It turns out the exuberance shown by members of the South Charleston football team immediately following their 43-30 win at Spring Valley on Friday night was justified in more ways than one.
The Black Eagles - ranked eighth in this week's Daily Mail Class AAA poll with a 2-1 record - beat a quality team on the road and put themselves in significantly better position for a potential return to the playoffs. A closer look at some game statistics puts the win into even greater perspective.
Sophomore quarterback Kentre Grier ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and junior running back A.D. Cunningham had 100 yards and two more scores.
"We know they're both capable. It goes back to when we had Tyler Harris," SC Coach Donnie Mays said. "(It's) just doing little things about running your feet and making sure you're being positive with the offensive line because they're the ones out there throwing those blocks for you and they don't get their names in the paper.
"Our kids did a good job tonight of protecting the football."
South Charleston ran 35 times for 242 yards against the Timberwolves (1-2). In a one-point loss to Spring Valley last year, the Black Eagles had 155 yards on 26 carries.
It was also the first time SC had a 100-yard rusher since Ken Haynes ran for 111 yards against St. Albans on Sept. 28, 2012. Grier became the first SC quarterback to run for more than 100 in a game since Harris had 102 yards against Parkersburg in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs in 2010.
The last time SC had a running back and quarterback go over the century mark in a game was a year earlier, against Martinsburg in the 2009 playoff quarterfinals. That night, Harris - who won the Kennedy Award that season - added 112 yards to the 193 yards supplied by running back Raymond Coleman.
SC went on to win its second consecutive state championship two weeks later after that come-from-behind win at University of Charleston Stadium.
Most of Grier's rushing yards came in the second half. After taking a 22-15 lead into the intermission, Spring Valley switched from a four-man front to a three-man front in attempt to slow SC's passing attack. Grier finished by completed 16-of-26 passes for 124 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The tactic opened up running lanes for the sophomore however, and he exploited the opportunity.
"Most of the time they were dropping back and waiting for the pass," Grier said. "Coach Mays said we were going to do a little more read option and make me read the ends to see what they were doing.
"So basically, when they were dropping back I was keeping the ball just going right up the middle."
South Charleston returns home this week to play host to Nitro (0-2).
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SILAS NAZARIO is making a strong case for Capital to hold on Kanawha Valley Rookie of the Year honors.
The freshman running back had 82 yards rushing and scored the game-tying touchdown and game-winning two-point conversion in the third-ranked Cougars (2-0) 29-28 win over No. 10 Princeton (2-1) on Friday night.
The third back on the Capital's depth chart behind senior James Richmond and junior Kashuan Haley, Nazario found himself taking the lead role in Richmond's absence - he missed the game with a knee injury suffered against Riverside in Week 1 - and when Haley went to the sidelines with cramping throughout the game.