Play it again Sam.
Such will be the case for the football teams of Greenbrier East and Ripley this Friday.
The two will meet for a second time this season – this time in the opening round of the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs on Friday night at Ripley’s Memorial Stadium.
Ripley, 9-1, will host the Spartans, 6-4, in Class AAA’s No. 5-No. 12 matchup.
The Vikings outlasted East, 28-26, in an October 12 showdown in Fairlea.
It was one of nine straight games Ripley has won since a loss to Parkersburg South, who is also bound for the AAA playoffs, in the first game of the year.
Ripley’s postseason appearance will be its first since 2009.
As the home team, Ripley got to pick the game site. As the visiting squad, East had the honor of choosing the time and day (playoff games can also be played on Saturday afternoons and nights during the first three rounds).
Both teams will be setting out to begin a quest they hope ends with four victories and a state title. The Class AAA championship is set for December 1 at Wheeling Island Stadium in Wheeling.
The winner will get the winner of the showdown between No. 4 Musselman (9-1) and No. 13 John Marshall (6-4), who Ripley scrimmaged in August. Those two play Friday night.
All but two of the eight Class AAA games will be on Friday (playoff games can be played Friday night, Saturday afternoon or Saturday night).
Two-time defending state champ Martinsburg (10-0) will meet Hurricane (5-5) at 1:30 on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished No. 1 while the Redskins gained the 16th and final spot.
No. 2 Spring Valley (10-0), which has finished as the runner-up to Martinsburg the last two years will take on No. 15 Spring Mills (5-5) Friday night.
No. 3 Capital (9-1) will be at home inside UC Stadium to go against No. 14 Morgantown (5-5) Friday evening.
Parkersburg South, who finished 7-3, is the No. 6 and takes on Hedgesville (6-4) Saturday afternoon at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.
The Ripley-East game isn’t the only Class AAA first round rematch. No. 7 Huntington (7-3) will take on No. 10 Cabell Midland (6-4) Friday night at Bob Sang Stadium on the Huntington High campus. Midland, guided by former Ravenswood Red Devil standout Luke Salmons, won the regular season showdown.
The other Class AAA rematch features No. 8 Wheeling Park (7-3) against No. 9 Parkersburg (6-4). PHS won a thriller on the last play of the game against Park during the regular season.
The Class AA field of 16 has Nicholas County as the No. 4 seed with a perfect 10-0 record. The head coach of the Grizzlies is one-time Ravenswood three-sport standout and state wrestling champion Gene Morris. His team will be a home to meet Petersburg’s Vikings (7-2) Friday night.
Four teams Ravenswood faced off with during the regular season are a part of the Class A playoff party.
In fact, two of the four square off in the opening round as No. 4 Doddridge (10-0) entertains No. 13 Webster County (6-4). Ravenswood lost to Doddridge while defeating Webster.
No. 6 Williamstown (8-2) goes against No. 11 Summers County (7-3) on Saturday afternoon while No. 7 Sherman (9-1) will host No. 10 Parkersburg Catholic (9-1) on Friday night.
Both Williamstown and Sherman handed out setbacks to the Devils this season.