KEYSER—The No. 2 ranked Keyser Golden Tornado forced five turnovers in the first 13 minutes of play, scoring 40 first-quarter points and 61 points in the first 25 minutes to defeat the No. 15 Mingo Central Miners, 61-14.
The game was played at “Tornado Alley” in the first round of the Class AA football playoffs on Friday night at Alumni Field in Keyser, which is in the eastern panhandle.
For Keyser, Danny Fife rushed for three touchdowns, while Hunter Kasmier, who carried the ball all of 19 times in the regular season, tallied 175 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Austin Ravenscroft had a rushing TD, an interception, and a fumble recovery for Keyser, whose swarming defense allowed the least points in any class in West Virginia during the regular season.
The Miners fumbled the ball seven times and also had an interception. Keyser took advantage of the turnover and had great field position most of the night.
“We just had too many turnovers in the first quarter. We just took ourselves out of the game. Keyser really has a good football team. Our kids never gave themselves a chance,” Miner’s coach Yogi Kinder said. “We had six turnovers in the first quarter. Those all ended up for touchdowns for Keyser.”
“We started running the ball pretty good then we would shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty or turnover - and it just kept getting worst as the game went on,” Kinder added. “Our kids didn’t want to end their season on that kind of a game, but sometimes things happen.”
“But, in the second half our young kids played a lot better and they quit turning the ball over to them for easy touchdowns,” Kinder said. “Hats off to our seniors who are a great group of kids that we will miss next year.”
“It was a great game tonight from Joseph Hall and Garth Simpkins they really played hard. Keyser held Joe May to very few yards and they just didn’t let him get started. Our main problem all year long has been tackling and to be a good tackling team you have to be strong and right now we not. Drew Kirk did a very good job for us tonight on defense and he has been very solid for us all year,” Kinder said. “I really like this group of kids they have made a progress from last year. They have good attitudes and that is the most important thing to me”
“I would like to thank my coaches for the hard work they have done. This team has come a long ways since our first scrimmage back in August. A lot of people told me that they thought we would not win one game, but we made the playoffs. We just hope getting in this year will make them work harder in the off season for next season,” Kinder added. “Our young kids got a lot of experience this year and down the road that will help. I am looking forward to next year’s team. They are a great group of kids that I am very proud of.”
For Mingo Central, Joseph Hall had an 80-yard rushing touchdown. Freshman Deonte Joplin also had a 1-yard TD for the Miners.
Hall led the Miners with 146 yard rushing on 14 carries, while Chance Lester had 27 yards on six tries. All-state candidate Joe May was held in check and bottled up by the stingy Golden Tornado defense.
“I hate that we went out like we did, but hopefully us seniors set good leadership examples and taught this team how to win,” May said. “I’m gonna miss Buck Harless Stadium on Friday nights - something I’ll never forget. I want to say thanks to all of my fans, family, friends and teammates for all the support.”
Keyser (10-1) hosts Scott in the second round, while Mingo Central finishes up at 5-6. The Skyhawks defeated Wyoming East 26-16 in first round action.
Score by quarters:
Keyser …. 40 14 7 0 - 61
Mingo Cen….0 0 6 8 - 14
K- Cody Eversole 25 yard pass to J.R. Flint (Logan Robinette kick)
K- Danny Fife 1 yard run (Robinette kick)
K- Blake Ravenscroft 3 yard run (Robinette kick)
K- Fife 6 yard run (kick failed)
K- Amonte Turner 57 yard punt return (Robinette kick)
K- Fife 36 yard run (kick failed)
K- Austin Ravenscroft 1 yard run (Robinette kick)
K- Hunter Kasmier 32 yard run (T.J. Whetzel kick)
K- Kasmier 69 yard run (Whetzel kick)
MC- Deonte Joplin 1 yard run (run failed)
MC- Joseph Hall 80 yard run (Garth Simpkins run)
Keyser: Hunter Kasmier 16-175-2TDs, Danny Fife 10-69-3TDs, Blake Ravenscroft 5-36, Timmy Biser 3-14, Amonte Turner 4-9, Erik Willis 5-7, Austin Ravenscroft 2-5-TD, Beau Horner 1-1, Garrett Crites 0-0
Mingo Central: Joseph Hall 14-146-TD, Chance Lester 6-27, Deonte Joplin 4-18-TD, Garth Simpkins 2-6, Chase Justice 1-4, Joe May 8 (-1), Taylor Thornsbury 2 (-1)
Passing: Keyser: Cody Eversole 2-3, 32 yards, TD
Mingo Central: Matthew Lester 3-12, 1 yard, 2 INT; Alex Lee 0-1, 0 yards, 1 INT
Keyser: J.R. Flint 1-25-TD, Danny Fife 1-7
Mingo Central: Alex Lee 1 catch, 7 yards, Joseph Hall 2 (-6)
First Downs: Keyser 10, Mingo Central 7
Keyser 2-20; Mingo Central 4-26
Keyser 1-1; Mingo Central 7-3