Mingo Central improves to 3-1 with win over Westside
Civitas News Service
CLEAR FORK – The Mingo Central Miners came away with another road victory with a 22 – 8 win at Clear Fork over Westside.
A power outage in Clear Fork made it uncertain for a time whether the Westside-Mingo Central game would be played on Friday.
The lights came back on, and the Miners ground game provided the power.
Class AA No. 15 Central ran at and over the Renegades on the way to a 22-8 win.
Freshman Deonte Joplin scored two touchdowns and Dakweon Wills ran for another as the Miners controlled the ball and the clock for most of the night.
“We practice hard, and the kids work hard,” said WHS coach Larry Cook, whose team fell to 1-3. “There’s no lack of effort.
“What we need is for someone besides Mikey (Mullens) to step up and be a playmaker for us,” he added.
Central was already up, 10-0, when it put together a classic 18-play, 94-yard scoring drive that chewed up over seven minutes of the third and fourth quarters. All but one play was on the ground, and the lone pass attempt was incomplete.
It looked like the long march would be futile when the Miners (3-1) were forced to punt on fourth and long. But a roughing the kicker penalty on the Renegades kept the sticks moving.
Joplin’s 28-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter stretched the lead to 16-0. The rush attempt on the conversion failed.
When Mingo Central got the ball back, it needed just six plays to get back to the end zone.
Wills ran it from seven yards out for the TD, making it 22-0 with 7:37 to play.
Westside didn’t get on the board until Mullens caught a short pass from Larry Cook and took it 70 yards down the home sideline for six. Cook connected with Justin Kenneda for the two-point conversion.
Central then ran out the clock.
“The defense played great, but they wore down after a while,” coach Cook commented.
Defense dominated the first half.
Central used a mix of short passes and the running game to drive inside the Renegades five in the opening period.
Westside got the ball back on downs, but two plays later, the quarterback was tackled in the end zone for a safety. That gave the Miners a 2-0 lead.
That’s how it stayed until a Renegades fake punt attempt failed and Central took possession near midfield.
Stevie Hammond’s pass to Wills moved the ball to the WHS 37.
Joplin had runs to the 19 and 12, and Hammond carried it to the 2.
Joplin scored on a two-yard run with 2:15 showing.
Hammond threw to Joplin for the extra points, making it 10-0.
Westside staged its first scoring threat early in the third quarter.
Mullens had runs of 22 and 28 as the Renegades moved to the ball to the Central 5.
Central stuffed all four running plays.
“That was big,” coach Cook commented. “If we had scored, it would have given our kids a reward for their hard work.”
Joplin led MCHS with 113 yards and 23 carries and a pair of TDs. Willis had 39 yards on seven carries and a score, while Hammond picked up 16 yards on nine tries. Chase Justice had 23 yards on four carries. Hammond was 8-13 passing for 76 yards. Alex “Booger” Lee caught five passes for 58 yards.
Mingo Central will have this week off and will be able to rest during its bye week. The bye week is in a much better place than in the first two seasons when the Miners had their bye in the second week of the season. This year they have it at the midway point of the schedule.
Mingo Central will host two-time defending state champion Wayne in two weeks. Westside plays at Independence this Friday.
Score by quarters:
Mingo (3-1) …. 2 8 0 12 - 22
Westside (1-3) … 0 0 0 8 – 8
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
(Sports Editor Kyle Lovern contributed to this article.)