MAN — The Man High School football team wanted to run the table.
After losing to Class AAA county rival Logan in the season opener, Logan coach Gary Mullins said the Hillbillies would win nine straight games.
They did just that.
Mullins was right on the money as Man closed out the regular season 9-1 with a 61-6 drubbing over the Van Bulldogs on Friday night during Senior Night at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Man secured its first trip to the Class A playoffs in four years and erased the bad memories of three straight losing seasons. The Billies, tied for No. 4 in the state in this week’s rankings, are projected to finish No. 5 and host a first-round playoff game next Friday night or Saturday afternoon.
Man’s projected first-round opponent is No. 12 Bishop Donahue. The Billies would then possibly play the winner of the game between possible No. 4 Williamstown and No. 13 Wheeling Central in the second round.
Bishop Donahue (7-3), ranked No. 15 this week and a winner over Tyler Consolidated, 47-28 on Friday night, would have the option of playing Man either on Friday night or Saturday afternoon. Since it is a long distance away, Bishop might possibly pick Saturday afternoon to play the Billies.
The official WVSSAC playoff brackets are expected to be released on Sunday.
Man head coach Harvey Arms, in his 12th year, has now led the Billies to five playoff appearances. The last one was in 2009 when Man played in the Class A state championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium and lost 27-7 to Weirton Madonna.
Arms said his team played well against Van and have come a long way.
“It was a good game for us,” he said. “The young kids got to play a lot. The varsity didn’t play much, but the young kids all played well and got all the stats. We start our second season now and we have to get ready to play. A 9-1 record feels a heck of a lot better than 2-8.”
Van, who dressed only 14 players for the game, was simply outmanned and outclassed. The Bulldogs closed out the season with four straight losses and a 3-7 record.
The Billies jumped all over the Bulldogs early, going up 6-0 with 8:57 showing on the opening quarter clock after an 11-yard TD burst by Mikle Scott Rowe. Man, which has been going for two-point conversions all sesaon long, tried to work on its kicking game but Cayce Mullins was only able to connect on one kick in the game.
Man’s defense then forced Van to a three-and-out and then took a 12-0 lead on its next possession on a 5-yard TD run by fullback Neil Mullins at the 6:40 mark.
The Billies then forced another punt by Van.
Man then struck paydirt for the third time in the opening quarter on a 3-yard run by Braden Griffin to make it 18-0. The PAT kick was again no good.
The Billies then added another score with no time on the clock as senior speedster Tracy Jones took a Van punt and raced in for a 55-yard TD to give the hosts a commanding 24-0 lead.
The rout was on as the first quarter came to an end.
Coach Arms then turned to his bench and put in his reserve players for a series of downs.
Man made it 30-0 at the 9:03 mark of the second quarter as Damian White scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed.
Van was unable to move the pigskin and once again the Billies scored as Arms would let the starters back in for one more series as QB John Thomas Keffer hooked up with Jones for a 30-yard TD pass. Mullins then kicked the extra point as Man led 37-0 with 8:41 left until halftime. The score was set up by an interception by Jace Duba.
Man struck again with 2:40 to go until the intermission as reserve running back Patrick Wiley scored on a 45-yard TD run to make it 43-0. Reserve QB Josh Vanover tossed the PAT conversion pass to Duba to give the Billies a 45-0 lead at the half.
White then scored his second touchdown of the game with 43 ticks to go on the third quarter clock with a 17-yard run. Dustin McCoy ran in the two-point conversion to make it 53-0 Billies.
The Bulldogs then got their only points of the game to open the fourth quarter of play as Justin Lambert caught a 35-yard touchdown from Van QB Cole Price to make it 53-6.
Man then scored its final points of the game with 3:19 to play on Dustin McCoy’s 5-yard TD run. Vanover ran in the two-point conversion to make it 61-6.
Man outgained Van 464-128 in yards of total offense. As a team, Man rushed for 339 yards.
Nine different Billies carried the football, led by reserve Wiley who had an even 100 yards on five carries and one score. Jacob Frye had nine attempts for 57 yards, while Dustin McCoy had eight totes for 52 yards and a TD.
White had eight carries for 48 yards and a touchdown for Man. Griffin ran just four times for 30 yards and scored. Neil Mullins had three rushes for 24 yards and a TD. Seth Chapman had two tries for eight yards. Cayce Mullins had one carry for 17 yards. Rowe had the one carry for the 11-yard TD run.
Keffer was 4-for-5 passing for 105 yards and one score. Vanover was 1-for-3 passing for 20 yards.
Cayce Mullins had two catches for 60 yards. Jones has two grabs for 45 yards and a TD. Nick Collins reeled in one pass for 20 yards.
On defense, the Billies were led by Tanner Bailey who had five tackles and one QB sack. Noah Maynard had five tackles as well, while Tyler Grimmett and Robert Caudill had four stops each.
Gage Harvey, Thomas Holt and Dewey Tackett all had three stops each. Austin Bragg and Christian McCoy each had two tackles and a sack. Mat Sanders and Ross Osborne each had two tackles and one interception.
Jones, Bryce Goff, White, Frye, Jeremiah Beavers, Justin McDaniels, Gage Whitt and Jace Duba each had a tackle. Duba also had a pick.
2013 Man High School
Football Schedule (9-1):
Aug. 30: Logan, L 20-40
Sept. 6: at Mount View, W 44-0
Sept. 13: at Westside, W 22-14
Sept. 20: River View (Hall of Fame Game), W 46-8
Sept. 27: OPEN DATE
Oct. 4: at Fayetteville, W 30-25
Oct. 11: Chapmanville (Homecoming), W 26-22
Oct. 18: at Sherman, W 36-6
Oct. 25: Pocahontas County, W 42-0
Nov. 1: at Tug Valley, W 24-14
Nov. 8: Van, W 61-6
Nov. 15-16: Class A playoffs, TBA