HUNTINGTON - Three weeks (four in Kentucky) into high school football season, the best team in the Tri-State at the moment appears to be one of three: Cabell Midland, Gallia Academy or Ironton.
The Knights are 3-0, swamping St. Albans 56-13 and Parkersburg 55-13 before Friday's impressive 28-21 triumph at Spring Valley. Cabell Midland's offensive and defensive lines were outstanding in handing the three-time Class AAA runner-up Timberwolves their first home loss since Sept. 2, 2016, when Huntington High triumphed, 17-13.
The Blue Devils beat Point Pleasant 14-13 on Friday in the Battle of the Bridge. Gallia Academy opened with a 25-0 victory over Meigs and followed with a 38-0 rout of River Valley. The defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Blue Devils entertain Chesapeake (2-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Ironton opened with a 30-6 victory over Wheelersburg, then held off Russell 10-0 before smashing Fairland 49-7 on Friday. The Fighting Tigers' offense is solid, but its defense is astounding.
Both Cabell Midland and Ironton figure to be tested on Friday as the Knights entertain Hurricane (1-3), which hammered Cabell Midland 40-10 last season, and the Tigers make their first road trip, visiting Ashland (3-1), which beat Ironton 14-7 in 2018.
Before the loss to Cabell Midland, Spring Valley might have laid claim to the title of premier team in the Tri-State - and the Timberwolves might still be the best by season's end. Ashland, too, had a legitimate claim to tops in the Tri-State before losing 34-33 in overtime at Wheelersburg on Friday, but a victory over Ironton will vault the Tomcats back into the conversation.
Another team figured to be a contender for No. 1, Huntington High, was open on week one, then defeated Riverside 35-22 before losing 31-30 at previously winless George Washington on Friday.
CONDOLENCES: Prayers are requested for the family and friends of Roane County High School football player Alex Miller, who died last week.
Miller collapsed during the Raiders' game at Clay County on Friday.
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Ironton linebacker Reid Carrico committed to Ohio State University. Carrico's great uncle, by the way, is former Major League Baseball player Earl Webb. ... South Point offensive lineman Grant Gifford received a preferred walk-on offer from Appalachian State University. ... Marshall University men's basketball coaches Danny D'Antoni and Cornelius Jackson visited Beckley Prep last week. Beckley Prep features several players drawing NCAA Division I interest, including former Chapmanville standout Drew Williamson, ex-Logan star David Early and former Greater Beckley Christian guard Jay Moore. ... Chapmanville basketball star Obinna Anochili-Killen was offered a scholarship by the University of Cincinnati. ...
Liberty University offered a scholarship to Poca basketball player Isaac McKneely. ... Greenup County quarterback Eli Sammons, who has committed to Marshall, was on the Herd sideline for Saturday's game with Ohio. ... Georgia Tech offered Bluefield defensive end Sean Martin. ... Fairland girls basketball standout Harlie Lyons visited Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. ... University of Houston men's basketball assistant coach Quannas White visited Teays Valley Christian to recruit last week. ... Eastern Kentucky University invited Cabell Midland running back Jaydyn Johnson to attend its game with Tennessee State on Sept. 28. ... Peyton Jordon, a softball star at Point Pleasant, committed to Morehead State University.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: Fairland won the Ohio Valley Conference girls golf championship. The Dragons' Hanna Shrout was the medalist. ... Gallia Academy's football team opened the season with two shutouts for the first time since 2001. The Blue Devils defeated Meigs 24-0 and River Valley 38-0. ... Mollie Watts of Chesapeake volleyball leads all Ohio Valley Conference players with 45 aces, more than twice as many as anyone else in the league. ...
Sayre School in Lexington, Kentucky, played its first varsity home football game in 43 years on Sept. 6 and defeated Rock Creek (Indiana) Academy 34-0. Sayre is coached by former Marshall University star quarterback Chad Pennington. ... Former Ashland standout Shawn Gilliam is a captain of Georgetown University's football team. ... Poca's boys soccer team, disbanded last week because it had just 14 players, has been reinstated now that a transfer student has joined the squad to give it the 15 required by the Putnam County Board of Education. ...
Boyd County's girls golf team won the Eastern Kentucky Conference championship. The Lions' Olivia Hensley was medalist. ... Former River Valley standout golfer Logan Sheets set two University of Rio Grande records last week, shooting a 66 in the Alice Lloyd Invitational, during which he shot a program three-round best 141. ... Former Russell star Baylee Salyers of Georgetown College was named the Mid-South Conference women's golfer of the week. ... Gallia Academy has won 50 consecutive Ohio Valley Conference volleyball matches and has swept 23 in a row.