WILLIAMSON – There must something in the water. Three out of four local teams were defeated over the weekend and the Mingo Central Miners remain the last undefeated team in the area.
Belfry lost, Tug Valley lost, and Phelps lost. Mingo Central won and in a big way, they proved suspicions that they are the team to beat in the Cardinal Conference.
Mingo Central: 60, Nitro-6.
Nitro dropped down from Class-AAA to Class-AA this year, as most teams throughout the state were forced to change designation due to the declining economy and mass exodus felt in Wild and Wonderful. That Class-AAA designation did not bring a Class-AAA persona and Nitro has found it tough to compete with the teams throughout the Cardinal Conference. Having zero trouble were the Miners who once again relied heavily on the athleticism of QB Jeremy Dillon. Dillon finished the game with eight TD’s. I can give you a minute to let that soak in… eight TD, seven of which were passing TD’s.
The Miners entered the game coming off of a BYE week. They said they had spent the two weeks of practice fine tuning the details of the offense and setting up the passing game. Whatever they did, they did it right. Dillon had three passing TD’s to freshman Drew Hatfield for 17, 38, and 18-yards. Dillon also connected with senior Tyler Grimmette on two TD’s for 70, and 50-yards. Grimmett also snagged a pick-six towards the end of the first quarter.
Dillon was able to run in one TD and throw another to tailback Joe Hunt. The last TD was a connection between Dillon and Lee Chafin for 45-yards.
Nitro did not score until a minute remaining in the game.
The Miners offense has a tendency to outshine anything in its vicinity, including the Miners defense. However, the Miners defense did keep Nitro to only 160-yards of total offense with less the a hundred yards on both rushing and passing. The Miners finished the night with 45 total tackles against Nitro with Chase Warden leading the way with 4.5 tackles.
The Miners do not have just one defensive stud, they are balanced and dangerous defensively. Although, that offense is on point and shows no signs of slowing down. This week the Miners have Wayne as an opponent. Check back Friday for the game preview.
Belfry: 20, Knoxville Catholic: 44.
I woke up dreading having to write this. The Belfry Pirates were handed their first loss of the season at the hands of defending Class-AAAA state Champions Knoxville Catholic on Friday night.
The rumor mill has produced a few easing facts to help the loss slide down the throat a little easier but actually the stats tell the story. Reports of bad referees, injuries, and jet lag all pile into the conversation of why the Pirates ended the game trailing the Fighting Irish by 24 points. However, one has to say that the nine fumbles did not help. Also, one cannot expect to roll into the home of the top ranked team in Class-AAAA in the state of Tennessee and have the upper hand. Life just doesn’t work that way.
There were report of multiple warnings on both sidelines towards the coaches, flags littering the field, and one Knoxville Catholic coaches was ejected and faces a hefty fine now from the THSSAA. But, the Fighting Irish, who set a new state record the game before for most offensive yards in game, got the best of the hometown Pirates.
On the bright side, one loss does not end a season and if memory recalls correctly the Pirates kicked into overdrive last season after the crushing loss to Cabell Midland. Speaking of Cabell, that’s who the Pirates will face off against this week, last week can fade away into the history books.
Tug Valley: 16, Tolsia: 36.
The Tug Valley Panthers started off strong but fell apart halfway through the third quarter. Entering halftime the Rebels had the lead with a score of 22-8. In the early minutes of the second half Tug Valley’s Dawson Elia, who had been silent through most of the first half, was able to shed a tackle and take to the open grass. He scored and the Panthers rose to within a score of the Rebels. The imperative thought crept in that Tug could stage a rally and take this game back since Tolsia opted for a passing two point conversion on their first score that was batted away by the Panthers defense.
The Panthers were not able to contain the Rebels ground game. After Elia’s long rushing TD, Tolsia gave the ball back to Tug Valley on a fumble. The Panthers had the momentum until a crucial 12 men on the field penalty pushed them back into a punting scenario and the Rebels took over. The Rebels were able to get 3-4 yards at a time from QB Logan Presley and who also made it to the sideline multiple times to stop the clock but gain first down after first down. The Panthers received a few other chances to score in the fourth quarter but the Rebels held strong.
The Panthers began to use trick plays, like the vintage flea-flicker, but when Tolsia intercepted a panicked throw from QB Johnathan Blankenship late in the fourth quarter the air escaped the Panthers rally balloon.
The Rebels dropped from Class-AA to Class-A only this year and was Class-AA state runner up last year. The Panthers went rouge from the gameplan when Tolsia took the lead and the Rebels stayed true behind the work of Presley.
This puts the Panthers in a tough situation with a record of 3-2. Their game this week is against Buffalo who has a very stout ground game puts even more pressure on the Panthers. Another loss puts them at a record of 3-3 which would give them a best case scenario of a 7-3 season. A win against Buffalo would keep them above water in a dense Class-A group with a best case record of 8-2. Buffalo had a BYE last week but is still undefeated with a record of 4-0.
Phelps:22, Twin Valley Va.: 27.
No details on the game are available at this time but the Hornets fell to Twin Valley 27-22.
(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.)