RED JACKET – Keyser will be making the long trip from the Maryland border today to face unbeaten Mingo Central in the second round of WVSSAC Class-AA playoffs.
Keyser punched their ticket to the second round after a 50-12 win over Nicholas County last week.
The tall tales concerning the Golden Tornados didn’t reach the bottom of the state until last week. Keyser entered the playoffs with a record of 7-3 and was seeded below Nicholas County. Word spread down that Nicholas County may lose but the talk was hard to take seriously given the elusory of the Golden Tornados reputation.
Once it was noticed who gave the Golden Tornados their losses the reality set in that Keyser was better than led to believe. Keyser lost two regular season games to two good teams out of Maryland and they were undefeated in W.Va until they met defending champ Bridgeport. The Golden Tornados played Bridgeport close but ultimately lost with a final score of 24-13. All other games besides the three loses were fairly large wins by multiple scores.
However, this is not the 8-2 team you are used to seeing on Miner Mountain; this team has the goods to shock the state.
Kennedy Award candidate Jeremy Dillon has helped bring the Miners into the stratosphere with his amazing play. Dillon has 53 touchdowns on the season; 32 passing and 21 rushing. The Miners offense has been impossible for opposing teams to stop this season thanks to the superb play of the Miners offensive line. As assistant coach Joey Fields said, “Every game is won and lost on the line of scrimmage.” The Miners rotating group of 7-8 linemen has made the skill players job a lot easier.
Keyser has a good defense that may be able to contain the Miners, through 11 games they have only allowed 158 points with most of those points stemming from the three losses.
The Miners defense has played exceptionally well this season but will be tasked with keeping the Golden Tornados rushing attack in check. The rushing attack is comprised of QB Brady Ours, RB Devonta Johnson, and Christian Ravenscroft. The Miners defensive backfield will have to be ready as well because of Ours passing ability and variety of receiving options.
In the Golden Tournado’s week four win over Weir they were forced to utilize the pass in order to get the win after injuries occurred to key players in the rushing game. Ours was able to keep the game alive through passing and score on the ground twice in the last five minutes to beat Weir by two scores 28-14.
Keyser will be no easy matchup for the undefeated Miners considering they are in the second round of the class-AA playoffs and have impressive stats. But if the Miners play with the intensity that they have been playing with all year, and more as of late, they could be moving on to host the winner of James Monroe and Point Pleasant next week.
The Miners finished the season undefeated, won the Cardinal Conference Championship, so why stop stop now. They are only three weeks away from a state title. The Miners have a true chance to make history this season, but first they have to beat Keyser.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at “Buck” Harless Stadium on Miner Mountain tonight; Friday, November 18. 2016
(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.)