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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Salmons and Knights to advance

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  • ONA - When Cabell Midland's season started back on August 24, the Knights defeated Spring Valley in a hard-fought affair, 21-13.
    It was the start of a perfect 10-0 regular season.
    It was the first in the school's history with former Ravenswood standout Luke Salmons leading the way.
    Midland was the top-rated team the entire way in the 2012 season and entered the Class AAA playoffs last weekend as the No. 1 seed.
    Midland started things in successful fashion with a 52-20 win over Oak Hill moving its record to 11-0.
    "Any time you win in the playoffs it's exciting," said Salmons, who was voted the 1998 Hunt Award winner as the state's top lineman while playing for Ravenswood.
    "It's exciting to move on to the next week."
    So, who will the opponent be in the next round? Glad you asked. It is none other than Spring Valley.
    The Timberwolves earned the No. 8 seed in the playoff bracket and opened with a 31-7 victory over Wheeling Park.
    The win was the first-ever in the postseason for Spring Valley.
    The school, located in Wayne County, is a consolidation of Ceredo-Kenova, Buffalo Wayne and Huntington Vinson.
    "They're big, they play hard," said Salmons, who went on to star at Marshall following his Ravenswood playing days.
    "I'm sure they are going to be riding some momentum (from that first playoff win)," he said. "They're excited and why wouldn't they be. That's great for them."
    Salmons knows with each step in the playoffs, the road gets tougher. Last year in his first season one at Midland, the Knights were stopped in the second round by Bridgeport.
    Not only does this game have plenty of appeal due to it being a playoff showdown, but also because the two schools are close in proximity, meet each season and have developed quite a rivalry. Oh, and throw in the closeness of that first encounter in the 2012 season.
    "That seems like last year," said Salmons of the season opener.
    "They're a very good team. They are very well-coached.
    It was a battle (in August). It's going to be one of the most physical games I've ever been a part of as a coach. I expect a physical game. It's going to be a great atmosphere."
    He was pleased with the way his team took care of business in that first round game with the band of Red Devils from Oak Hill.
    "Our kids did a good job of not over-looking them," he said. "They're hungry and excited for the next round."

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