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The Tide Has Turned

July 29, 2013 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
THE DAYS of Ohio dominance in the OVAC Rudy Mumley Football Charity Classic are in the rear-view mirror. That pigskin point was pounded home by the Mountaineers in their 28-19 victory Sunday night at Wheeling Island Stadium. It marked the third win in the last four years for the West Virginians. What was most impressive about West Virginia's conquest was how it scripted the win. The Blue & Gold owned both lines of scrimmage. Their defensive front was especially menacing, swarming all over a trio of Buckeye quarterbacks. The balance of power has tilted eastward, as West Virginia is now suiting up studs from Morgantown, University and Parkersburg South. All three of those big-time schools produced players who made major impacts Sunday night. Using those three recently added OVAC schools as your all-star roster foundation, it is easy to fill out the team with quality performers by plucking plums from Park, Brooke, Wheeling Central, John Marshall and Linsly. Those eight schools can easily give you at least 25 all-star caliber players for the game, and in the process neutralize the big-school talent that Ohio can select from Steubenville, Martins Ferry, St. Clairsville, Indian Creek and Cambridge. I am not saying West Virginia is going to run off five or six successive wins. I am saying that if the West Virginia's head coach wants to avoid being political and focus on the big-time programs, the Blue & Gold will annually have a team that can compete with Ohio on even terms. It wasn't too long ago, OVAC officials were pondering a new format to make the game more competitive. Such thinking has been sacked.


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