SHADY SPRING, W.Va. — The Mingo Central Miners picked up a 13-7 first round playoff win over Shady Spring this past Friday night as they rode a bruising ground game past the Tigers to set up a quarterfinal match up with the No. 2 seed Bridgeport Indians.
Junior quarterback Daylin “Day Day” Goad put his team on his back on this night as he carried the ball 21 total times for 190 yards and two scores, including the game-winning touchdown run from 15 yards away with seven minutes to play in the game.
The Miners (9-2) stopped Shady on their first possession to force a punt and immediately worked their way down the field as Goad found receiver Devin Hatfield streaking down the sideline as they looked to score on their opening drive.
However, on third and goal from the three yard line, the Miners were called for a personal foul for an illegal block and were backed up to the 18-yard line. They were not able to punch it in in the next two plays as the Tigers took over on downs.
The Miners offense continued to struggle in the opening half as it was forced to punt on their second possession, and then coughed up a fumble on back-to-back possessions as the score remained tied at zero midway through the second stanza.
The home team finally struck first as Shady Spring quarterback Drew Clark dropped back and flipped a screen pass to senior receiver Erick Bevil, who raced 62 yards down the sideline for the game’s opening score.
Bevils’ PAT was good and the Tigers took the 7-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first half.
Now trailing for the first time, the Miners went to work again on offense as they went to their run game behind a heavy formation featuring offensive linemen Jacob Lester, Scott Collins, Zach Dillon, Josh Lester and Eli Jones along with H-back Chase Smith leading the way.
Coach Josh Sammon’s club worked their way inside the Shady Spring ten yard line and Goad finally got them on the board as he barreled in from five yards away. Goad’s PAT try was good and the Miners tied the game up at seven with 2:12 left in the first half.
Mingo Central took the ball first in the second half and once again moved down the field via the ground game and ate up over seven minutes of clock.
The drive came up empty, however, as the Miners shot themselves in the foot on 2nd and goal from the three when they fumbled the ball and recovered it back at the 11-yard line. They failed on the next two plays to find the endzone and the score remained tied at 7-7.
The Mingo Central defense continued making stop after stop to keep its team in the game as seniors Preston Dingess and Ryan DeBoard each made multiple tackles in the backfield.
The Miners offense, and in particular Goad, continued pounding the ball at the Tiger defense and finally broke through again as Goad willed his way to the endzone on a 15-yard run to give the Miners their first lead of the contest.
Goad’s PAT try was wide left, however, and Mingo Central held the six point advantage at 13-7 with 7:27 to play.
Needing a score to tie the game up, and potentially win it with a successful extra point, coach Vince Culicerto’s club mounted a drive into Miner territory.
They were facing a 3rd down at the Miner 33 yard line when Clark lofted a pass for the endzone that was intercepted by Mingo Central defensive back Devin Hatfield and the Miners took the ball back over at the 20 yard line with three minutes to play.
Coach Sammons’ club went back to the legs of Goad, as he carried the ball six consecutive times to pick up three first downs and kill the clock as the Miners held on for the six point victory.
Mingo Central outgained the Tigers 395 to 210 on the day, with 248 of those yards coming on the ground for the Miners. To add to his 190 rushing yards and two scores, Goad also 8-20 passing for 147 yards and an interception as the Miners struggled to get their ground game going on the natural grass field.
Senior running back Tanner Cisco added 63 yards rushing on eight carries and added two catches for 34 yards. Drew Hatfield led the Miners in catches with four for 59 yards while Devin Hatfield had two grabs for 54 yards.
Dingess led the way on defense with 5.5 tackles including a sack, while Devin Hatfield also finished with five tackles, the game saving interception, and a blocked field goal in the first half.
Isa Scales added 4.5 tackles and DeBoard contributed two including two for a loss. Defensive tackle Jacoby Thornsbury finished with 2.5 tackles and a sack.
The win improves the Miners to 9-2 on the season as they advance to the quarterfinals of the Class AA playoffs for the first time since 2017. The quarterfinal match up on Saturday afternoon will be one of the more interesting second round games in the state as it pits the power running attack of No. 2 Bridgeport versus the typically high flying offense of the Miners.
The Indians are led by coach John Cole come into the game with a 10-1 record and are riding a seven-game winning streak dating back to a loss to No. 1 Fairmont Senior on Sept. 19.
They are a traditional football power in the state of West Virginia, having won nine state championships, including three straight Class AA titles from 2013-15. They have qualified for the playoffs in 27 consecutive seasons dating back to 1992 and advanced to at least the state semifinal round in each of the past eight seasons.
The Indians feature a heavy run attack as they have rushed for 3,228 yards and 44 touchdowns on the season compared to only 490 yards and five scores via the passing game.
Coach Clay likes to spread the ball around to a bevvy of ball carriers, as they feature four runners with 300 or more rushing yards and at least four rushing scores.
Seniors Brian Henderson and Carson Winkie (6’3”, 220 lbs.) are the top two ball carriers on the year as Henderson boasts 662 yards and nine scores on the year while Winkie has added 633 yards and 10 scores. Henderson had 114 yards and two scores while Winkie added 99 yards and two scores of his own in the Indians 56-15 first round win over Lewis County.
Senior back Trey Pancake will also see some touches as he has totaled 596 yards and seven touchdowns on the year and senior quarterback Devin Vandergrift is also a threat to run as has 313 yards and seven scores on the ground in 2019, including an 88 yard, one touchdown performance a week ago.
Vandergrift hasn’t passed the ball much completing 16-33 passes for 339 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. Backup quarterback Cameron Cole adds 151 passing yards and two touchdowns to go with 335 yards rushing and four more scores.
Defensively, the Indians are led by Winkie with 70 total tackles on the year which is by far the most on the team. Pancake is second adding 45 tackles while junior J.T. Muller finished with 43 tackles and leads the team with 3.5 sacks.
Cole is also a threat on defense as he leads the team with four interceptions on the season, including two pick-six’s in the Indians win a week ago.
This will be the first ever meeting between the Miners and the Indians as Mingo Central looks to advance to their third state semifinals in only their ninth year of existence.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at historic Wayne Jamison Stadium.
MCHS (9-2): 0 7 0 6 — 13
SSHS (9-2): 0 7 0 0 — 7
SSHS: 62-yard pass Clark to Bevil (Bevil PAT Good) 4:52
MCHS: 5-yard run Goad (Goad PAT Good) 2:12
MCHS: 15-yard run Goad (Goad PAT No Good) 7:27