RED JACKET – The Mingo Central Miners are set to travel to Poca to face the Dots on Friday night and begin the back side of the regular season schedule.
The Miners are fresh off of a big win against conference rival Wayne, whom the Miners had not beaten since Mingo Central had been established. The Miners won by a score of 50-14. The Miners are now number nine is the state rankings in category Class 2A. If the Miners can finish the regular season ranked eighth or above they will be eligible to host the first playoff game with home field advantage.
The Miners did not escape the game against Wayne unscathed, they lost fullback Joe Hunt to injury. Hunt was injured while scoring his third touchdown of the game. The Miners fast paced offense will miss the pass protection, lead blocking and rushing ability of Hunt. It has been confirmed that Hunt will miss the rest of his junior season due to a broken leg.
The Poca Dots have yet to win a single game this season. They are tied for 34th in the state rankings in category Class 2A. Out of six games the Dots have scored a combined 106 points and allowed 294 points scored against them.
The Miners have won all four of their home games this season and have only lost one game and that was on the road against Tolsia. Mingo Central has five games left in the regular season and will be playing on the road in three of them. The Miners will have to face number one ranked Chapmanville after they face Poca.
Mingo Central has had some problems this season on defense but with a record of 4-1 they are moving right along. The defensive and offensive line has been solid this season. Quarterback Steven Hammond has had plenty of time to pass the ball and teams have had a hard time running up the middle against the Miners. With the absence of Hunt in the running game Head Coach Yogi Kinder will have to dig deep into his playbook to find a balance in his running game.
With Tyler Grimette and Steven Whitt serving as the deep threats of the passing game and the speed and agility of Hammond the Miners offense will continue to score points. Deonte Joplin will more than likely gain a larger role in the running game to offset the loss of Hunt.
Mingo Central offensive coordinator Joey fields said, “Poca has a great tradition over there, those kids play hard and have a lot of heart.” With home field advantage the Dots need to control the momentum of the game in order to test the Miners offense. “We are coming off of a big win and this week has been all about staying focused, we can’t start looking ahead. We have to take it one game at a time,” added Fields.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)