Updated Fri, Nov 15, 2013 1:26 pm
The first round of the West Virginia playoffs kick off this weekend, and Wahama plays host to Clay-Battelle in a matchup of the No. 8 and 9 seeds in the Class A playoffs.
The White Falcons are coming off a 66-18 thrashing of rival Buffalo, while the Cee Bees have to find a way to recover after losing 35-6 against a powerful Madonna team.
There was a lot of hype for Clay-Battelle coming into the 2013 season, with the team coming off two consecutive one-loss regular seasons. This year marks the thrid straight one-loss regular season.
The Cee Bees sat in sixth place going into their week 11 match up with Madonna with a chance to improve their seed. After incurring a loss, they fell far enough to lose out on the opportunity to host a home playoff game in the inaugural season of their new multi-purpose facility and new football field.
Clay-Battelle boasts a powerful offense that averaged 38 points a game in the regular season. The Cee Bees are led by running back/linebacker Jacoby Steele and Trenten Dille and quarterback/defensive back Tristan Haught, each of whom has helped lead the school to the playoffs in all of the last three seasons. Both Steele and Dille have run for over 700 yards on the season. The Cee Bees had a bit of an aerial attack to compliment their ground game, as Haught passed for over 1,000 yards in the regular season.
The 6 points Clay-Battelle scored in their lone loss were easily the least the Cee Bees have scored in a game this season. Before that, the least points scored in a contest for them was 35 in a week three victory over Bishop Donahue.
The White Falcons head into the playoffs for the first time in recent memory without ex-coach Ed Cromley, who had been at the school for the last 19 years. Interim head coach Dave Barr, since taking over in week seven, has led Wahama to four straight victories.
“Things have gone the way they have because we have a great group of kids here at Wahama High School,” Barr said. “We have talked about there are a lot of life lessons that can be learned in the game of football and how you handle adversity is one of them.”
The double-headed monster of Kane Roush and Colton Neal come into the game with 2,165 rushing yards and 49 total touchdowns between the two of them. Wahama’s high-powered offense led Class A in West Virginia with 494 points in the regular season.
Wahama was susceptible to the ground game of South Gallia in week eight, and Barr said Clay-Battelle has the tape from that game. If they are able to exploit the Wahama defense, it could be with the help of their two talented backs.
“We expect that they’ll come out and try to run at us … it’s just a matter of trying to make sure that the goals that we have in are solid for the run, and being sharp and reading our keys and then tackling well,” Barr said. “At this point in the season that is all you can do is try to make sure you are sharp and that you do everything fundamentally as well as you possibly can.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening in Mason, West Virgina.