By Kyle Lovern
RED JACKET – Mingo Central is averaging 49 points per game and continues to roll over opponents in Class AA.
The Miners (5-0) are ranked No. 4 and are coming off a 34-0 shutout of perennial AA power Wayne at Pioneer Field. The defense is only allowing 12 points per game.
Not only has the offense been impressive, but the defense under the direction of head coach Yogi Kinder has continued to improve each week.
This week the Miners play host to the Poca Dots of the Cardinal Conference. The Dots have not been as strong in recent years, but in the past they were one of the toughest Class AA teams in the state. This year their woes have continued as they come to Harless Stadium with a 0-6 record.
It will be homecoming for Mingo Central, but the coaching staff doesn’t think that will be a distraction for their squad.
“Our goal is to get better every day,” said Mingo Central Offensive Coordinator Joey Fields. “We try to take it one play at a time – that is the mindset we are trying to have.”
“Our guys have responded to that very well. We are just taking care of our players and doing our job which is the main thing,” Fields added.
“Defensively we’ve gotten a lot better these past two weeks. Isaac Fox, Caleb Lester and Robbie Daniels have been a big part of that. As the season goes on we’re able to play these guys both ways which has been good for us,” Field continued.
“Offensively we have so many weapons from sideline to sideline. Jeremy (Dillon) and Drew (Hatfield) have carried the load but Dalton Sheppard and Tyler Grimmett have come alive here lately and making big time plays,” Fields stated.
Dillon, a junior quarterback, has been outstanding putting up fantastic numbers. The 6-foot-5 signal caller has completed 74 out of 119 passes for 1,279 yards and 16 touchdowns in only five games. He has only thrown one interception. He has rushed 51 times for 326 yards and nine TDs.
Senior Joe “The Runaway Coal Truck” Hunt leads the team with 337 rushing yards on 63 carries and has hit pay-dirt six times.
On the receiving end of many of Dillon’s passes has been speedy freshman sensation Drew Hatfield. He has hauled in 33 catches for 471 yards and eight TDs. Hatfield is also a threat on kickoff and punt returns.
Senior Tyler Grimmett has caught 11 passes for 288 yards and five TDs, while Dalton Sheppard has 13 catches for 215 yards and a score. Senior Lee Chafin is another reliable wide receiver for MCHS.
Fields also praised the offensive line for opening up the holes and for its pass protection. The line is led by Daniels, Zack Curry, Dalton Fields, Mikey Hall and Kaleb Hurley.
On defense, Hurley leads a balanced attack. Fox, Grimmett, Caleb Lester, Daniels, Daniel Buchanan, Chase Warden and Thomas Harmon lead the way with tackles for Kinder’s stalwart defense.
Grimmett and Sheppard both have interceptions that were returned for TDs.
“Our goal is to win a state championship and it has been these past three years. These guys know what type of work goes with that and so far they have done what it takes,” Fields concluded.
(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.)