Miners cage Tigers 20-14; edge closer to playoffs

By Kyle Lovern

October 20, 2013

Kyle Lovern

Sports Editor

CHAPMANVILLE - The playoff hopes for the Mingo Central Miners increased with a hard-fought 20-14 road victory over Chapmanville Regional High School on Friday night at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium.

In the meantime, the home-standing Tigers’ loss hurt their playoff hopes in a major way. The contest was also a Cardinal Conference game and the first-ever matchup between the two schools on the grid iron.

The unranked Tigers fell to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference with the home finale defeat to the No. 14 Miners, which improved to 5-2, 3-1 and leapfrogged past Chapmanville for third place in the league.

The Tigers led Mingo Central 14-8 at halftime but the Miners scored two second half touchdowns to pull out the victory at Chapmanville on the road.

Mingo Central tied it 14-14 at the 10:19 mark of the third quarter with Deonte Joplin’s 30-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed.

The Miners then scored the eventual game winner with 6:46 left in the third with Chance Lester’s 4-yard TD run. The conversion failed again but Mingo Central was on top of the Tigers 20-14.

The two teams then played a scoreless fourth quarter.

Mingo’s Chase Justice had a big interception late in the game to halt a Chapmanville scoring drive.

It was the first ever meeting between the two schools in football. Mingo Central, a third-year consolidated school from the old Williamson, Matewan, Gilbert and Burch high schools, joined the Cardinal Conference last season.

Chapmanville went up 6-0 with 4:46 left in the first quarter with Alex Berry’s 5-yard TD pass to Brady Cox. The two-point conversion pass fell incomplete.

The Tigers then made it 14-0 with 1:19 to go until halftime with a 4-yard Paul Workman touchdown run and a Berry to Zac Casto two-point conversion pass.

Mingo Central scored with 43 ticks to go on a 3-yard Lester touchdown run and a Joplin conversion run to make it 14-8 at the half.

Joplin rushed for a career high 193 yards on 19 carries and a TD. Lester had 10 attempts for 47 yards and two TDs, while Dekweon Willis had five carries for 32 yards. The Miners rushed for 282 yards on 33 carries.

The Miners were penalized 10 times for 55 yards. The Tigers had three hankies for 45 yards.

Berry was 9-for-17 passing for 70 yards and one interception CRHS.

Chapmanville had 339 yards of total offense for the game. The Tigers rushed 42 times for 269 yards. Devin Wiley had 25 carries for 109 yards, while Workman had 11 rushes for 82 yards and a score. Tanner Dillon had five attempts for 21 yards.

Brady Cox had six catches for 44 yards and a score. Jacob Dingess had two grabs for 16 yards. Tyler Neil had one catch for 10 yards.

Mingo Central hosts Class AAA Logan (5-2) this coming Friday night at Buck Harless Stadium with major playoff implications for both teams on the line.

Chapmanville closes out the season with a pair of road games in Wayne County — this coming Friday night at Tolsia (3-4) and Nov. 1 at No. 1-ranked and two-time defending Class AA state champion Wayne (7-0).

Score by quarters:

Mingo (5-2) …0 8 12 0 - 20

CRHS (3-5) … 6 8 0 0 - 14

(Paul Adkins of the Logan Banner contributed to this article.)