NEW RICHMOND — Mingo Central’s punishing ground game delivered a key opening season victory.
Three Miners rushed for more than 100 yards — led by Stevie Hammond’s 160 yards on 12 carries to lead Class AA No. 8-ranked Mingo Central to a 37-28 win over No. 9 Wyoming East at New Richmond on Friday night.
“Conditioning was the difference,” said Warriors running back Nik Walker. “They just outplayed us.”
Wyoming East (0-1) grabbed a 15-6 advantage in the first quarter on Walker’s 83-yard kickoff return and 2-yard TD carry.
The Miners, 1-0 overall and 0-0 in the Cardinal Conference, took control of the line of scrimmage in the second quarter and maintained it for the rest of the night.
They finished the first half with an eight-play, 62 yard scoring drive. Chase Justice scored from 20 yards out with 1:35 left in the half. Chance Lester ran for the two-point conversion to cut the margin to 15-14.
Wyoming East ‘s Casey Saunders returned the second half kickoff 91 yards for a score and extended the lead to 21-14.
The Miners responded immediately, taking the ball 80 yards on six plays and reaching the end zone on Joe Hunt’s 6-yard run.
Justice’s run for the two-point conversion put Mingo Central ahead for good with 8:31 showing.
A long punt return set up the next Miner score, which came on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Justice had a 4-yard scoring run and then rushed for the two points to make it 30-21.
East briefly cut the margin to two when senior quarterback Aaron Griffith broke to the outside and busted several tackles on his way to a 75-yard TD run to make it 30-28.
Central answered with an eight-play, 77-yard march. The Miners were near midfield when Turner broke out of a cluster of players and went 51 yards to pay dirt. Joseph Harrison booted the PAT.
Mingo Central punted just once in the second half and scored on four of five possessions during one stretch of the game.
In addition to Hammond, the Miners got 144 yards on 27 carries from Justice and 109 yards on 13 attempts by Hunt.
Griffith had 81 yards rushing and 35 passing for East.
GLENHAYES — Wayne High School’s “Big Three” of Mason Hodge, Grant Ferguson and Cody Stiltner led the Pioneers to a 40-18 season opening win at county rival Tolsia on Friday night in Cardinal Conference action.
Ferguson passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns for Wayne (1-0, 1-0). He finished with 268 yards of total offense and three scores, to go along with an interception on defense and two touchdown saving tackles.
Hodge ran for 135 yards on just seven carries and Stiltner added 186 yards receiving. Stiltner also returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.
Wayne led 28-18 at the half and then outscored the Rebels (0-1, 0-1) 12-0 in the final two quarters.
Tolsia gave the Pioneers fits in the first half as Luke Presley ripped the ball away from a Wayne ballcarier and went 70 yards for a TD. He also tacked on a 10-yard TD run as the Rebels racked up 200 yards of offense by halftime.
Tolsia managed just 92 yards in the second half, 78 of which came on a pass from Seth McMillion to Rose, but the Rebels couldn’t score.
The game was played before an estimated crowd of 4,000.
Wayne opened the season with a win for the 15th straight year.
The Pioneers play at Sissonville (1-0, 1-0) next Friday night. Tolsia goes to Mingo Central (1-0, 0-0). Both league games have 7:30 p.m. starting times.
Herbert Hoover 27
MADISON — Scott opened the 2014 season with a thrilling 28-27 Cardinal Conference win at home over Herbert Hoover on Friday night.
Scott (1-0, 1-0) rallied from a 13-point deficit to win and avenged last year’s 40-35 loss to the Huskies at Falling Rock.
Scott took the lead for good on a 14-yard touchdown run by Elijah Price and two-point conversion run by Bradley with 11:14 to play.
The Skyhawks were led by Hunter Bradley who had 82 yards rushing on 12 carries. QB Bo Jeffrey was 6-for-10 passing for 69 yards and two scores.
Herbert Hoover was paced by Colton Thomas, who rolled up 78 yards rushing on 12 carries. Shaun Dotson had 68 yards on 12 totes. QB Tyler Americo was 5-for-12 passing for 109 yards.
Scott plays a non-conference game next Friday night at Class AAA Lincoln County (0-1). The Panthers lost 55-0 to Point Pleasant in the season opener.
Herbert Hoover plays at Chapmanville (0-1, 0-1) this coming Friday night.
POCA — Poca lost its season opener on Friday night at home to county rival and Class AAA team Nitro, 28-12, in the Battle for the Barrel at Poca High School’s O.O. White Stadium.
Both teams were 1-9 last year and are in rebuilding mode.
Nick Brown led Nitro (1-0) with 151 yards on 16 carries. Austin Banks had 48 yards on the ground on 18 attempts.
Poca (0-1, 0-0) was led by senior Justin Stewart who had 167 yards rushing on 24 carries.
The Dots return to action this Friday night in another non-conference game at Nicholas County.
TEAM CONF. ALL PF PA
Sissonville……………. 1-0 1-0 42 14
Wayne………………….. 1-0 1-0 40 18
Scott……………………. 1-0 1-0 28 27
Mingo Central………… 0-0 1-0 37 28
Poca…………………….. 0-0 0-1 12 28
Herbert Hoover………. 0-1 0-1 27 28
Tolsia…………………… 0-1 0-1 18 40
Chapmanville…………. 0-1 0-1 14 42
Friday, Aug. 29 results:
Sissonville 42, Chapmanville 14
Mingo Central 37, Wyoming East 28
Scott 28, Herbert Hoover 27
Wayne 40, Tolsia 18
Nitro 28, Poca 12
Friday, Sept. 5 games:
Herbert Hoover at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Tolsia at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Scott at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Poca at Nicholas County, 7:30 p.m.