The Bulldogs have been scrambling to tighten down their roster since spring. Trey Boyd, who was the team's top rusher other than Justin "Cookie" Clinton in 2012, returned to Florida prior to his senior year after attending Martinsburg for one school year.
There have been other, lesser-known but equally as disruptive injuries that have occurred.
Hurricane lost Zach Pate for most of its game against Princeton, then went without quarterback Austin Hensley for most of its blowout loss to Cabell Midland two weeks ago. South Charleston had to put running back A.D. Cunningham - its top rusher and defender - on the shelf for a game to nurse turf toe. Early Kennedy favorite Jalen Jones at Oak Hill has been nursing an injury for two weeks that probably figured somewhat in his subpar performance - 63 rushing yards - in a blowout loss at Point Pleasant last week.
The phenomenon isn't relegated to Class AAA, either. Robert C. Byrd junior All-State running back Ben D'Annunzio broke his collarbone in Week 1 against Fairmont Senior. He returned last week against East Fairmont only to be taken out of the game after absorbing a particularly hard hit. The Eagles, who reached the Class AA semifinals last year, are 4-3.
For all the hand wringing and head scratching that goes into deciphering Keyser's 4-3 start there is a laundry list of injured Golden Tornado players. In particular, All-State two-way lineman Drew Roy has missed several games to injury, including last week's 41-0 drubbing of his team by Bridgeport.
There have been at least 17 "key players" - designated as team leaders by their statistical output or leadership capabilities - that have missed substantial periods of the season due to injury or other maladies (for instance, preseason All-State running back Montell Leggett of Bluefield was dismissed from team before the regular season began). Of those, 12 play for teams that are still in serious playoff contention.
To lend perspective, it's one fewer player than is listed on the entire Paden City High School football roster and two fewer than at Van.
There are several injuries that made the entire season one of adjustment for teams. Buffalo (0-6) lost standout utility back Laythen Good for the season in June. Westside (3-4) lost junior quarterback Justin Cogar for the first six weeks of the season before he played last Friday against James Monroe.
The result of this injury rash is not likely to alter the lineup of the Super Six. The same teams that were favored in the preseason are still in their positions of power. It could, however, alter seeding and even the lineup of teams that qualify for one of the 16 playoff spots in each class.
With four weeks of regular-season play remaining, how teams sustaining these losses handle them will determine the landscape of November football.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.