CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Familiarity is a theme for the first round of the Class A playoffs, when four of the top five seeds will face teams they played in the regular season.
Top-seeded Tucker County (10-0) will host No. 16 Moorefield (5-4) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. On Friday night, No. 2 Magnolia (9-1) hosts No. 15 Williamstown (6-4), No. 14 Buffalo (7-3) will play No. 3 Wahama (10-0) at Point Pleasant and No. 12 Wirt County (7-3) plays at No. 5 St. Marys (9-1).
All regular season meetings were won by the higher-seeded team with the exception of the Wirt County-St. Marys matchup, which the Tigers won 35-22 on Aug. 31 in St. Marys
"I'm sure the kids are excited, but the biggest thing I keep remembering is that in 2010 Wirt went to Williamstown in the regular season and beat them then they got paired up in the first round at Wirt," St. Marys Coach Jodi Mote said. "So Williamstown went out to Wirt and Wirt got them again.
"You just have to be careful with this sort of thing when it comes to kids."
Mote referred to the possibility for high school players to let emotion override focus when dealing with rematches. When playing Wirt County and defending against sophomore quarterback Josh Trembly, Mote said focus is at a premium.
"Trembly's the real deal. He's just good with his feet, and turns things into backyard football," Mote said. "His mobility lets him move around and find that receiver you're trying to guard, and he's open and not even on the route they'd called. That was a problem for us the first time we played them."
Trembly is 77 of 149 passing for 1,400 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His favorite receiver has been senior John Stephens, who has caught 20 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns. Trembly has rushed for 234 yards and another five touchdowns.
Key to St. Marys' ability to slow the Wirt offense in their second meeting could be the play of senior safety Andrew Cosper. Also the Blue Devils' quarterback, Cosper has 56 total tackles and eight interceptions on defense.
"He's just a very smart kid. He had another interception Friday night (against Doddridge County) and returned it for a touchdown," Mote said. "He's obviously comfortable back there at his safety position, and he's just such a smart player."
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THE TOP HALF of the playoff bracket is full of programs that have made playoff success the norm at their schools.
No. 2 Magnolia, No. 3 Wahama (10-0), No. 10 Wheeling Central and (7-3) and No. 15 Williamstown have combined for 89 playoff wins and 10 state championships since 2000. Central has 40 of those wins and eight of those titles.
"You take Williamstown and then Magnolia, who was the double-A state champion in 2010, and they've had unbelievable seasons this year and in the past," Central Coach Mike Young said. "Both Terry Smith (Williamstown) and Mark Batton (Magnolia) do a tremendous job with their programs."
The eight teams on that half of the bracket have a total of 99 playoff wins since 2000. Magnolia, like No. 6 seed Greenbrier West (9-1) on the same side of the bracket, dropped from Class AA this season.