WILLIAMSON – A brief recap is in order for the area football action that happened over the weekend.
Underneath the Friday night lights most of the area football squads tasted victory, some fell short but gained some knowledge which will have to do for now. Belfry, Mingo Central, and Tug Valley won their week two games while Phelps and Pikeville fell short. Also are some reports of a middle school win with some statistics to go along.
Belfry-47, Harlan County-13.
The undefeated class-AAA state championship defending Belfry Pirates had an easy day against Harlan County on Friday night. The Pirates won 47-13 and scored 41 points in the first half, Harlan County did not score until the fourth quarter. Belfry saw great offensive production with four rushing TD’s and two passing TD’s but also held the Black Bears to only 174-yards of total offense. Belfry had 300-yards of total offense with 251-yards rushing on 21 carries and 49-yards of passing on two completions.
The Pirates are off to a 2-0 season with a win over Tates Creek and now Harlan County. The pre-season hype about the Pirates making another state title run is definitely viable even this early in the season.
Mingo Central-42, Tolsia – 20.
The Mingo Central Miners took full advantage of their progress and the Rebels regress on Friday night. The Miners and Rebels have been a rivalry for some years now, the rivalry was fueled during the 2015 season when the Rebels handed the Miners two of their three losses. This year the tables have turned and Mingo has the upper hand. The Miners will likely come out on top in this rivalry as Tolsia will drop out of the Cardinal Conference next year since they have dropped down to Class-A in the 2016 season.
The Miners were in control the entire game as junior QB Jeremy Dillon made a big impact on the game. Tolsia had moments of continuity but were no match for the high powered Miners. The Miners had 388-yards of total offense. They went 17-24 on passing competitions for 141-yards and 247-yards rushing on 36 carries.
After Tolsia scored their first touchdown and closed the Miners lead to 20 points the Miners took control again. Tolsia’s Logan Presley was picked off by Mingo’s Dalton Sheppard who returned the interception 80-yards to the end zone to extend the Miners lead to 26 with a two point conversion added.
The Pirates and the Miners are in the same boat this season with almost too many offensive weapons at their disposal. It’s a coin flip of which players will score first and just when opposing teams get a handle on just who to stop on offense they are struck with a blind side blow from the team’s defense. Both of these teams can expect great seasons.
Tug Valley-37, Meadow Bridge-0.
The Tug Valley Panthers bounced back in a big way after letting the game with Sherman slip through their fingers in the fourth quarter in week one. Panther fans knew that this was not their team and the Panthers made a statement last Friday night by holding Meadow Bridge scoreless.
The Panthers had a great defensive effort by the whole team and scored easily through all four quarters. Four different Panthers crossed the goal line rushing and Blake Dingess snagged one reception TD from Johnathan Blankenship.
Junior running back Dawson Elia has been making his presence on the field known for the Panthers. Elia led the team on defense during the Meadow Bridge game with eight tackles, two for a loss of yardage, and one fumble recovery. Elia scored one rushing TD against Meadow Bridge to add to his two rushing TD’s scored against Sherman. The Panthers backfield is stocked with talent and has a great veteran line to help them make the plays.
The Panthers have the momentum now and will probably not give it up without a fight from now on.
On the other side of the river Pikeville Panther fans saw the defending Class-A state champions lose to neighboring Paintsville. The Panthers didn’t lose much from last season, mostly star running back Darric Pugh. The score from last Friday’s game makes fans wonder is Paintsville really that good? The answer is yes.
The Panthers are now 2-1 on the season and most of the damage from Friday night’s game was done by Paintsville’s QB and running back. Running back Kent Phelps went 175-yards on 20 carries and two TD’s, while QB Darren Morris went 118-yards on 18 carries with two TD’s. Morris also threw two TD passes during the game.
For the hometown Panthers the rushing workload was split between Blake Slone and Clay Charles who both rushed for over 50-yards with a TD apiece. Panther QB Wyatt Battaile went 11-26 through the air for 192-yards passing and one passing TD.
Pikeville will look to bounce back this week against Fairview.
The Phelps Hornets are still on the hunt for that allusive win after falling to Van on Friday night and moving to 3-0 on the season.
The Hornets were not without a few rays of light as RB Peyton rife continued to be the Hornets leading rusher. Rife and Clevenger was the two scorers for the Hornets. Leading the Hornets on defense was young Seth Elkins with eight tackles. Elkins has been showing himself as a real ball player through the last three games for the Hornets. Ronald Prater returned as one of the Hornets go-to defensive man with seven tackles.
The Hornets will be looking to gain that first win against Montcalm this Friday.
Gilbert Middle School (GMS)-36, Lenore Middle School(LMS)-6.
Last Thursday night GMS and LMS squared off for a big Mingo County Middle School battle and the Gilbert Lions walked away with the win.
The Gilbert Lions rode to victory on the legs of Zack Patrick. Patrick had a big night leading the lions in rushing with 179-yards on eight carries with two rushing TD’s. Patrick was joined by teammates Anthony Hendricks and Josh Lester with big rushing performances. Hendricks rushed for 110-yards on 11 carries with one two point conversion and Lester rushed for 94-yards on 12 carries, two rushing TD’s and one two point conversion run.
The Lions were led on defense by Jacob St. Clair who had seven tackles; Wil Lyons added six tackles and one fumble recovery. Chase Porter had five tackles, Hendricks had six, Lester had four, and Patrick had two fumble recoveries to go with his four tackles. Lion hunter Nicholas had one interception early in the game that was a big momentum ‘shifter’ for the Lions.
Head coach Jimmy Bragg had this to say about the game, “I thought we came to play tonight. Our defense was outstanding. We lost out starting QB for the season and he will be really missed. He’s a great kid and now we have to try to get him ready for basketball season. I thought we had one of the best team efforts since I have been here. Had a loud crowd which was huge because our kids really feed off of that. It was a great win, but we will be back at it Monday because we got Kermit next Thursday.”
(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.)