Bryan Walters email@example.com
October 31, 2013
One is aiming for its sixth straight appearance, while the other is gunning for five in-a-row.
And the good thing for the football programs at both Point Pleasant and Wahama is that it appears Mason County will once again be well-represented in the playoffs for an eighth consecutive postseason.
Both the Big Blacks (8-0) and White Falcons (7-1) are sitting well in their respective postseason chases with two weeks left in the regular season, and each gridiron program can lock themselves in to at least one home playoff game if either can win both of its remaining contests.
Hannan — the only other school in Mason County with a football program — is already mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, as the Wildcats are 1-7 overall and two weeks away from starting basketball season. PPHS and WHS, however, are still miles away from thinking about indoor games.
Here’s a brief look at the current and possible futures for both Point Pleasant and Wahama in the 2013 postseason.
The Big Blacks are one of only two unbeatens remaining in Class AAA and currently sit third in the playoff ratings — trailing only unbeaten Huntington (8-0) and second place Martinsburg (8-1).
Point Pleasant has already secured its sixth straight postseason appearance — a school record — and will need one more win against either Oak Glen or Lewis County to guarantee a home playoff game.
What is even better for Point Pleasant is that a pair of wins in those final two contests should be enough to lock in two home games and a top-four rating for the postseason. It appears, however, that PPHS will not have enough points to finish in the top two spots even if it does win out, unless someone above them in the standings slips along the way.
If the Big Blacks are indeed headed to Wheeling for a state title this fall, then they will likely have to win once on the road — probably in the state semifinal contest. Point, coincidentally, was a perfect 3-0 in a trio of road games this year.
A large reason for the Big Blacks’ success comes from the defensive side of the ball, as Point Pleasant has allowed just 100 points through eight games. PPHS owns a 156-67 edge in total first downs this season and has also outgained opponents in total offense by almost 2,000 yards (3,353 to 1,391).
The Big Blacks are plus-10 in turnover differential and have also allowed 13 total touchdowns this season while scoring three times from the defensive side of the ball. Point has also scored 39 of its 48 offensive touchdowns through the running game, which is averaging over seven yards per carry.
The defending Class A state champions need a win Friday night against Miller to lock up a playoff berth and likely need to beat Buffalo in Week 11 to secure at least one playoff home game. In other words, the White Falcons need to win out to have a chance at playing one postseason contest at Bachtel Stadium.
Wahama — which is aiming for its fifth consecutive playoff appearance — currently sits eighth in the Class A ratings with two weeks remaining. There are still four teams in Class A — Madonna, St. Marys, Valley Fayette and Clay-Batelle — with unbeaten records.
There won’t be many bonus points for Wahama to gain over the next two weeks, as Miller and Buffalo are a combined 2-15 overall. Therefore, if the White Falcons are hoping to play more than one postseason game at home, they’ll likely need a few teams to slip over the next two weeks so that WHS can move into a top-four spot.
The White Falcons — who have won at least two postseasons games in each of the last three years — are once again mauling the competition, as WHS has outscored its opponents by a 362-106 clip through eight weeks of play. Wahama is plus-8 in turnover differential and has also scored five defensive touchdowns this fall.
The Red and White are outgaining opponents in total offense by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, as the White Falcons have 3,347 yards of offense compared to 1,757 yards by opponents. Only 10 of Wahama’s 53 offensive touchdowns this season have come through the air, as the White Falcons are averaging over eight yards per rushing attempt.
For the year, the White Falcons have a 137-96 advantage in total first downs and have outscored opponents in the first half by a sizable 219-33 margin.