RED JACKET – The Mingo Central Miners ended the regular season with a convincing 70-8 victory over visiting Mt. View.
It was a late season homecoming celebration on a cold November Friday night at Buck Harless Stadium.
The Miners jumped out to a 34-0 lead after the first quarter, then continued to score easily against the Knights and led 58-0 heading into the dressing room at the half.
Mingo Central improved to 8-2 on the season and rolled up an impressive 504 total yards of offense. The junior varsity played most of the second half.
The Miner’s tough, swarming team defense held Mt. View out of the end zone until late in the third quarter when the visitors got one token score.
Sophomore Deonte Joplin rushed for 161 yards, which gives him 938 on the season as he inches closer to the 1,000 yard mark. He also rushed for three touchdowns, which gives him 12 on the season.
The Miners took the lead with 7:59 left in the first quarter as Joplin scored from two yards out. The TD was set up after Dakweon Willis took a screen pass to the 2-yard line to set up the score. Joplin’s kick was wide left, but the home team led 6-0.
On Mt. View’s next possession, they fumbled the pigskin and it was recovered by Ethan Collins on the 32 yard line. Chase Justice scored two plays later from the nine yard line with 6:15 left in the opening quarter. The score was set up on a pass from Stevie Hammond to Nathaniel Abbott. The kick was wide again, but MCHS led 12-0.
The Miners scored quickly on their next drive as Hammond connected with Alex “Booger” Lee on a 50-yard touchdown pass. Willis ran it in for the 2-point conversion and MCHS led 20-0 at the 3:48 mark of the first.
On the ensuing kickoff, Mt. View fumbled the football as Justin Parker recovered it on the 12 yard line. After a holding penalty, Hammond hit Lee again for a 22 yard TD pass. The kick was blocked but the Miners led 26-0 with 3:17 left in the first.
Then on the next drive on the first play from scrimmage by the Knights, Chance Lester intercepted a pass and weaved his way to the end zone from 51 yards away. Joplin’s 2-point conversion made it 34-0 with 2:59 left in the first quarter.
After a Mt. View 3 and out, they punted and Mingo took over on the 34 yard line.
Hammond and Lee hooked up on another TD pass, but it was called back because of a penalty.
However, that didn’t stop the Miners as they quickly moved the ball down into the red zone and Willis bulled in from four yards out with 11:01 left in the first half.
On Mt. View’s next drive, they fumbled again. One play later Chase Justice broke free for a 61-yard TD run with 4:47 left in the half. Then freshman Joe Hunt scored the 2-point conversion to increase the lead to 50-0.
The Miners got one more score before the half ended as Joplin scored on a 30-yard TD run with just :37 seconds left in the second quarter. Justice scored the 2-point conversion to make it 58-0.
Mingo Central received the kickoff to start the third quarter. They continued where they left off as Joplin squirted past the Knights defense for a 75 yard TD run. The conversion was no good, but the lead increased to 64-0.
Mt. View finally got on the scoreboard as LaQuell Martin scored on a 33-yard TD run. Quarterback Chris Muncy scored the 2-point conversion to make it 64-8 at the end of the third quarter.
The JV players continued to perform well for the Miners. They got into the scoring act as sophomore QB Payton Woolum hit freshman Lee Chafin on a slat route for a TD pass. The conversion failed, but that was the final score as the seconds ticked off the fourth quarter.
The Miner’s coaching staff praised the offensive line for their blocking, which enabled the offense to click all night, especially in the first half.
The Mingo Central defense also performed well. Led by Zack Holt, Brandon Blankenship, Austin Prater, Willis, Lee, Collins and many others, as the Miners forced several turnovers. They also had several sacks and tackles for loss of yardage. They held Mt. View to 101 total yards of offense and much of that was gained on the JV players.
Besides Joplin’s good night on offense, Justice rushed for 72 yards and a pair of TDs and Parker 79 yards.
Hammond was 5-of-7 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He did not throw any picks. Both TD passes went to his favorite target, Booger Lee, who had two catches for 70 yards and two TDs.
Mingo Central is assured of a playoff appearance, however who and where they play will not be known until Sunday afternoon. Unofficially it looks like the Miners will remain 9th in the Class AA poll and will travel to Sissonville for their first round playoff game. The Indians are ranked 8th and are also in the Cardinal Conference. However, the two teams did not play this season because Mingo Central is new to the league and was unable to get a full conference schedule. The Miners did not play the Indians of the Scott Skyhawks. Next season they will have a full slate of Cardinal Conference games.
Score by quarters:
Mt. View (1-9) … 0 0 8 0 -8
Mingo (8-2) … 34 28 6 6 - 70