The West Virginia University Mountaineers played their best game of the year as they dominated Texas Tech on the road this past Saturday 48-17.
The defense harassed Red Raider quarterback Patrick Mahomes and sacked him five times. The offense led by QB Skyler Howard rolled up 650 total yards and was balanced with four backs scoring TDs and two with over 100 yards rushing. Howard rushed for 85 and threw for 318 yards.
The win moved the 5-0 Mountaineers up to No. 12 in the AP Poll and No. 13 in the coaches’ poll.
… WVU added a great in-state recruit to their 2017 recruiting class on Saturday, as South Charleston athlete Derrek Pitts committed to the Mountaineers. The three-star prospect originally committed to Penn State in July, but was open to taking other visits.
While listed as an athlete, Pitts is being recruited to play multiple safety spots in Tony Gibson’s 3-3-5 defense. He is seen as the type of defensive back that could level a ball carrier on one play, and then drop back in coverage on the next.
… The Big 12 Conference has announced that WVU’s Saturday, Oct. 22, Big 12 Conference football game versus TCU at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia will be televised at 3:30 p.m., ET, on ABC with a reverse mirror on ESPN2 in the markets that aren’t carrying the game on ABC.
The TCU game, presented by WVU Medicine, will be breast cancer awareness day.
Tickets remain for West Virginia’s home games with Kansas (Nov. 5), Oklahoma (Nov. 19) and Baylor (Dec. 3). A new mini-package, the Hail WV mini-package, is now available that includes those final three home games for $175, a savings of $25. Tickets can be purchased online at WVUGAME.com or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME
… Brandon Ball has been named the assistant girls’ coach for Mingo Central High School. Ball has assisted at Williamson Middle School and last year coached Ambassador Christian Academy.
Ball is a former WHS Wolfpack standout and will help Head Coach Clay Campbell, who returns this season after taking a leave of absence for health reasons.
Look for the Lady Miners to have a good season. They return several starters and also have some good younger talent coming into the program. Mingo Central could be one of the surprise teams in the state this season.
… As the high school football regular season winds down it will be interesting to see where some local teams end up. Mingo Central is 7-0 and ranked No. 4 last week in AA. They should finish around the same spot heading into the post season. That means they will host one or two playoff games at Harless Stadium.
Tug Valley is still hoping to make the playoffs. The Panthers are now 5-3 with two games left. They host Montcalm this week, which should be a win, but won’t get them many bonus points. They end up the regular season playing at Class AA Man. A win over the Hillbillies should put Tug Valley in the top 16 in Class A and into the playoffs.
Meanwhile Belfry continues to roll in Class AAA in Kentucky. The Pirates are now 7-1 with their only loss coming to Knoxville Catholic. Belfry is favored to win another state title in the Bluegrass State, which would be their fourth straight state championship.
… The Mingo County Middle School Football Playoffs begin this week. Gilbert, the No. 1 seed, will host Kermit on Thursday, while Lenore will take on Matewan in the other semi-final game. The championship game will be played next week at Harless Stadium on the campus of Mingo Central High School.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)