Timberwolves can try again
HUNTINGTON -- On Aug. 24, Spring Valley players and coaches had their heads down as they headed to the locker room after a season-opening 21-13 loss at Cabell Midland.
Friday night, anyone affiliated with the Timberwolves felt just the opposite as their 31-7 win over Wheeling Park in the first round of the West Virginia High School Class AAA playoffs meant Spring Valley had a return date this Friday at top-ranked and No. 1 seed Cabell Midland. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
No waiting until next season.
"I think the kids are rejuvenated," Timberwolves coach Brad Dingess said. "We talked about it after the (Aug. 24) game. I told them you never know what will happen. I told the kids we have a good team and we might get to play again."
Cabell Midland (11-0) rolled past No. 16 Oak Hill, 52-20, in its first-round game.
In other second-round Class AAA action Friday night, No. 5 Morgantown visits Huntington. In Class AA, top-ranked and unbeaten Wayne (11-0) entertains No. 9 Nicholas County on Friday night. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
Dingess said it's been an uphill climb for the Timberwolves (7-4) who lost to No. 4 Huntington High in Week 2 for an 0-2 start. They closed the regular season with four straight wins to get the No. 8 seed and first-round home game. The win over No. 9 Wheeling Park was the first playoff win in school history.
"The kids are human. They look at the bracket," Dingess said. "They know what's at stake. The program had never won a playoff game. We were more concerned about that. We got our backs against the wall early. The kids did a good job to rebound, especially the seniors. It says a lot about our kids."
Dingess said a good week of practice had the Timberwolves prepared for the speedy Patriots.
"We've been dialed in the past four to five weeks," he said. "You don't know how kids are going to react. We've never played a 12th game. We are a completely different ball club from the beginning of the year."
Both teams feature strong running games behind big, solid lines and talented backs.
Spring Valley's running tandem is Elijah Wellman and Ryan George. In the first meeting, the Timberwolves managed just 53 yards rushing. George totaled 48 and Wellman 12.
Cabell Midland piled up 304 total yards with 297 coming on the ground. David Gaydosz, the transfer from Winfield, made his debut with the Knights that night and rushed for 139 yards on 18 carries. Lowell Farley added 134 on 15 and each scored a touchdown.