Midland wants title
ONA -- Senior year, a Farley on the football team, a good chance the team goes undefeated.
Cabell Midland's Lowell Farley enjoyed that experience in 2012 as the Knights finished the regular season 10-0 (the first unbeaten regular season in school history) and earned the No. 1 seed for the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs.
Round one for the top-ranked Knights is against No. 16 Oak Hill (7-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cabell Midland.
Farley's father, David Lowell Farley, played for Barboursville High School in 1984 when the Pirates under coach Jim Thornburg went unbeaten in the regular season. They lost to Bluefield in the state title game, 13-7.
Farley's grandfather, Lowell Farley Sr., suited up for Barboursville in 1958 under coach Dick Ware and the Pirates went unbeaten, too. However, only two teams made it to the playoffs then, so Farley and the fellow seniors had to sit and watch Parkersburg beat East Bank, 35-13.
"We didn't like that," Lowell Farley Sr. said about not making the playoffs. "I'm reliving my childhood. I did the same thing with Lowell's dad."
Farley, a 1,000-yard rusher for the Knights, enjoys keeping the family tradition going. He hopes to add that missing piece -- a state championship.
"To match that is special. I wanted to do all the things my dad and grandfather did," he said.
Starting Friday, though, Farley knows the focus must be on Oak Hill only. This is the first year for the Red Devils in Class AAA.
"They're going to give us their best shot. We have to be ready," he said.
Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said focus is not an issue for the Knights. As the wins mounted and they got the No. 1 ranking, every game night's been a challenge.
"When we got to 5-0, 6-0 and No. 1, we knew we'd get everybody's best shot," he said. "The kids have handled that so far."
Salmons said the Cabell Midland fans have been talking up the playoffs for several weeks, but the players tuned that chatter out.
"They've been hearing about the playoffs. Now they're there," Salmons said. "I told them to focus and relax. We've been in some big games. We've been tested."
Salmons and his coaches broke down the Oak Hill tapes and have been busy working up a game plan. On offense, the Red Devils run the wishbone. They have size up front and a talented back in junior Jalen Jones.
Oak Hill closed the season with wins over PikeView (62-6) and Lincoln County (72-42). The Red Devils had a 9.0 final rating, edging out Logan (8.90) for the last playoff spot.
"They'll try to control the ball and shorten the game," Salmons said. "We know they're excited. We have to play smart football."
In other Class AAA action, No. 4 Huntington High and No. 8 Spring Valley have home games Friday night. The Highlanders take on No. 13 Elkins and the Timberwolves face No. 9 Wheeling Park.
In Class AA, defending champion and No. 1 seed Wayne begins its bid to repeat Friday night at home against No. 16 Clay County.
Class A games include No. 14 Buffalo vs. No. 3 Wahama at Point Pleasant.