RED JACKET – Tonight the (No. 4) Mingo Central Miners will travel to face unranked Nitro with a week of rest under their belts.
The (3-0) Miners are fresh off of a week four BYE and are heading into a week five conference match against the (1-2) Nitro Wildcats. The Wildcats are coming off of a BYE as well and will be entering the game with plenty of energy.
The Miners are in a great place at this point in the season. Everyone is healthy and they are undefeated. The Miners offense has found a groove and they have yet to be stopped. The Miners defense is nothing to be over looked and pretty much puts the icing on the cake.
Will the Wildcats find it within themselves to upset the undefeated Miners? Friday night fans will have that answer.
The Wildcats enter the game with only one win, against Poca in the season opener. There two loses come from St. Albans and Herbert Hoover. Hoover was ranked as the leader in the Cardinal Conference by Metro News last week. Mingo was ranked fourth, but the Miners only have one conference win at this point and that was against Sissonville.
Nitro runs a spread offense with a single back. That back is Cobey Garbin, he has good size and decent speed; he is usually used in dive plays in conjunction with misdirection from the split end Deshawn Womack. Womack runs the wide plays, mostly sweeps to the sideline. That’s where the spread formation comes into play with two blockers already ahead of Womack when he gets the ball and has momentum. This is nothing the Miners haven’t seen before.
The Wildcats offense may have a difficult time running the end around plays as before with Mingo’s defensive ends playing as well as they have been. Trey Lester and Daniel Buchanan make teams earn that sideline run.
This maybe what the Wildcats have focused on this week, which is ways to get around the Miners defense because in order to beat the Miners you have to outscore them. Wildcat QB James Buckalew will be looking to do that on Friday night. Buckalew is a mobile QB and has no problem throwing on the run, which he may be doing a lot of on Friday night.
Mingo Central’s offense has been flying high this season with junior QB Jeremy Dillon leading the way. The Miners fast paced offense is hard to handle for opposing defenses if they are not used to that type of game speed. The miners have outscored their opponents 152 to 55 through three games this season. To break that down they average about 50.7 points per game.
The Miners passing game lines up nice with their running game and they both equate to the same amount of success on the field. Mingo has 610-yards rushing on 98 attempts and 499 yards passing on 56 attempts. The Miners running game is controlled by Dillon and Joe Hunt. Dillon has rushed for 252-yards on 39 carries with seven TD’s while Hunt has rushed for 242-yards on 46 carries with six TD’s.
Dillon’s completion percentage is mostly in the hands of Drew Hatfield who has 18 receptions for 242- yards and three receptions TD’s. Hatfield leads the team in receiving yardage and scoring.
The Miners are led on defense by Middle Linebacker Kaleb Hurley with 17.5 total tackles. Hurley has 14 solo tackles and seven assists through three games. Daniel Buchanan leads the team in sacks with three for a total of 12-yards lost.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at Nitro.
(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] on on twitter @sidplaster.)