ONA — A well-run option offense leaves opponents grasping and gasping for air.
No. 2 Cabell Midland High School’s football team hopes that’s the case Saturday when the Knights (13-0) take their option attack into the noon Class AAA state championship game vs. No. 1 Martinsburg (13-0) at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Cabell Midland used its usually punishing ground game to thwart a strong Spring Valley defense Friday night in a 31-0 victory in the semifinals at the Castle. Fullback Jakob Caudill ran 18 times for 138 yards. Quarterback J.J. Roberts carried 16 times for 86 yards. Hayden Hass added 40 yards on six carries and three others backs combined for 30 yards on four attempts as the Knights gained 294 yards on 47 rushes.
Cabell Midland threw one pass. It was intercepted.
“We won it up front,” Knights coach Luke Salmons said. “Our backs did a great job of running and making the right reads. When you run the option right, it’s hard to stop.”
That started with Roberts, who had the option to hand off, run with the ball or pitch it. The senior Wake Forest University commit did all three well.
Cabell Midland put together drives of 12, seven, seven, nine and 13 plays in taking a 17-0 lead midway through the third quarter. A pair of interception returns by Palmer Riggo and Roberts set the score.
“It was awesome,” Salmons said. “I’m proud of these guys. They’ve been great all year. To go 13-0 is something special. They fight hard and they love to play the game.”