By Paul Adkins
MAN – Mount View, the Man High School football team’s opponent on Friday night, used to have a good football program.
The Golden Knights never seemed to have a shortage of big, strong and fast athletes and were a usual mainstay in the playoffs in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Mount View was 8-4 in 2005 and 7-4 in 2006 and made it to the post-season both years.
Then came a downturn.
A real big downturn.
The Golden Knights had losing seasons in 2007 and 2008 and went 1-9 in 2009, falling in their last seven games. After back-to-back 0-10 campaigns in 2010 and 2011, Mount View showed some signs of life last season, breaking a 32-game losing skid and finishing 3-7 with victories over Wyoming East (18-15), Van (26-6) and Fayetteville (19-12).
Man took advantage of Mount View’s misfortunes, beating the Golden Knights the last five years, including a 20-12 decision last fall.
During the run over the Golden Knights, the Hillbillies smacked down Mount View like a ranked Big 10 team having its way over a MAC weakling, to the tune of 54-6, 56-0, 63-0 and 41-12.
The Golden Knights (0-1), which lost 28-0 at home in last week’s season opener at home to McDowell County rival River View, are showing signs of improvement, however, and should be a good test for Man (0-1), which lost 40-20 to Class AAA county rival Logan last Friday night at home.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. this Friday night at Mount View’s Vic Nystrom Stadium in Welch.
Both teams struggled early in last week’s openers.
Man gave up a 59-yard touchdown pass from Logan quarterback Ryan Miller to Josh Rein on the first play of the game and trailed 34-8 after three.
“We got off to a terrible start last week and gave up two scores early,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “Those were two big plays that we had prepared for all week. That put us behind the 8-ball but our kids kept on playing and kept on competing. At the end we were moving the ball pretty well and were playing better on defense and at least made it a game. We have to improve our pass defense and get a better pass rush. We’re working on a little bit of everything. We’re going into the second week and we’ve got to improve. We’re happy, though, that we did compete but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Mount View trailed 10-0 at halftime last week after gave up three second-half touchdowns to River View, led by first-year head coach Gehrig Justice, who replaced the retiring Mitch Estep less than a month ago.
The Golden Knights were held to only 117 yards of total offense. Mount View had only 26 yards rushing on 42 attempts and passed for 91 yards. The Raiders had 31 rushes for 181 yards and 48 more in the air for 229 total.
Mount View fumbled six times and lost three of them. Two of those led to two of River View’s scores.
Penalties were also a major problem for the Golden Knights last week as MV was flagged 15 times for 100 yards.
“We just flat didn’t do it,” Mount View second-year head coach Todd McCoy told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph after the game. “We got out-played. We’ve got to fix the problems with our offensive line. There weren’t any holes up there (for runners to go through). We’ve got to fix things on the line first.”
Senior LaQuell Martin ran the pigskin 14 times for 44 yards for Mount View, as the ground game lost 33 yards in the final two quarters. Jamari Perry had 25 yards rushing.
A bright spot for Mount View was a 76-yard pass late in the game from freshman quarterback Steven Brown, who took Chris Muncy’s place, to Marquis Bonds that carried it from the Knight 22 to the Raider 2.
“They are a team that is improving,” Arms said of Mount View. “They had a tough start for them against their county rival River View and got off to a bad start. I’m sure they think they have a lot of things they have to work on just as we do. One thing that you always have to worry about Mount View is speed. They always have guys that can run. From what we’ve seen, they use a lot of power backfield formation with three backs. They have a quarterback that throws the ball pretty good. He’s also a good sized kid. We have to prepare and try to stop the big play.”
Both Mount View and Man gave up 100-yard ground games last week. River View’s Jordan Wilson rolled up 135 yards on the ground on 19 carries on the Golden Knights. Man’s defense allowed Logan’s Worm Street to rush for 141 yards on 12 carries, including a 75-yard TD dash.
Logan had 22 rushes for 231 yards last week against Man. With Miller’s 219 yards passing, the Cats had 450 yards of total offense for the game. Man had 353 total yards — 189 passing and 134 rushing.
Man sophomore QB John Thomas Keffer was 15-for-32 passing for 189 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Tracy Jones, co-game MVP, had eight catches for 138 yards and a score. Cayce Mullins had five catches for 43 yards. Gage Harvey had one grab for seven yards. Neil Mullins rushed 15 times for 74 yards and one TD for Man. Braden Griffin had 10 carries for 27 yards and one catch for one yard. Mikle Scott Rowe ran for 26 yards on five carries, including a touchdown.
Man came out of last week’s Logan game with no real serious injuries, Arms said.
“I think that we’re going to be alright. We have a couple who are banged up. Hopefully they will be ready to play on Friday night,” Arms said.
Man-Mount View Series
Since 2000 (Mount View leads 8-5):
2012: Man 20, Mount View 12
2011: Man 41, Mount View 12
2010: Man 63, Mount View 0
2009: Man 56, Mount View 0
2008: Man 54, Mount View 6
2007: Mount View 22, Man 8
2006: Mount View 56, Man 41
2005: Mount View 29, Man 22
2004: Mount View 26, Man 12
2003: Mount View 35, Man 20
2002: Mount View 21, Man 7
2001: Mount View 46, Man 7
2000: Mount View 39, Man 6
2013 Man High School
Football Schedule (0-1):
Aug. 30: Logan, L 20-40
Sept. 6: at Mount View, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13: at Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: River View (Hall of Fame Game), 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 27: OPEN DATE
Oct. 4: at Fayetteville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: Chapmanville (Homecoming), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: Pocahontas County, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8: Van (Senior Night), 7:30 p.m.