SUMMERSVILLE – Nicholas County improved its playoff chances and at the same time dampened the hope of Mingo Central’s post season prospects by beating the Miners 42-23 in Summersville Friday night.
The game was close in the first half. The Grizzlies struck first as Will Mayes scored with 7:22 in the first quarter. Austin Hill kicked the extra point to give the home team a 7-0 lead.
Mingo Central cut into the lead as Tyler Harris booted a 35-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.
Nicholas County increased their lead to 14-3 as Joe Amendola scored on a pass from junior quarterback Tyler Sagraves. Hill’s kick gave his team an 11 point lead.
Early in the second quarter Joe Hall took a handoff on a dive play, hit the seam and scored a 64-yard rushing TD. The extra point conversion pass was no good and Mingo Central cut the lead to 14-9.
Nicholas County’s Sagraves scored a rushing TD for his squad. Hill kicked the point after attempt to make it 21-9.
Mingo Central fought back as the second quarter wound down. Joe May took a screen pass 33 yards. A face mask penalty tacked on another 15 yards.
Then Miners senior quarterback Matt Lester fired a 23-yard TD pass to junior split end Alex “Booger” Lee. Lester his May for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 21-17 with 1:44 left in the first half.
Mingo Central went into the dressing room trailing by four, 21-17.
Will Mayes scored a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Grizzlies, which gave his team some cushion in the second half. His TD runs and the two extra-point kicks put up Nicholas County up 28-17 and 35-17.
The Grizzlies then intercepted a Mingo Central pass and went deep into the red zone. Sagraves dove into the end zone for another Grizzly touchdown. The extra point made it 42-17 with 8:25 left in the game.
Mingo Central got a late touchdown from senior Garth Simpkins on a 1-yard plunge. The conversion was halted, but the score was cut to 42-23. Time ran out for the Miners and it made for a long ride home.
The win will clinch a spot for Nicholas County in the playoffs with one game left in the regular season.
May gained 85 yards on 19 carries for the Miners, while Hall had 87 yards on six tries. Matt Lester was 4-11 passing for 62 yards and an interception. May caught two passes for 39 yards, while Lee caught the one TD pass for 23 yards.
Mingo Central will host Herbert Hoover this Friday night up on the hill at James H. “Buck” Harless Stadium. It will be the final game of the season for the Miners and they hope to finish the season at .500 with a win. It will be senior night.
Sagraves threw for 162 yards, including touchdown TD passes of 14 yards to Joe Amendola and 25 yards to Jared Price. He also ran for 7 and scored on a 3-yard run. Mayes had 85 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 15, 4 and 18 yards.
Nicholas Count, now 6-3, will play Friday at its county rival Richwood.
Score by quarters:
MC … 3 14 0 6 — 23
NC … 14 7 7 14 — 42
(Stats provided by Chance Davis)