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Wahama, Madonna ready for rematch

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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It won't resemble a traditional quarterfinal when Wahama and Madonna tangle tonight in Jimmy Carey Stadium at Weir High School in Weirton.

Simply because you've got the two teams who battled for the Class A state championship less than a year ago squaring off following stellar regular seasons,  producing a combined 21-1 record so far.

Wahama captured its first state title with an epic 43-42 overtime victory against the Blue Dons in the Super Six finals last December at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Madonna (11-0) hasn't been beaten since, soaring to the No. 1 ranking by beating six West Virginia and Ohio playoff teams in the regular season, then polishing off Tucker County 51-0 in the first round last week.

The lone loss for Wahama (10-1), meanwhile, was a 12-7 decision to unbeaten Trimble (12-0), which is still competing in the Ohio Division 7 playoffs.

"This year, I really feel like single-A is as tough, top to bottom, as it's been in a while,'' said Wahama coach Dave Barr. "The folks in Moorefield might take exception to that, but in terms of balance, it's a very balanced field.

"We're 9-1 and rated eighth. You look back at the old rankings, and a 9-1 team might have gotten the third or fourth seed. It says a lot about how single-A is playing opponents this year. Seeds don't mean a whole lot - 1, 8, 3, 5 - all four matchups look like good playoff games.''

Both sides have several standout players returning from last season's showdown, but the biggest stars are doubtlessly Madonna quarterback Ross Comis and Wahama running back Kane Roush.

In fact, those two players were selected as their team's MVPs in last year's title game for stellar efforts. Comis accounted for six touchdowns (five rushing) and had 271 yards of total offense and 11 tackles on defense. Roush sported 303 all-purpose yards and three TDs with four tackles.

"We know all about him,'' Blue Dons coach Doug Taylor said of Roush. "He had a terrific game in the finals. He's definitely a threat to catch the ball and run the ball - the type of kid who when he gets his nose north and south, you're in trouble. He's their heart and soul, but you can't just focus on him because they have other good athletes.''

Roush leads the state with 36 touchdowns, 24 of them on the ground, and has exactly 2,000 yards from scrimmage this year (rushing and receiving).

"He has great speed and great vision,'' Barr said. "We give our line a lot of credit for helping him get the job done and springing him loose.''

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