East Hardy needs just one more win to accomplish what every team dreams about at the start of the season - a visit to Wheeling Island Stadium and West Viginia Super Six Football Championships.
After this weekend's action, just six teams will remain, two in each classification. Those six squads will battle for state titles on the weekend of Dec. 2
East Hardy hopes its one of the teams in Class A that will be moving on. But standing in the Cougars' way is traditional power Wheeling Central.
"I think this is a big matchup against East Hardy," Wheeling Central head coach Mike Young said. "They're a good team and we're going to have to play tough."
Saturday's clash with the Maroon Knight, who enter the contest with an 11-1 record, is slated for 1:30 p.m. Ironically, the game will be played at Wheeling Island Stadium, the same field the Cougars are hoping to play at next week.
"We've got our hands full on Saturday playing Wheeling Central at their place," East Hardy coach Chad Williams said. "They're a great team at home with a good record, so we need to come ready to play."
East Hardy, which has never been to the semifinal round in school history, enters the contest with an 11-0 record.
"The kids can't stop talking about this," Williams said. "We've had great fan suppport throughout the playoffs, and hopefully we can get a good following on Saturday."
East Hardy is led by quarter Kollin Foltz, who has thrown for over 2,600 yards and leads the state with 36 touchdowns.
"We can't let Kollin have any big play offensively," Young said. "We need to cause some turnovers and keep him off the field."
Foltz's top receiver is Josh Parker, who has 862 yards receiving with 11 scores. Jamie Miller is another top target.
Running back Dustin Hinkle, who has over 1,100 all-purpose yards, is another key player on offense.
"We're going to need to play our best game offensively to stay with Central," Williams said. "If we do that, I think we have a good chance. We can't let Central have any big plays and we need to force some turnovers."
Wheeling Central, which has made 13th consecutive playoff apperances and is 40-5 overall with seven championships, is led by running back Gino Bianconi, who has rushed for 1,590 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Maroon Knights.
Also, running backs Andrew Keane has 400 yards and Eric Gomepers has 370 yards on the season.
"We need to have a good game running the ball and do what we do offensively," Young said. "If we don't do that, I?think we could be in for a long night.
"We've played well during the postseason, so hopefully it continues through Saturday."