RED JACKET – The Mingo Central Miners will hit the road this week and travel to face the unbeaten Chapmanville Tigers.
The Miners have only lost one conference game this season to Tolsia, on the road. If one thing is true about Mingo Central’s offense, it’s that they can score some points. Over the last three games the Miners have scored 174 total points, they scored 71 points against Poca.
The Tigers have been steady this season as far as performing under pressure. The Tigers are tied for number one in the Cardinal Conference with Tolsia. Chapmanville faced Herbert Hoover in the second game of the season and squeaked out a win with a score of 38-35. Herbert Hoover is ranked fourth in the conference right behind Mingo Central.
The Miners have traveled a tough road throughout the season and still have Chapmanville and Hoover left to play. Mingo Central lost fullback Joe Hunt to injury during the game against Wayne earlier in the season. The Miners have suffered some injuries this season but have remained resilient. Quarterback Steven Hammond has been troubled by a few injuries but has not missed much time because of them.
The Miners showed everyone that their fast paced offense is adaptable, against Poca, without Hunt to help with the rushing. Hammond has been successful in the passing game and has accumulated a mountain of passing stats. The versatility of Hammond as a passer and a runner is what keeps defenses on their heels. With Stephen Whitt and Tyler Grimette working the sideline passing routes, the Miners have been able to create separation and running lanes amongst defenses.
Chapmanville runs a 4-3 defense and uses their outside linebackers for containment. The Miners will work with three receivers and sneak a back out of the backfield on swing passes. This offensive style will force one of the Tigers linebackers to drop back into pass coverage. A big concern for Chapmanville will be covering Mingo Central’s speedy receivers with bulky linebackers across the middle.
The Miners pass coverage will be put to the test as well because it is no secret that the Tigers will pass the ball. Chapmanville’s quarterback, Alex Berry has passed for 1,420-yards on 90 completions and thrown 19 passing touchdowns. Jacob Dingess is the Tigers star receiver with 757-yards on 49 catches. Berry and Dingess are a nasty duo to contain. Tanner Dillon is the concern out of the backfield with 11 rushing touchdowns. Dillon, who is also the teams place kicker, has rushed 139 times for 692-yards.
Mingo Central offensive coordinator Joey Fields said, “They have some talented kids and a great coach. They execute the spread offense very well and have great speed out of the backfield. Their no huddle offense leaves no secrets, they show us what they are going to do and then it’s our job to stop it.”
“Our goal is to create as much pressure as we can on the quarterback and force him to make quick decisions. We will have to be there on open field tackles and not give them anything,” added Fields.
The Miners running workload has fell on the shoulders of Deonte Joplin, Hammond is no stranger to carrying the ball but Joplin works the field. Joplin was awarded the Williamson Daily News’s Player of the Week this week for his three touchdown performance against Poca.
With similar playing styles, these two conference giants will clash. “This is a big game for us as far as playoffs and conference standings go,” added Fields. These two offensive powerhouses will be sure to make the game exciting. The fact remains the team with the most points at end the wins.
(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)