virginia went according to chalk and left three area schools in the hunt for the coveted championship.
The outcome of all but one quarterfinal game will decided on Saturday. The only action tonight takes place in Weirton where fourth-ranked Madonna (10-1) welcomes fifth-ranked St. Marys (10-1). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, No. 3 Wahama (11-0) and No. 6 Greenbrier West (10-1) hook up at 1:30 p.m. in Mason, while No. 7 East Hardy (10-1) travels to New Martinsville's Alumni Field to play No. 2 Magnolia (10-1) at 7:30 p.m.
Rounding out the Class A bracket is No. 8 Clay-Battelle (10-1) at top-ranked Tucker County (11-0) with a scheduled game time of 1:30 p.m.
Tonight at Jimmy Carey Stadium, St. Marys' primary focus on defense is keeping Madonna quarterback Russ Comis under wraps. In last week's 58-12 win against Tug Valley, Comis threw for 180 yards and rushed for another 81.
On the flip side, Madonna must keep a watch on the Blue Devil ground game, which churned out 259 yards in a 40-14 win against Wirt County. David Gray led St. Marys with 130 yards on 28 carries, while Noah Spitzer added 105 yards on 18 carries.
W.Va. High School Football Playoffs
Class AAA - Quarterfinal Round
No. 8 Spring Valley (8-3) at No. 1 Cabell Midland (11-0), 7:30 p.m. today
No. 5 Morgantown (9-2) at No. 4 Huntington (9-2), 7:30 p.m. today
No. 10 Musselman (8-3) at No. 2 Martinsburg (10-1), 7:30 p.m. today
No. 11 Lewis County (9-2) at No. 3 George Washington (9-2), 7:30 p.m. today
Class AA - Quarterfinal Round
No. 9 Nicholas County (7-3) at No. 1 Wayne (11-0), 7:30 p.m. today
No. 5 Bluefield (9-2) at No. 4 Robert C. Byrd (10-1), 7:30 p.m. today
No. 7 Scott (8-3) at No. 2 Keyser (10-1), 1:30 p.m. Saturday
No. 6 Frankfort (9-2) at No. 3 Bridgeport (9-2), 7:30 p.m. today
Class A - Quarterfinal Round
No. 8 Clay-Battelle (10-1) at No. 1 Tucker County (11-0), 1:30 p.m. Saturday
No. 5 St. Marys (10-1) at No. 4 Madonna (10-1), 7:30 p.m. today
No. 7 East Hardy (10-1) at No. 2 Magnolia (10-1), 7:30 p.m. Saturday
No. 6 Greenbrier West (10-1) at No. 3 Wahama (11-0), 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Madonna's only loss occurred at Wheeling Central (28-22) in Week 2 of the regular season. In their last three games, the Blue Dons are averaging 48.7 points while limiting their opponents to 6.7 points per contest.
St. Marys also has ripped off nine consecutive wins since losing to Wirt County 35-22 on Aug. 31. The Blue Devils' stingy defense, which stymied Wirt County to a minus-27 yards rushing on 16 carries, has pitched two shutouts this season.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Magnolia has made the transition from Class AA a smooth one. The Blue Eagles suffered their only loss on opening night at Linsly, 21-20.
Otherwise, Magnolia has experienced few bumps in the road. Only one opponent (Wheeling Central) has been able to keep the final margin within two touchdowns.
The Blue Eagles are coming off their second win of the season against Williamstown. In the 34-7 victory at Alumni Field, all-stater Stephen Rogalski returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and caught a 16-yard reception for another score.
Magnolia also receiver a stellar effort from junior running back Drew Keller, who rushed for 201 yards on 26 carries and scored one touchdown.
The Blue Eagles figured they might be facing defending Wheeling Central in Saturday's quarterfinal round, but East Hardy emerged with a 60-34 win against the Maroon Knights.
Cougars quarterback Shawn Skovron picked apart Wheeling Central for 360 yards passing and five touchdowns, and added 73 yards on the ground with a pair of touchdowns.
The Magnolia-East Hardy winner advances to meet either Wahama or Greenbrier West.
Wahama, which advanced by defeating Buffalo for the second straight week, has barely been tested. The White Falcons' average margin of victory is 32 points per game.
Wahama's offense is led by running backs Kane Roush (94-1,460, 22 TDs) and Zack Wamsley (151-1,070, 20 TDs). At quarterback, senior Trenton Gibbs has completed 49-of-92 attempts for 987 yards and 12 TDs.
East Hardy signal-caller Malik Boatwright is a dual threat after having rushed for 1,599 yards and passed for another 344. Backfield mate Tyler Green is another 1,000-yard rusher who has scored 18 TDs.