By Phil Perry
For Civitas Media
MADISON, W.Va. – A 22-point third quarter coupled with a strong second half defensive effort allowed the Class AA No. 3 Mingo Central Miners to remain unbeaten and surge past the upset minded Skyhawks of Scott, 48-20.
The rain didn’t stop and neither did Scott’s effort, particularly in the first half when they hustled their way into a 14-14 deadlock with their Cardinal Conference foes on the coattail of an electrifying 79-yard kickoff return by Nathan Ramsey for a touchdown.
“That gave them a spark. We had a sorry excuse for a practice this week for the first time this year and we weren’t ready to play,” said Miner head coach Yogi Kinder. “They (Scott) have won two games and we played like we won two games. Our effort sucked, but was a little better in the second half.”
While Kinder was displeased with his squad’s effort, the Minors balanced offense kept the Scott defense on its heels. Joe Hunt scored Mingo Central’s first two touchdowns of the game on scampers of 15 and 2-yards, respectively.
The second half proved why the Miners had outscored their opponents 355-89 on the season going into the game. The Miners have been outscoring their opponents on an average of 50-12.
Mingo Central quarterback Jeremy Dillon found Drew Hatfield on a slant pattern good for an 8-yard score, kicking off a scoring surge for his squad. Kinder said that his signal caller made some good second half decisions with the ball, both with his arm and his legs.
“He did make some good plays,” he said. “We’re not a first and fifteen team. It’s hard to call a play for that when you are making stupid penalties like we did as a team.” The Miners were hit for seven penalties, good for 65 yards in the wrong direction. Garrett Roberts scored Scott’s only points in the second half with a 2-yard dive. The Skyhawk offense, which relies on their ground game —- goes through the talented back.
While he was an obvious focus of the Mingo Central defense, he still managed 100 yards on the ground. “Look, coach (Shann) Elkins has those kids playing hard,” said Kinder. “He will do just fine with that program over there.” Dillon hit Hatfield again for a 28-yard scoring pass and found Dalton Sheppard for a 21-yard strike to end the scoring on the night. Mingo Central (8-0) racked up 424 yards of offense while holding Scott (2-6) to 216.
Dillon completed 14-of-26 passes in a consistent rain for 193 yards and three scores and most importantly for the Miners, no interceptions. Going into the contest, Dillon had thrown 20 touchdowns to only one pick. Hunt, the squad’s leading rusher, netted 138 yards on the ground via 20 touches while Dillon tallied 93 on 9 carries. Tyler Grimmett led all defenders with 11 tackles.
Mingo Central will host Herbert Hoover (6-2) on Friday as Scott travels to Nitro (1-7).
Score by quarters:
Mingo: 14 0 22 12 – 48
Scott: 8 6 0 6 – 20