Tucker County will be in a familiar position when it travels to Madonna Friday night in Class A first-round action.
Not because the Mountain Lions and Blue Dons met in the playoffs last year, with Madonna winning in double overtime, but the fact Tucker County is a decisive underdog going against a top seed.
Back in 1996, Tucker County faced a similar situation, traveling to Grafton as a 16th seed. The Mountain Lions prevailed in that game, 38-13.
“We’re glad to be back in the playoffs,” Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp said. “There’s a lot of other teams at home right now. We know our chances our slim … but we have that chance and we’re going to come out (on Friday) and battle.”
Philip Barbour and Lewis County also face the role of underdogs as the final team to qualify in Class AA and AAA, respectively.
The Colts will visit two-time state champion Wayne on?Friday.
“We’re very aware of the tradition of Wayne and know we will have our hands full,” Philip Barbour coach Curtis Bodkins said. “We’re going to prepare the best we can and go down there and see what happens.”
Bodkins is no stranger to the playoffs, guiding the team to the postseason as both a coach and the school’s quarterback in 1992.
Lewis County coach Eddie Vincent hopes the momentum gained in Saturday’s 31-21 loss at No. 4 Point Pleasant will carry over into the playoffs. The Minutemen will venture to Huntington on Saturday afternoon.
“In our three losses this season, including (Saturday), one or two plays could have made a difference in the outcome,” he said. “We trailed both Point Pleasant and Oak Hill by just a field goal in the fourth quarter, and against University we were down 12 to 7 at halftime.
Lewis County knocked off University in the first-round of the playoffs in 2013.