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Mountain 7 powers Ridgeview, Union top Region 2D rankings

Kevin Mays • Oct 2, 2019 at 12:30 PM

The first round of the VHSL football power point rankings are out, and there are few surprises halfway through the season.

Ridgeview leads the Region 2D rankings with a 22 rating, just ahead of Union (21.2). The rankings just add more fodder to an already highly anticipated showdown between the Mountain 7 District powers.

Both could be unbeaten when they face off Oct. 11 at Bullitt Park, but Union must get past Paintsville, Kentucky, first. Ridgeview is open this week.

Tazewell is third in the 2D rankings at 17.5 and Wise Central fourth at 16.8. Graham (15.5), Marion (15.0), Richlands (12.8) and Gate City (12.6) round out the top eight.

Hogoheegee District squads Patrick Henry (19.2) and Chilhowie (17.2) lead Region 1D rankings. Grundy and Honaker are tied for third at 17, and Thomas Walker is fifth at 16.8. Holston (16.3), J.I. Burton (14.8) and Hurley (14.8) round out the top eight, though Castlewood (14.5), Rural Retreat (14.4) and Twin Springs (14.2) are still very much in striking distance.

The season is only at its halfway point and that means there will be a lot of changes made before it ends.

HOW DOES THE POWER POINT SYSTEM WORK?

The power point system is used to rank the teams in each region, and the top eight advanced to the postseason at the end of the year. The complex system rewards points to a team for defeating another team.

The number of points is based on the classification of the school the team plays plus the number of games won by the opponent. A team is also rewarded a significantly smaller number of points based on its opponent’s classification if it loses the game.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

5-star — Will Stansberry, QB, Eastside

Eastside picked up its first win of the season last Friday by beating Lebanon 28-14, and Spartans quarterback Will Stansberry played a key role.

The junior completed 9 of 13 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, also rushing for 28 yards.

4-star — Trenton Adkins, RB, Ridgeview

The junior continued to rack up big numbers with 231 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries in limited action in the Wolfpack’s 55-6 win over Lee High on Friday.

3-star — Mason Elliott, QB, Twin Springs

The sophomore quarterback had a career night against Hancock County. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 42-34 win.

2-star — Evan Bellamy, LB, Eastside

The senior defensive leader had a banner night for the Spartans. Bellamy finished with 13 tackles, including seven solo tackles, in the 28-14 road win over Class 2 Lebanon.

1-star — Michael Calhoun, RB, Gate City

The senior leader had a solid effort against Mountain 7 power Union. Calhoun racked up strong numbers with 158 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and was a defensive leader for the Blue Devils in their 28-14 loss to the Bears.

KEY GAMES THIS WEEK

Paintsville at Union — It’s not often an interstate game carries so much importance, but Union coach Travis Turner knows how much this one means for the Bears.

For the past two weeks, Turner has cautioned that Union (5-0) cannot look past the Tigers (3-2) when they come calling at Bullitt Park on Friday night.

A win not only would keep the Bears in contention for a top spot in the postseason, it also would set up that battle of unbeatens with Ridgeview.

Eastside at J.I. Burton — Neither team has yet to have its breakout game, but both are fighting for the Cumberland District championship.

Normally, the winner of this game is anointed the Cumberland champion ­— but this is not a normal year.

Neither Burton (2-2) nor Eastside (1-3) has faced fellow Cumberland members Thomas Walker, which has high hopes for a district trophy, or up-and-coming Castlewood, which has made some noise under first-year coach Jerry Lark.

Regardless, Friday’s winner will be in high cotton — at least for a week or two — when it comes to having the early advantage on the rest of the district.

FOOTBALL TOP 10

It was a strange week for Southwest Virginia’s top squads. With the exception of Graham, which was open, the top five rolled on, but some in the bottom half did not fare so well.

Here is this week’s Top 10 with records, last week’s results and current ranking:

1. Ridgeview (5-0) def. Lee High 55-6 — 1

2. Union (5-0) def. Gate City 28-14 — 2

3. Graham (2-2) did not play — 3

4. Patrick Henry (5-0) def. Battle 42-6 — 4

5. Chilhowie (4-1) def. Northwood 48-6 — 5

6. Tazewell (3-1) def. Princeton, W.Va. 10-7 — NR

7. Wise Central (3-1) did not play — 6

8. Abingdon (2-3) lost to Tennessee High 35-9 — 9

9. Honaker (3-1) def. Grundy 50-26 — NR

10. Grundy (4-1) lost to Honaker 50-26 — 8

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