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Regular season wraps up

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

After facing the Big 10's top running back last week, Class AA No. 1 Bridgeport now must find a way to contain the conference's top quarterback.

The Indians (9-0) will look to finish with a perfect season tonight, playing host to Class AAA No. 20 Lewis County (5-4). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Last week, Bridgeport stopped the Colts rushing attack. Tonight, it must find a way to slow down Minutemen quarterback Patrick Morrison. The senior has thrown for 1,236 yards and 17 touchdowns, including five in last week's 53-8 win over Elkins. Split end Dustin Cavins and flanker Lucas Oldaker each have 25 receptions.

A win would send Bridgeport to a 10-0 season and lock up the No. 1 spot. However, regardless of the outcome, the Indians are assured of slipping no lower than No. 2, thus hosting throughout the playoffs. A win for Lewis County still doesn't lock a berth in the Class AAA playoffs, but a loss means elimination.

In Philippi, another game with playoff implications is set when Class AAA No. 11 Robert C. Byrd (8-1, 4-1 Big 10) visits No. 14 Philip Barbour (7-2, 4-1).

A win for the Eagles means a shot at hosting a first round game. A loss, and Robert C. Byrd spends the first week of the playoffs on the road and likely an encounter with Woodrow Wilson or Cabell Midland.

A win by the Colts and they earn a berth. A loss and Philip Barbour would need help securing its first spot in the postseason since 1991.

Philip Barbour halfback Scott Mayle and Robert C. Byrd tailback Scott Ross are ranked first and second in the Big 10 in rushing. Mayle has gained 1,167 yards and 15 TDs, while Ross trails with 1,136 yards and 13 touchdowns.

In other Big 10 games, South Harrison (3-6, 2-3) visits Liberty (0-9, 0-5) and Lincoln (2-7, 1-4) is at Grafton (1-7, 1-4).

In the state's biggest matchup, Class AAA No. 1 Morgantown (9-0) and No. 5 University (8-1) meet in the MoHawk Bowl at Mountaineer Field. The Hawks won last year's contest, 21-20 in front of an estimated crowd of 17,000.

In other rivalry games, East Fairmont (3-6) and Fairmont Senior (5-4) meet at East-West Stadium, while Elkins (0-9) plays host to North Marion (4-5). Buckhannon-Upshur (1-8) visits Preston (0-9) in other NCAC action.

In other games around the area, Tygarts Valley plays host to Petersburg, Braxton County travels to Calhoun County, Tucker County visits Southern (Md.), Gilmer County plays host to Parkersburg Catholic and Paden City travels to Valley Wetzel.

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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