CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- George Washington would like to rewrite some of its recent playoff history, and gets the chance to do just that tonight. But no one said it's going to be easy.
The Patriots (9-2) venture into Bob Sang Stadium at Huntington High School to take on the No. 1 Highlanders (11-0) at 7:30 in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
Huntington, the Mountain State Athletic Conference champion, is one of five unbeaten teams remaining in the state in any class.
GW, as the No. 8 seed, gets a shot to make amends for some of its previous playoff stumbles. Twice in the last six years, the Patriots entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in AAA, only to lose at home in the quarterfinals to the No. 8 seed:
However, it's easier said than done against the Highlanders, who have ridden a stifling defense to the top of the AAA ratings, beating six playoff teams in the process.
"The more film you watch on them,'' said GW coach Steve Edwards Jr., "they really are good. They've got all the tools, and they deserve to be where they are right now. It's a really tough challenge.''
Huntington has faced some of the top offenses in the state this season and passed every test, allowing a total of only 14 touchdowns in 11 games, led by defenders such as linemen Nigale Cabell and Shamar Ingram.
The Highlanders met five MSAC playoff teams in the regular season - Capital, Cabell Midland, South Charleston, Spring Valley and Hurricane - and shut them all down.
All featured potent offenses - Spring Valley averaged 34 points aside from its game against Huntington and the other four teams were all 40-plus ppg. Against the Highlanders, however, they averaged less than 10 points, with SC coming the closest in a 21-17 setback.