Prolific running backs will lead their respective teams when Class AAA No. 8 George Washington (8-2) hosts No. 9 Oak Hill (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a first-round football playoff game.
GW will be making its seventh straight playoff appearance, including advancing to the finals in 2008 and 2011.
The Red Devils were bounced 52-20 in the first round last year by Cabell Midland, Oak Hill’s first year back in triple-A after an absence of more than a decade.
The Patriots will be led by running back Draven Riffe, who accumulated 1,522 yards and 19 touchdowns despite missing three games due to an injury. He returned last week. GW has another 1,000-yard rusher in Jacob Jackson (126-1,221-15).
Oak Hill will counter with standout senior back Jalen Jones, who battled injury himself this season but wound up with 1,535 yards and 20 scores on 191 attempts. Other productive backs for the Red Devils include Jarrell Green (72-737-6) and Kadrin Goodman (122-644-14).
Oak Hill quarterback Deonte Scruggs is 34-of-64 for 521 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions.
His two main targets have been Goodman (14-223-2) and Joey Re (6-110-1).
Safety Antonio Gray helps spearhead the Oak Hill defense. On the season, he has 69 solo tackles, 64 assists, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Re, a linebacker, has three fumble recoveries and an interception.
Oak Hill started the campaign with wins over Elkins, Musselman, Nicholas County, Buckhannon-Upshur and Shady Spring before losing for the first time at Point Pleasant. The Devils responded with a win over Lewis County before falling to Bluefield. They then closed the regular season with big wins over Woodrow Wilson and Greenbrier East.
Tickets will be sold today in the school office. Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students.