Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 14, 2013

G-Men, Blues best of playoff openers

BLUEFIELD — Here is a brief look at each of the high school football playoff games being played tonight and Saturday in Four Seasons Country.

Friday’s Games

*Graham (6-4) at Richlands (7-3): Two evenly-matched teams meet in this one. Both teams have 1,000 rushers and passers, talented receivers, strong interior lines, improved defenses and a good kicking game. Richlands has won four straight, Graham has three wins in a row, including a surprise at Fort Chiswell. The difference will be turnovers. Graham had two in a 27-26 loss earlier this season at Richlands, while the Blues had none. This one could come down to a late field goal. In a close one...Richlands 17, Graham 16.

*Grayson County (5-5) at Giles (10-0): Brett Whitlow is the headliner, with 1,606 yards and 22 touchdowns, but Brian Mann (848, 12 td) and Tyler Perdue (621, 12 tds) can also carry the pigskin behind an offensive line that makes the single wing purr. Max Rodgers (1,377 pass, 560 rush) will try to connect with Ty Cannady (52-814, 11 td), but Mann has five interceptions for the underrated Giles defense...Giles 32, Grayson County 20.

*Nicholas County (8-2) at Wyoming East (9-1): The Warriors lone loss of the season was a three-point decision at Summers County. Only one of Wyoming East’s wins have come against a playoff team. The Grizzlies, whose lone defeats have come to postseason qualifiers Greenbrier West and Oak Hill, have won six in a row by a combined score of 240-14, including four shutouts, and three in a row...Nicholas County 20, Wyoming East 17.

*Eastside (5-5) at Haysi (10-0): Jeffrey Bowen is the headliner in this one, leading Haysi with 1,934 yards on the ground. Jalen Sykes is a talented quarterback, and Tanner O’Quinn is dangerous as a receiver and in the return game. Caleb Riner is a well-kept secret for Eastside, having thrown for more than 4,000 yards in his career...Haysi 40, Eastside 13.

*Bath County (5-5) at Honaker (9-1): Honaker will seek to bounce back from last week’s BDD title game loss to Haysi. The Tigers, which lost in the Division 1 state finals last season to George Wythe, is led by Austin Smith (988, 13 td) and signal-caller Casey Dye (865, 9 td rush, 981, 9 td pass). The Chargers, who are represented in the NFL by San Diego Chargers tight end John Phillips, will seek ball control behind Owen Fry (736, 6 td rush) and Tyler Robertson. Ethan Wright, a leader on defense, averages 40.2 yards per punt...Honaker 38, Bath County 12.

Saturday’s Games

•Ritchie County (7-3) at Summers County (9-1): Summers County is playing its first-ever playoff game at home, having lost just once all season, a 23-16 decision at Covington. Led by Isaiah Brown, T.J. Smith and Matt Ryan, the Bobcats have won four in a row. Among Ritchie County’s three losses is a 43-21 setback at Ravenswood, which plays Bluefield on Saturday night. The other losses have come to Class A foes St. Mary’s and Tyler Consolidated...Summers County 27, Ritchie County 13.

•Ravenswood (6-4) at Bluefield (8-2): Bluefield lost its last meeting with Ravenswood 24-19 in the 2010 Class AA state semifinals. Bluefield is coming off a 29-27 loss to No. 1 Wayne, while the Red Devils were thrashed by the Pioneers 57-6 earlier in the season. Ravenswood has scored 47.2 points a games in six wins, and 10.3 in four defeats. The Beavers have scored at least 50 points in seven of their eight wins. Make it eight of nine...Bluefield 47, Ravenswood 16.

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