CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Capital ends its three-week trial-by-fire through Class AAA playoff competition tonight, when the Cougars (4-1) play host to Cabell Midland (5-1) at University of Charleston Stadium.
In the past two weeks, Capital has beaten Class AAA No. 14 South Charleston 34-31 in overtime and lost 24-10 to top-ranked Huntington, both on the road. Those games each saw Capital's speed and athleticism tested by its opponents. The Knights pose a somewhat different task.
Midland's wing-T offense averages 452.7 rushing yards per game, and is led by senior running back Kasey Thomas, who has 787 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. There is plenty of depth in the running game, as seniors Teran Barnitz (541 yards, six TDs), Donte Hendricks (518 and five) and junior Alex Childers (333 and three) are among statewide rushing leaders.
Capital, which led the 2012 faceoff between the teams before Midland's fourth-quarter comeback resulted in a 21-13 Knights victory, is led by sophomore quarterback Tyrhee Pratt and junior running back Kashuan Haley.
Pratt, who was forced into a career high for rushing attempts and a career low for rushing yardage last week at Huntington, is more comfortable throwing than running on the fly.
He has completed 54-of-98 passes (55.1 percent) for 797 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Haley has paced a deep backfield with 498 rushing yards and six TDs, but is also dangerous in the return game. He has already returned two punts for touchdowns this season.
In other area games:
Hurricane (3-2) at George Washington (5-0) - See story, page 1B.