Both teams are coming off first-round performances that were closer than expected by many. The Patriots' overtime win came after Riffe left the game and was clinched only when seniors Adam Huffman (5-9, 210) and Zach Malone (6-0, 205) stopped Oak Hill quarterback Deonte Scruggs on fourth down at the Patriots' 15-yard line.
Huntington led No. 16 seed Lewis County just 14-7 at halftime before getting getting its offense going in the second half of a 31-7 win.
Seals acknowledged that his team might have been looking past the Minutemen to what many saw as an inevitable showdown between Huntington and GW.
"I think our kids got a little bit scared at halftime," Seals said.
"They're kids. I hear talk throughout the hallways and things and our kids were already talking about GW. They're kids, they do that."
Similarly, Edwards said his team might have been looking ahead against the Red Devils.
"There's a team that maybe caught us a little off guard," Edwards said. "They showed up, and they were pretty physical kids."
Huntington hopes to be firing on all cylinders from the outset tonight, with senior Nick Tubbs (6-1, 170) leading the way at a variety of spots on the field. Tubbs has gained almost 1,800 all-purpose yards this season, although he is the Highlanders' third-leading rusher with 885 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Senior Paden Christian (5-11, 170) leads the team with 910 yards on 158 carries, while Charles Crawford (5-11, 180) has 865 yards on 101 carries.
"He's that kid who is that prototypical athlete, where you move him around and get him at different positions. He's our punt returner and kick returner, too," Seals said of Tubbs. "He's just one of those special kids that you coach once in a blue moon."
Tonight's winner advances to the semifinals to face No. 4 seed Point Pleasant (11-0) or fifth-seeded Wheeling Park (10-1). George Washington has reached the semifinals in each of the last two seasons and three times since 2008.
Huntington has never won a quarterfinal game.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.