ONA, W.Va. - If teams around the state were not sure about Cabell Midland being the No. 1 team in West Virginia Class AAA, we present for your enjoyment:
No. 1 Cabell Midland - 70,
No. 7 Woodrow Wilson - 34.
The Knights piled up over 700 yards of total offense, led by senior David Gaydosz with 328 rushing yards (on just 16 carries, an average of 20.5 yards per rush).
Gaydosz also scored six touchdowns to double his season scoring total to 72 points, helping the Knights to shoot down the Flying Eagles from Beckley by winning big on Homecoming night in Ona.
On an evening where the game was in question in mid-afternoon after heavy showers knocked down power lines in Eastern Cabell Co. (and had the school on a blackout until after 5 p.m.), the two teams combined to score 56 points in the first half alone and 104 in the game combined.
It is believed to be the most points ever allowed by a Woodrow Wilson team.
To show the crazy scoring of the first half, there were 16 offensive drives in the first 30 minutes.
Eight of those 16 ended in scores, another ended with a blocked field goal at the end of the half, only three ended in punts and the others ended on turnovers, including three turnovers in the first two series.
Besides Gaydosz having "Player of the Week" stats running the ball, he also punted twice for a 36.5 yard per punt average and returned three kickoffs for a 30.3 yard return average.
Senior back Lowell Farley of Midland had 10 carries for 177 yards (17.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
Fellow senior and captain Kasey Thomas rushed just eight times for 109 yards (13.6 yards per carry) and scored one touchdown.
Midland gained 614 yards rushing from those players alone.
Knights quarterback Coy Petitt, only a sophomore, hit 5-of-6 passes in the contest, for 80 yards and throwing one interception.
Over on the Eagles side, senior quarterback Andrew Johnson hit only 3-of-13 for 69 yards, 48 of which came on a pass to Jacob Meadows on his only catch.
Johnson punted well, with five kicks for a 39.6 yard per punt average and three were downed at or inside the 20.
Johnson was tagged with three interceptions, and backup Brett Osbourne once as he was picked off in the end zone by Midland's junior corner Jeff Racer.
Also with interceptions for the Knights were safety Stephen Matthews, sophomore corner Alex Childers (a 10-yard return, but fumbled) and free safety Matthew David West, who returned his pick for a 45-yard touchdown.
Beckley got a monster effort of its own, as running back/receiver/return man Ramon Edwards III.
Edwards had seven rushes for 285 yards (an astounding 40 yards per carry), scoring on touchdown runs of 85 and 80 yards.
He also returned six kickoffs for 145 yards (24.2 yards per return) with a long of 52 and another 40-plus return negated by a penalty.
Junior back Chase Hancock had a 71 yard touchdown, and three carries total for 75 yards, while Johnson ran for 71 yards on 14 carries.
The Flying Eagles piled up 465 yards on the ground on 48 carries (9.7 yards per carry) and had total offense of 534 yards on 61 plays.
Both teams had numerous turnovers, with one interception and two fumbles lost by Midland on the wet FieldTurf at the Knights field, while Woodrow Wilson had four fumbles, losing two, and threw four interceptions.
Combined, the teams had 1,238 yards of total offense, scoring 34 points combined in the first quarter and 43 points combined in the third quarter.
Beckley got on the board when it forced a midfield fumble by Midland receiver Alvis Riddel, after he gained 12 yards to move the Knights to the 50.
The Flying Eagles used a 15 yard run by senior quarterback Andrew Johnson to move down the field, but on 4-and-11 at the 21, Johnson was intercepted by Knights' DB Alex Childers (who had a flag thrown for pass interference on the play).
While Childers was returning the pick ten yards from the two, Woodrow's Donte Nabors picked his pocket on the return, forcing the fumble and taking the ball back 12 yards to the end zone for Beckley's first lead of the night.
The penalty for interference was declined.
Nabors later had an interception return on Petitt of 28 yards to go with the fumble forced and returned for six.
The Eagles, by the way, with Johnson just 5-of-9 on extra-points, went for two all night, hitting 2-of-5 attempts.
They missed on this first pass for two, leading 6-0 at 8:30 in the first quarter.
That opened the flood gates for five consecutive scoring plays by the teams combined, and six of the next seven drives led to a touchdown for one team or the other into the second quarter.
6:06 of first, Gaydosz scores from 31 yards out and Midland is back in lead, 7-6, on a four play, 41 yards drive that took 1:30.
3:53 of the first, Beckley's Edwards - who may have better speed than George Washington's heralded multi-tasker Ryan Switzer - takes a third-and-19 at his own 15 for an 85-yard touchdown, moving Woodrow back in front, 12-7 (4 plays, 76 yards, 1:12 off the clock).
Midland back at hits owns 23 yard line with a first and 26, Gaydosz strikes again with a 77-yard run and in just 1:05 after the Beckley score, Midland retakes the lead 14-12 on a five play, 72 yard drive with 2:48 left in the first.
Advantage, Woodrow Wilson, as the Eagles move the ball 80 yards in three plays and just 1:44 off the clock when junior Chase Hancock run 71-yards to the end zone, and Johnson finds Nabors for two more points and Beckley's 20-14 lead with 1:03 left in the first quarter.
Cabell Midland slows the pace a bit on its next drive, taking all of seven plays to go 64 yards in 2:32 and watching Gaydosz pick up his third score of the half on a 34-yard touchdown - meaning in eight carries, the former Winfield General already had 163 yards and all three TDs for Midland - and the Knights are back in the lead to stay, 21-20, with 10:26 left in the second quarter.
