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Stars out of alignment in Week 8

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Kenny Kemp
GW's Austin Giacomo makes a juggling catch for a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jon Alexander Friday night at Cabell Midland.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- All in all, it was a pretty eventful weekend in Class AAA football.

Not so much for the game results - only one of the teams ranked in the top 11 took a loss Friday, and that came in a matchup of top-10 squads George Washington and Cabell Midland.

No, it was interesting for the players who showed up at different positions, or didn't show up at all for their games.


  • Draven Riffe, the senior running back for GW and second-leading AAA rusher in the state with 1,379 yards and 18 touchdowns, was a surprise scratch because of a lingering ankle injury that didn't respond to treatment.

    His backup, Jacob Jackson, however, nearly helped the Patriots pull off a remarkable comeback from a 42-14 second-half deficit, running for 250 yards and three TDs on 32 carries in an eventual 49-40 loss.


  • In that same game, Midland stuck its leading rusher and most experienced running back, Kasey Thomas, at quarterback and he directed an offense that piled up 410 ground yards and produced three 100-yard rushers, including himself. He also completed his only pass attempt for a 30-yard TD.

    "It was just a new idea for this week,'' said Thomas, whose team faces rival Spring Valley in another showdown on Friday. "I wouldn't say it's the new thing, I don't know.''


  • The state's top rusher, Morgantown's Chazzy Thomas (1,989 yards, 30 TDs), left Friday's game against Musselman on the third play with an ankle injury and didn't return. The Mohigans went on to capture a 44-20 victory without him.

    His status for this week's game against John Marshall isn't yet known. Morgantown squares off with rival University on Nov. 1 to close out the regular season.


  • The No. 1 passer in the state, Troy Markley of Hedgesville, didn't play in Friday's 76-0 wipeout loss to Martinsburg and may not suit up again the rest of the season due to an elbow injury.

    Markley, injured at the end of the previous week's game, had thrown for 1,678 yards and 17 TDs and run for 12 more scores to put the Eagles (4-3) in contention for a playoff berth.


  • Also in that game, beleaguered Martinsburg quarterback Malique Watkins ran 45 and 48 yards for TDs and threw two scoring passes. Watkins, ruled ineligible by the SSAC earlier this season, remains able to play due to a court injunction.
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