Column: We meet again so soon?
Tonight’s loser of the No. 10 Parkersburg High vs. No. 5 Parkersburg South football game might not have to wait long to score revenge according to two WVSSAC playoff scenarios.
If Mike Byus’ PHS club pulls off the upset, according to the SSAC ratings, and Huntington beats Spring Valley, Mike Eddy’s South team hosts the No. 10 Big Reds presumably at Erickson All-Sports Facility at 7:30 p.m. next Friday or 1:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. next Saturday.
South’s guaranteed one home game no matter the outcome of the crosstown showdown.
A John Marshall win over Wheeling Park plus a Spring Mills victory over Hedgesville coupled with Eddy’s Patriots winning at PHS Stadium Field also green lights the first meeting in the postseason between the two city rivals again at Erickson All-Sports Facility.
Either outcome leads to a packed house for the Patriots, whenever Byus chooses to play the game. Under SSAC rules, the visiting team chooses the time and date, while the home team selects the site.
Parkersburg would shut down for the second time in two weeks.
Whether either scenario happens of course is another story. Billy Seals’ Highlanders haven’t played like themselves the past three weeks where they are just 1-2. Whether a lack of focus or just a funk, his team needs to snap out of it for the game against Brad Dingess’ Timberwolves.
Spring Valley brings the same high-scoring team Dingess has been known for the past few years to one of the games of the week in the Mountain State. Huntington must play at the top of its game to beat an SV squad eager to return to the state championship game for a third season in a row.
The probability this upset happens stands at about 50 percent.
Those odds are much better than John Marshall and Spring Mills both scoring upsets entering the playoffs. Neither team performs well against higher-level competition.
John Marshall’s only win against a postseason-bound team was an upset of No. 14 University (5-5) at the beginning of the season. The Monarchs have been outscored 84-20 by No. 13 Morgantown and No. 5 Parkersburg South since the victory.
Spring Mills, under first-year head coach Chad Williams, doesn’t have a win over a playoff-bound team on the year.
Speaking of John Marshall, with a win the Big Reds could get a playoff rematch with the Monarchs if Spring Mills, John Marshall and Spring Valley all triumph Friday night.
An outright win with no other upsets sends PHS back to Bob Seng Stadium for a date with Huntington, South winning the rivalry game and a Huntington victory produces the same scenario. A Patriot loss with no other upsets means Cabell Midland comes to face Eddy’s team.
Three outcomes Big Reds fans probably don’t want to see play out involve a trip to the Eastern Panhandle for a matchup with Hedgesville or Musselman in the first round. A Huntington win coupled with whoever wins Park and Marshall and a PHS victory means a road trip to Hedgesville.
Musselman stands as the GPS destination following South, Huntington/Spring Valley and John Marshall victories.
If South beats the Big Reds for the third time in four seasons with no other upsets, Ripley is the destination for PHS. While you do play to win the game, the Vikings didn’t light up the scoreboard in a 27-7 loss to South at the beginning of the season, Eddie Smolder’s team’s toughest game by far in the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Patriots would host Greenbrier East or John Marshall if the stars don’t align for a second face-off against the Big Reds.
Finally, a South loss with John Marshall and Huntington wins means John Marshall faces the Patriots for the second time this season. Eddy’s team impressed with a 35-7 win in the first meeting.
What scenarios am I rooting for you ask? I want to see another PHS/South game as badly as the rest of the town, regardless of the outcome of tonight’s feud.
Contact Joe Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org.