Following is a review of some of the second round WVSSAC football playoff action from a statewide network of sports writers:
Hurricane 56, George Washington 28
Mondrell Dean ran 11 times for 130 yards and four touchdowns Friday night to lead No. 4 seed Hurricane to a 56-28 victory against No. 5 George Washington in the Class AAA playoff quarterfinals, earning the program's first-ever berth in the state semifinals.
The Redskins (10-2) will face No. 1 Parkersburg South in this week's semifinals.
Hurricane racked up 514 total yards, including 344 on the ground. Jeremiah Riffle added 120 yards and one TD on 24 carries and quarterback Noah Vellaithambi hit on 13 of 20 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
For GW (9-3), Abe Fenwick completed 14 of 22 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score. Hayden Hatfield caught seven balls for 152 yards and two TDs and Anthony Valentine had a TD run and five receptions for 129 yards.
Independence 42, Fairmont Senior 7
Judah Price ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns to go along with two interceptions — one returned 81 yards for a touchdown — as No. 2 Independence defeated No. 7 Fairmont Senior 42-7 Friday in Coal City.
The win avenges a pair of losses to the Polar Bears in each of the last two seasons, including last year’s Class AA state championship game.
Fairmont fumbled its first two kickoff returns of the second half, both of which Indy recovered and later converted into touchdowns.
Indy receiver Cyrus Goodson opened lanes for Price with his work in the passing game, catching four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the first half, finishing with five catches for 131 yards overall.
Brody Whitehair finished 10-of-24 passing for Fairmont, throwing for just 94 yards. Fairmont’s lone score came on a 4-yard pass from Whitehair to Jayden Cheriza with the Polar Bears down 34-0.
Indy improves to 11-0 and will host North Marion this Friday.
North Marion 13, Roane County 12
A pair of Casey Minor touchdown runs in the second half for North Marion, as well as a blocked punt by Harley Sickles, a blocked extra point by Brock Martin and a made point after touchdown by Christian Polis proved to be the difference for the Huskies.
For Minor, the two scoring runs were the only touchdowns for North Marion in the game and came as part of a 103-yard rushing performance.
Those two touchdown runs and Polis’ PAT were enough points to overcome Roane County touchdowns by Shay Harper on a 65-yard run and Briar Begler on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Greathouse, both of which came in the second half.
Roane County finishes the season 11-1, while North Marion (10-2) now prepares to travel to take on Independence.
James Monroe 48, Greenbrier West 13
The sequel was as good as the original for the James Monroe Mavericks.
The Mavericks, the only team to defeat the Greenbrier West Cavaliers in football this year, made it a clean sweep with a 48-13 victory in the quarterfinal round at H.E. Comer Jr. Sports Complex.
Cooper Ridgeway ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns in the rematch between two superlative southern West Virginia small-school ballclubs. The Mavericks won 27-0 in October on their home turf in Monroe County.
The Cavaliers (10-2) got their only points of the first half when Ethan Holliday grabbed a screen pass from quarterback Tucker Lilly and ran it 76 yards to the end zone.
The home team rolled to a 28-6 halftime advantage on touchdown catches by Eli Allen and Nick Pitzer.
Greenbrier West had the opening possession of the third quarter and trimmed the deficit to 15 points following a nine-play, 55-yard march. Holliday had five carries in that drive, including his 5-yard scoring run.
The Mavs put the game away with touchdown rushes on their next three possessions.
For Greenbrier West, Holliday led the rushing column with 44 yards on nine attempts. Cole Vandall ran six times for 24 yards. In his final high school football game, the Cavaliers’ premier runner, Ty Nickell, was limited to 3 yards on five carries in the first half, and wound up with 32 on the ground. He concluded his senior season with 1,919 rushing yards.
Lilly was 4-for-11 passing for 85 yards. His last attempt was picked off by James Monroe senior Hayden Parker.
James Monroe will host Wheeling Central Catholic this Friday.
Williamstown 49, East Hardy 6
Williamstown put on the most dominating defensive performance ever in the Class A preliminary rounds at Parkersburg Saturday afternoon at Stadium Field during a 49-6 romp of East Hardy in the quarterfinals.
The No. 10 Cougars (9-3) finished with minus-5 yards of total offense, which erased Williamstown's effort of 17 total yards against Matewan in 1995.
Rickie Allen was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half for the now 10-1 'Jackets, who play Doddridge County in the semifinals. Aside from intercepting a pass and recording a sack, the tailback rushed nine times for 180 yards and had TD runs of 13, 78, 30 and 13 stripes.
Lynken Joy added a 2-yard TD run and Maxwell Molessa tossed a pair of touchdown passes — a 23-yarder to Colt Hesson and a 14-yarder to Logan White.
The second half was limited to eight-minute quarters with a running clock in the fourth.
East Hardy avoided the shutout with 6:49 remaining when Justin Parker blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone.
Wheeling Central 48, Wahama 14
Wheeling Central and Wahama were fairly even on plays Lorenzo Ferrera didn't touch the football.
When the 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior running back carried, however, the difference in the teams was dramatic. The speedy Ferrera often ran untouched on 17 carries for 276 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-14 victory in a Class A quarterfinal high school football game at cold, but sundrenched, Ohio Valley Bank Track & Field.
Ferrara sandwiched two touchdowns on either side of Wahama's Sawyer VanMeter's 2-yard TD plunge to give the Maroon Knights (10-1) a 27-8 halftime lead. Ferrara capped Wheeling Central's opening drive with a 38-yard scoring run. Then after the Maroon Knights recovered a kickoff that bounced off a White Falcons player, Ferrera ran 7 yards for a score as Wheeling Central led 13-0 before Wahama ran an offensive play.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season, Wahama (11-1) pulled within 13-8 on VanMeter's touchdown run and two-point conversion to finish a 17-play, 70-yard drive, but Ferrera's 9-yard touchdown sprint and 31-yard scoring run made it 27-8 by halftime.
VanMeter carried 33 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns for the White Falcons.
Wheeling Central visits James Monroe in the state semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m.