Hail Pikeville: Panthers head to Grundy, VA to wrestle with Gabe Fiser’s Grundy High School

Pikeville travels to Grundy, Virginia to take on the Golden Wave in Grundy after its dismantling of Phelps, 47-0. Just to remind readers how accurate we at KPGFootball have been this season, the Phelps game went almost exactly like we anticipated. The Phelps game was the second consecutive game in which we not only correctly forecast the winner but Pikeville won by nearly by the exact margin we forecast. If you will recall, we picked Pikeville to beat Hazard by 7 points, and Pikeville won by 6. As for the Phelps game, here is what we forecast in last weeks submission…Well no team in the Mountains has improved as much as Phelps has improved under Coach Jones. He really is working miracles for the Phelps program. However, that being said, the Hornets haven’t come far enough to enable it to compete with the likes of Pikeville. Pikeville is a program considered among the very elite programs in Kentucky’s 1A classification. Phelps lost to Hazard 35-6 and probably felt pretty good about that effort as it could have been much worse. Phelps lost 43-6 to Pikeville, in 2017. We don’t believe it justified to expect a margin much different from the differential a year ago. We like the Panthers here at home to win by a substantial margin. KPGFootball’s Prediction… PHS 44 – Phelps 7. Well, the Panthers beat Phelps 47-0. Pretty scary, huh? Well, we are going to attempt to break down the match-up with Grundy by looking, basically just forward and, at the end of this article, we will give you our call as to how we see this game resolving.

A look back…

We would note that we publish Hail Pikeville  on Mondays. We believe we have been consistent with that publishing date each week Pikeville has a game. As of the time of the publishing of this particular submission, the stats from the Phelps game have been neither published to the KHSAA website nor provided to KPGFootball. As a result, there is no in-depth looking back we can provide about a game which ended up being a 47-0 route of Phelps at Phelps.

What we can say is that Pikeville pounded a Hornet squad even worse than a Hazard Bulldog team had done the week prior, as Hazard beat Phelps at Phelps 35-7. This really isn’t news to us as we have voted Pikeville the number 1 team in Class 1A every week of the AP poll this season, thus far. We voted Pikeville in the top spot, again this week, and it is because we don’t believe Pikeville losses to any 1A team competing across the entire breadth of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Pikeville travels to Grundy, Virginia to play the Golden Wave. It is difficult for a Kentucky publication to handicap a game with an out-of-Commonwealth opponent about which the normal Kentucky publication wouldn’t know very much. Well, we aren’t the normal publication and we undertake an abnormal amount of research, each week, to provide you the very best in inside information. Here’s our scout of the Grundy High School Golden Wave…

A look ahead…

The Gold Wave of Grundy, Virginia are 5-2 on the year. They are ranked by the computer algorithm employed by MaxPreps.com as the 240th best football team in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Country’s 9,476th best team. They lost on August 31, 2018 to Ridgeview 47-12 and to Burton, this past Friday night, 44-31. Ridgeview (7-0) is ranked 3,058th in the Country in high school football according to MaxPreps.com with Burton (5-3) being ranked 8,196th.

Photo: Sam Bartley, the Virginia Mountaineer

Grundy’s captain, and best football player, is running back Gabe Fiser. Gabe is an interesting story as he is the son of Travis Fiser. Travis Fiser is Grundy’s Wrestling Coach and was a multi-sport star himself in high school. Travis attended the University of Iowa on a Wrestling Scholarship and Wrestled there for the great Dan Gable, for whom Travis was a two-time All-American in college wrestling in 1991 and 1992. Gable Fiser, or Gabe as he is called for short, is named for Dan Gable. The 5-9, 171 pound RB/LB has been an unstoppable terror in the Golden Wave’s offensive attack. Fiser has gained over 1,300 yards in half a season and tallied 16 rushing TDs on the year. He has gone over 300 yards rushing in three games. In Grundy’s 40-12 victory over River View, Fiser gained 336 yards on 27 carries, a Golden Wave record until he broke it seven days later, again Lebanon, in a 43-14 win, rushing for 337 yards on 19 carries.

Gabe Fiser

Here’s another interesting factoid about the RB/LB and captain of the Golden Wave football team. Fiser, as one would expect (as his father is Travis Fiser) is 111-9 all-time as a high school wrestler and has won the Virginia State High School Wrestling Championship at his weight class three times! They way in which the Golden Wave gets him the ball most effectively is to align him offset to the side of the trips in the Pistol and toss him the ball working toward the strong side of what is really an unbalanced line and let him use his quick-burst and separation speed to kind of do his thing. 

In order to beat Grundy, the team playing the Golden Wave has to account for Fiser on every play. Of course, accounting for Fiser is made more difficult by his being a star in the return game in addition to the offensive backfield. We have seen highlights of Fiser housing both punts and kick-offs, in addition to his long gallops to the back of the end zone on toss sweeps to the strong side of the alignment.

Our call…

Looking over the course of the season, the only time Grundy has played a team which the National, MaxPreps.com, computer believed comparable to our Panthers from Pikeville was when it opened with Ridgeview. Now Ridgeview is the 3,058th best team in the Country, or so the computer says, and Pikeville is slotted 498 position higher in the National poll than even Ridgeview. Pikeville is ranked by CalPreps.com the 33rd best team in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with MaxPreps.com slotting Pikeville the 2,560th best team in America. Ridgeview played Grundy in Grundy and Pikeville is playing Grundy in Grundy. Ridgeview won the game 47-12. Provided Fiser is both accounted for and contained, we expect Pikeville to win this game by a wide margin.

KPGFootball’s Prediction… PHS 47 – Grundy (VA) 6

Join us next week as we look back at this game and preview the next match-up and give us a follow on Twitter @KPGFootball and subscribe to the on-line magazine by going to www.kentuckyprepgridiron.com and follow the prompts. Until next week, Panthers, this is Fletcher Long, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding all of the ballers out there to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.

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