South Charleston kept alive its postseason hopes with a dominating 39-0 victory at St. Albans’ Crawford Field on Friday night.
The Black Eagles (4-5) entered ranked No. 14 in Class AAA playoff ratings, and with the win set up a season finale against undefeated Cabell Midland.
“We told the guys we have to go 1-0 this week, take care of business,” South Charleston coach Donnie Mays said. “At times it was ugly, but I think we did what we had to do to win, and that’s why I’m happy.”
South Charleston started the season 1-4 but has now won three of four games to enter the final week with a chance of continuing into the postseason. Freshman quarterback Trey Dunn led the Black Eagles’ effort at St. Albans (1-8), completing 21 of 30 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns.
“It feels good when things connect,” Dunn said. “The offensive line did a great job tonight holding off guys. We just executed pretty well.”
South Charleston started strong by scoring on its first possession of the game when Romeo Dunham reached the end zone on a 21-yard run.
The Black Eagles’ defense provided South Charleston a short field when Dunham picked off a St. Albans pass on the ensuing Red Dragons series, and Dunham returned the ball to the 7-yard line. Two plays later, Mondrell Dean scored on a 2-yard run.
South Charleston’s defense again provided its offense with a golden opportunity late in the second quarter. South Charleston recovered a fumble at the St. Albans 5-yard line, and Dean scored on the next play, a rushing touchdown.
“I thought we played pretty well defensively in the first half,” St. Albans coach Nick Watts said. “We gave them a couple short fields that they took advantage of, but kudos to our defense early on. They were really forcing some punts and doing some things. When you can’t back them up on the offensive side of the ball, it’s really frustrating.”
At halftime, the Black Eagles led 19-0 while limiting the Red Dragons’ offense to a single completed pass and 8 total yards.
Dunn threw for two second-half touchdowns as he continued to find open receivers.
“The kid’s only a freshman, but he’s playing like a sophomore right now,” Mays said of Dunn, “so I’m really happy where he is.”
The Black Eagles’ defense limited the Red Dragons to 41 total yards, with just five first downs.
The win sets up a big regular-season finale in which the Black Eagles will play host to No. 2 Cabell Midland (9-0) with the chance to finish .500 and cement their playoff hopes.
“We’ve got to go in there next week and we’ve got to take care of business,” Mays said. “It’s going to be a really good opponent. They’re well-coached, and it’s going to be a physical football game, and we have to match their physicality and take care of the football and do what we have to do to win.”
South Charleston next hosts Cabell Midland at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while St. Albans visits Hurricane at 7:30 p.m. Friday.