Although Beckley was forced to punt on a three-and-out on its next series, Johnson had a beautiful 54 yards punt, pinning Midland down at its own five yard line.
It just didn't matter where teams started on this night, however as in just six plays, the Knights hit a 30-yard pass, a three-yard run and runs of 13, 12, 19 and 18 for a touchdown, Gaydosz's fourth of the half, and with 7:26, Cabell Midland led 28-20.
Woodrow drove from its eight on the next drive, spoiling one of many nice returns for Edwards of Woodrow Wilson with a hold, but would fumble the ball at the Cabell Midland 41, a fumble by fullback Ja'Quan Ayers and recovered by the Knights' Childers.
Midland also was stopped on the next drive, and Gaydosz did the one thing he doesn't really excel at … punting a 33-yard effort to Beckley at the Woodrow 35.
But the Midland defense stiffened, and forced another punt, but Johnson again had a splendid effort, a 39-yard kick that pinned CMHS at its 19-yard line, another inside the 20 for the punter-come-quarterback.
Two plays later, Nabors struck again for the Eagles, picking off sophomore Midland QB Coy Petitt at the 42-yard line and returning the ball to the 15.
On fourth-and-9 from the 14-yard line, Johnson looked to pass to the right, then pulled the ball down under pressure and sprinted to the end zone for a touchdown with 16.9 on the clock, now 28-26 Midland, who then got another big play from Gaydosz.
The running back took a squib kick at the 25-yard line and returned the ball 35 yards to the Woodrow 40. With almost ten second on the clock, Midland's Petitt hit senior Nate Moore for a 16 yard gain and took a time out with two seconds left.
The 41-yard field goal attempt of Christopher Molina was blocked by Beckley's Brent Osborne, and the half ended with Midland up two.
The Homecoming court took its turn at halftime, but in the second half, Midland took over the game with a 35-point third quarter, while holding Beckley to just one touchdown in the second half.
Beckley gained just one first down on it's opening drive of the third quarter (a 26-yard run by Edwards), and Johnson again pinned down Midland at its own 20-yard line with a 37 yard punt.
But on Midland's second play from scrimmage in the half, Gaydosz picked picked up where he left off with a 77 yard touchdown run, breaking three or four tackles and cutting back across the field for a 35-28 lead in a 52 second drive that covered 80 yards in two plays.
Edwards stepped up for the Eagles again on the Midland kick, taking the ball at the one-yard line and returning it 52 yards to the Knights' 47.
Johnson found Cole Williams for 18 yards, then Williams picked up three only to fumble. He was saved by fullback Ayers, who fell on the ball back at the 29.
Ayers picked up a yard on second down, then Johnson was sacked by CM linebacker Nick Boone, who along with Midland tackle Gage Gould wrecked havoc all night in the Eagles backfield.
On fourth and eight, Johnson looked for Nabors but saw Knights' CB Jeff Racer come up with the interception in the end zone, the second pick of Johnson.
Just one play later, Midland's all-time career leading rusher Lowell Farley - who came into the game second in the Mountain State Athletic Conference second in rushing with 721 yards on the year - tacked a quick 80-yard touchdown to his career numbers, moving Cabell Midland into a commanding 42-26 lead.
Another outstanding return by Edwards, 54 yards to the Midland 44-yard line, was negated by a chop block penalty and the Eagles started back at the ten.
Beckley would gain just one first down, a 48-yard pitch-and-catch from Johnson to 5-foot-7 senior receiver Jacob Meadows, was made and Johnson punted short of pinning Midland inside the 20-yard line with a 20 yard punt downed at the 23.
Stop me if you have heard this before …
Just one play later, Midland captain and backup running back Kasey Thomas, the only junior among the regular backs, broke loose for a 77-yard touchdown jaunt to put the Knights up, 49-26, and the game appeared to be over.
The Eagles had other idea, especially Edwards.
On the first play from scrimmage, the 5-foot-8 senior popped a run over the left end, hit open ground and left the Knights far behind on an 80-yard touchdown to stem the Midland scoring for the moment, as with a two-point pass from Osborne to Williams, Beckley was down 15, 49-34.
On the kickoff, Midland's Stephen Matthews picked up another squib kick and the senior returned the ball 18 yard to the Woodrow 49-yard line.
On first down, Gaydosz ripped off 14 yards. On second down, Farley took the ball the rest of the way for a 35-yard touchdown that re-established the Midland lead at 56-34., the fourth Knights' touchdown of the third quarter.
On the Eagles next series, Johnson threw another interception with free safety Matthew West returning the pick for Midland's fifth third quarter score, a 45-yard interception return and a 63-34 lead.
As the clean uniforms began to show up for both teams as the game wound into the fourth quarter, Midland would add another interception with Matthews picking off Osborne and Kameron Stapleton scoring the final Midland touchdown from 25-yards out with 8:41 left in the game.
Bobby Mitchell also recovered a fumble for the Knights late in the game.
Midland is 6-0, No. 1 in the state and will be at home for three of its final four games.
Next up is Winfield - with Gaydosz playing for the team he rushed for 1,000 yards for last season - next week at the Knights' Castle in Ona. Then they have a trip to University of Charleston Stadium and Laidley Field to meet the Capital Cougars, then home for the Tigers of Princeton, a week off on Oct. 26, and a rivalry game on Senior Night with the Hurricane Redskins on Nov. 2, then on to the playoffs.
Woodrow Wilson returns to Van Meter Stadium for Huntington, who had this weekend off after taking its first loss of the season, 14-13, last week at home to Midland.