PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - There have been numerous dynastic runs of high school football programs throughout the sport's history in West Virginia.
Prior to Wheeling Central's run of eight Class A state championships and nine Super Six appearances in the last 13 seasons, Moorefield served as the king of small-school football. The Yellow Jackets' dynasty actually overlapped the early years of Central's run, which itself appears at an end after the Maroon Knights (6-5) bowed out of the playoffs in the first round for the second consecutive year last week.
Moorefield won four consecutive titles from 1996-1999 and appeared in eight consecutive title games from 1996-2003, also winning championships in 2001 and 2003.
The Jackets (10-1) are seeded sixth in this year's postseason and play host to No. 14 seed Magnolia (7-4) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. A win would put Moorefield in the semifinals for the first time since 2004.
"I think it's going to be a fun game, the way they run the ball," Moorefield Coach Josh See said one day after Blue Eagles senior running back Drew Keller ran 36 times for 239 yards and three touchdowns while often operating out of a wildcat formation.
"We're looking forward to that challenge," See said. "Our boys stepped up big time against Jake Parker, and what a stud he is. What a great running back."
Moorefield topped No. 11 seed Meadow Bridge (8-3) in the first round, and held Parker - the state's leading rusher - to 136 yards and a touchdown. Parker averaged 236 yards and 3.2 touchdowns per game in the regular season.
Moorefield has been a difficult place for visiting teams to earn playoff wins. The Yellow Jackets are 19-1 at home in the postseason in the last 20 years, with their last loss in 2004 to - not surprisingly - Wheeling Central.
However, the win over Meadow Bridge was also the Jackets' first home playoff win since 2004, when they beat Guyan Valley in the first round, 41-0.
"The atmosphere showed up again Friday night," See said. "It had been a decade since it was there. When that place erupted in the third quarter when we went up it sent goose bumps all down me, and it didn't quiet down the rest of the night."