MAN — The second win of the season could be in ‘View’ for the Man High School football team this week.
The ‘View’ is Mount View, Man’s home-opening opponent this Friday night in the annual Man Hall of Fame Game.
The Golden Knights (0-1) come into the game off last week’s 53-14 loss to McDowell County rival River View in the “Battle of the Views.”
Man is 1-0 after last week’s emotional 32-26 overtime win over Class AAA county rival Logan on the road.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Mount View, coming off last year’s 1-9 season, used to have a solid football program. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Golden Knights were often a darkhorse contender in the playoffs and were always a threat with their speed, size and athleticism.
But over the course of the last seven years, Mount View has fallen on hard times.
Since then, the Golden Knights have been one of West Virginia’s bottom-feeders in Class AA football.
Mount View last made it into the playoffs with an 8-4 mark in 2005 and a 7-4 season in 2006.
Then the bottom fell through and the once-proud Golden Knights’ program went into disarray.
Mount View had losing seasons in 2007 and 2008 and went 1-9 in 2009, falling in its last seven games.
After back-to-back 0-10 seasons in 2010 and 2011, Mount View showed some signs of life in 2012, breaking a 32-game losing skid and finishing 3-7 with victories over Wyoming East, Van and Fayetteville.
Last year, however, Mount View managed just one win — a 23-6 road victory at Liberty Raleigh. One of the Golden Knights’ losses last fall was to the Hillbillies in a 44-0 defeat to Man at Welch.
Man has dominated Mount View since the Golden Knights’ downfall, winning 20-12 in 2012 and also taking wins to the tune of 41-12, 63-0, 56-0 and 54-6.
Man has won the last five meetings and will be heavily favored again this time but Billies’ coach Harvey Arms and his team is not looking past the Golden Knights.
“They have a new coach again and there’s not much to compare them in the past,” Arms said. “We do have some film on them and as always with Mount View they have some game-breaking players. They have good speed and you have to be very consistent with them. You can’t go to sleep because they can score in a heartbeat. The past few seasons they have been down record-wise but they always have some good talent and speed that you have to be conscience of the whole game.”
For the second straight week, the Billies have an opportunity to beat a team in a higher classification.
After knocking off Class AAA Logan last week and grabbing 12 points in the WVSSAC’s playoff computer ratings system, Man has a chance to snag nine more points on Friday with a victory over the 2A Golden Knights. By contrast, Man would only get six points for a win over a fellow Single-A team.
“It’s a good opportunity for us,” Arms said. “For years, our schedule has been loaded with Double-A teams and a Triple-A team in Logan since they have moved up in classification. It’s an opportunity for us but the thing that we’re looking at is that we have to improve from last week. We have to get better each week. We thought our kids played awfully well last Friday night but there’s a lot of things that we need to get better on.”
The learning curve for the Golden Knights has been tremendous so far this season.
Mount View’s opener last week at River View featured a rousing pregame show by the West Virginia University marching band. The band made a stop en route to Atlanta for WVU’s season opening game against Alabama.
But for Mount View football fans that was about the only highlight of the night as River View rolled to the 39-point win.
The Golden Knights were flagged a whopping 22 times for 155 yards. The Raiders didn’t fare any better and were penalized 19 times for 165 yards. The sloppy game featured seven fumbles, five pass interceptions any only 248 rushing yards combined.
River View’s defense recorded three safeties and scored two touchdowns, one on a pass interception return by Jordan Wilson and another on a fumble recovery in the Knight end zone by Nick Bailey.
“They have a new coach, a new system and young players,” Arms said of Mount View. “I guess the penalties are to be expected but 22 penalties is an awful lot. That’s the kind of things that we have to stay away from — penalties and turnovers.”
Mount View only had nine first downs and 196 yards of total offense. The Knights had 32 rushes for 121 yards and added 75 more in the air. On the flip side, Mount View held River View to only 173 total yards.
Mount View first-year head coach Larry Thompson said his team was completely out of sync.
“I think we played hard. We just didn’t execute well,” Thompson told the Beckley Register-Herald. “We fumbled the ball early and just could not get over it. I think we let the crowd get to us. We called a punt, but it was like we were speaking a foreign language. We’re not going to not punt with 40 yards to go on fourth down at our own 7.”
Mount View trailed 25-6 at the half after a 6-yard TD run by Joseph Hayes. The sophomore running back finished the game with 115 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Down 53-6 in the fourth, the Golden Knights scored one more touchdown with Chris Muncy’s 4-yard run with only 33 seconds in the game. Muncy, the Golden Knights’ quarterback, was only 4-for-16 in the air for 75 yards and three interceptions.
Man hung on to beat Logan last week, led by Lions Club Bowl Game Most Valuable Player Neil Mullins, who smashed his way for 132 yards on 24 carries.
Man had jumped out to a commanding 26-14 lead with 6:34 left in the game as QB John Thomas Keffer scored on a 1-yard touchdown sneak.
Logan then came back with two fourth quarter TD’s to tie it 26-26. A missed PAT with 33 seconds left could have potentially won it.
Man then won the game in overtime with Mikle Scott Rowe’s 9-yard TD run.
The Hillbillies outgained Logan 310-280 in total yards.
Man had 43 rushes for 214 yards and Keffer was 5-for-15 passing for 96 yards. The Billies held Logan to 28 carries for 134 yards. Logan QB Ryan Miller was 10-for-18 passing for 146 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
Gage Harvey and Jace Duba led Man’s defense with nine tackles each. Duba also had two sacks. Bryce Goff had seven stops and an interception. Christian McCoy had seven tackles and one tackle for loss. Nick Collins had a 5-yard interception for a touchdown.
“It was great to get the win in the first week and it was great that it was Logan,” Arms said. “But as I told the kids yesterday, the celebration is over.”
Arms said his team came off last week’s win over Logan injury free.
That’s good news for any football team.
Man vs. Mount View Series
Last 10 years (Man leads 6-4)
2013: Man 44, Mount View 0
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 21
2005: Mount View 29, Man 22
2004: Mount View 26, Man 12