Vikes back in the dance

Petersburg visits Nicholas County for first playoff game since 1993


PETERSBURG — No. 13 Petersburg takes to the road tonight at No. 4 and unbeaten Nicholas County in first-round play of the Class AA playoffs.

Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Summersville.

An upset victory over the Grizzlies would give the Vikings (7-2) their first football playoff win in school history. This year’s squad is the second to make it to the postseason, following up 25 years after the 1993 PHS squad qualified the first time.

Petersburg head coach Kevin Board and his staff are in their fourth year of implementing a program in Grant County that has from the beginning had the Vikings on the playoff bubble. Petersburg went 6-4 in 2015 and 2016, just missing the playoff cut in a populated double-A class in West Virginia. The Vikings went 5-5 in 2017.

“First and foremost we’re excited,” Board said. “Our message to the boys has been that it doesn’t really matter what the records are now, you’re one of the best 16 left in double-A and we think they belong there.

“We beat No. 8 Pendleton County from Class A and I think they are a pretty good team. You take away a turnover in the Weir game and some mistakes against Frankfort, things could be different.”

Board said his team is not just satisfied with being one of the last 16 double-A squads still playing.

“We told the kids before the season that our goal was not just to get to the postseason, but to get a win as well,” he said.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what they’ve went through. When they were freshmen, there was a stigma and they had classmates tell them they were no good. I’m proud of them for what they’ve done since then.”

The Grizzlies are averaging 40.5 ppg while only allowing 10.4 from their opponents over their spotless regular-season record to date.

Board said the Nicholas County quarterback (Jared Sagraves) is a stud, the Grizzlies running back has speed and that there is not a glaring weakness in tonight’s opponent.

The Vikings, however, won’t be bringing an empty basket when it comes to offensive threats into the matchup.

After rolling up 3,911 total offensive yards in just nine games, Petersburg has established a balanced attack with 2,018 rushing yards and 1,893 through the air.

The Vikings are averaging 36.1 points per game and allowing 21.4 on the defensive side of the ball.

Third-year starting quarterback Jacob Hartman is a south paw who has directed the PHS offense this year with 117 completions out of 205 attempts to net 1,882 yards for 23 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He is averaging 209 yards a game in the passing arena and has rushed for 624 yards and 11 scores off of 115 carries.

Zach Wampler has also shouldered a lion’s share of the ball carrying duties for Petersburg this season to date with 1,088 yard rushing with nine touchdowns off of 122 carries.

Tyce Wisnewski leads the Vikings in receiving with with 46 catches for 912 yards and 13 scores.

Zach Rohrbaugh has hauled in 33 receptions for 338 yards and three touchdowns, while Peyton Sindledecker has 258 yards receiving and a pair of scores.

Starting offensive lineman Doug Morral leads the Petersburg defense with 96 tackles, including 71 solo stops, 11 tackles for a loss and six sacks.

Hartman, Dawson Tingler and Rohrbaugh have also contributed on defense with 78, 52 and 48 tackles, respectively.

On special teams, Dylan Alt has connected on 20 of 23 PAT kicks.