WILLIAMSON – The Pig-skin debrief is back with another week of great football to chat about.
Whether you’re on the porch or on the job, the football chatter is heating up and last week gave us plenty to talk about.
Tug: 42, Van: 20
The Tug Valley Panthers are back to normal after a disappointing week one loss at the hands of Sherman. Since then, the Panthers have won two in a row and last week’s 42-20 win over the Van Bulldogs was kind of a big deal. The predictions were still up in the air on whether the Panthers would be able to make the 2016 as good as their previous two seasons. In 2014 the Panthers made it to the playoffs for the first time in history and continued with a trip to the show in 2015 as well. This year has all the makings for a repeat and maybe more.
The Panthers put on a running display that the Bulldogs just could not match. Van had plenty of talent and finished the game with 347-yards of total offense but the Panthers overshadowed that with 402-yards rushing. The Panthers only attempted one pass which was incomplete so the rushing yards was all they had but that proved to be enough. Van was just not in as great of shape as the Panthers and Tug made them pay for it.
Junior running back Dawson Elia returned once again to remind the Panther crowd and anyone paying attention in the class-A football scene that he is here to do some damage. Elia finished the game with 196-yards rushing on 19 carries with two rushing TD’s and one kick-off return TD for 85-yards. Elia’s shifty compact frame makes him ideal the Panther’s style of offense with plenty of counter runs and a good number of up the gut, smash mouth football. Elia ran great in the open field and was shifty in tight quarters but received plenty of help from the team’s fullback Noah Lucas who also lit the stats on fire for the Panthers.
Lucas finished the game with 139-yards on only nine carries and two TD’s. Lucas averaged 15.4 yards per carry, wait a minute what was that; yes 15.4 yards per carry. He also led the team on defense with 10 total tackles.
The Panthers humored the Bulldogs early in the game with a good back and forth battle until the bulldogs needed a breather and the Panthers began having fun. QB Johnathan Blankenship didn’t do much through the air but was crucial on defense. The Bulldogs were close to closing the lead and making it a one position game, they had worked the ball down to the 15-yard line until Blankenship was able to strip the ball from a Van player and give the Panthers possession again. The Panthers were able to capitalize on this and add one more score before the time run out.
The Panthers have a great ground game but all of that is due to a stellar line. Tackle Andrew Dingess took a fall early in the game with a knee injury but was able to get stretched out and return to the game later. Dustin Jarvis also went down with an injury but was unable to return. The Panthers will miss Jarvis who may be out for the season with a broken leg.
Belfry:41, NC: 8
The Belfry Pirates make it difficult for anyone in the media to do their job and discuss the upcoming game with any type of legitimacy. Previously to the game, words flew left and right about how Newport Central Catholic could be the Pirates best competition to date. That did not turn out to be the case and one would have to believe everyone knew it.
The Pirates completely dominated the Thoroughbreds , a team that actually does play plenty of tough teams in Northern Ky., but they were not ready for what the Pirates brought to the table. The Pirates are completely balanced team with multiple players jockeying for a score. The ones who don’t get the chance to score on offense are chomping at the bit to make a big play on defense that could give them a score. The best competition for the Pirates as of yet has been between the players in red competing to get into the end zone.
The Pirates had four rushing TD’s and one passing TD. Andrew Fletcher, Derek Wellman, Cameron Catron, and Peyton Hensley all scored on the ground. QB Noah Corbett threw one pass and connected with Austin Woolum on a 28-yard reception score.
The Pirates are now 3-0 on the season and have a few tough games coming up. First the Pirates will travel to Pikeville to face the defending class-A Champions, the Pikeville Panthers. But, after that they will travel to face Knoxville Catholic and the come home to host Cabell Midland. The rumor mill has been producing reports that Knoxville Catholic is looking good this year and Cabell Midland was the Pirates only loss last season. Johnson Central will also cap off the season just like last year but last year’s game was a little fishy. Some said Johnson Central held back on purpose in order to gain a more favorable play-off spot and that kind of talk makes one wonder what would a fair game look like?
But, for right now the Pirates have yet to face any legitimate competition and they continue to be dominant.
Mingo Central:52, Sissonville: 22.
The Mingo Central Miners remain undefeated after beating Sissonville 52-22 on Friday night at Sissonville. The Miners should be jumping up in the Class-AA rankings come Wednesday and still remain number one in the Cardinal Conference Standings. This is all because of a knock-out offense tethered with a very serious defense.
The Miners did give up a pretty good amount of passing yards to the Indians which could be like blood in the water to other passing teams in the Cardinal Conference. The Miners gave up 235-yards through the air but held the Indians to only 76-yards rushing. That proves, the Miners can beat you in more than one way, if you are trying to outscore them then you will have a rough day and if you’re trying to stop them defensively then you better bring you’re A-game.
The Miners had a big rushing performance from Joe Hunt; he rumbled 121-yards on 20 carries with three rushing TD’s. QB Jeremy Dillon also came through with a big game by rushing for two TD’s. Dillon also had 153-yards passing with 15 completions on 19 attempts with one passing TD to Tyler Grimmett.
Defensively the Miners were led by Daniel Buchanan who finished the night with 6.5 tackles. The Miners have been putting up some big defensive numbers so far this season with Kaleb Hurley leading the way with 17.5 total tackles through three games. Buchanan leads the Miners in sacks with three for a total loss of 12 yards. The big number for the Miners defensively is interceptions. The Miners have four interceptions through three games with 142-yards attributed and one TD which was Dalton Sheppard against Tolsia.
The Miners have over 1100-yards of total offense this season with 610 rushing and 499 passing. The Miners will take a BYE this week before returning to action on September 23, against 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.)