But now, can the Hillbillies turn the corner?
Man (1-1) has a chance to but it won’t be easy as the Billies travel to Clear Fork on Friday night to face the Westside Renegades (1-1).
Westside enters the game off last week’s 41-20 defeat to Shady Spring. The Renegades beat Liberty Raleigh 38-14 in Week One.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at the Westside High School football field.
Man leads the all-time series with the Double-A Renegades 6-2 since the series began in 2003 after consolidation in Wyoming County.
The Billies have won the last three meetings, including a 28-8 win last year. Westside’s last victory in the series was back in 2007 — a 10-6 win by the Renegades.
Man is coming off last week’s 41-12 win at Class AA Mount View, a team that hasn’t won a game in two years and saw its losing streak hit 19 games.
The Billies racked up 452 yards of total offense, including 369 on the ground and 83 in the air. Senior Kyle Johnson led the rushing attack with 149 yards rushing on 16 carries and one touchdown. Senior Kaleb Spurlock added 91 yards on the ground on 11 tries. QB Shane Browning was 3-for-9 passing for 83 yards, including a 40-yard TD strike to Tommy Belcher.
It was a big improvement from Week One when Man managed just 105 total yards and seven points against the Logan Wildcats.
“We thought that we improved a lot from the week before,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “We were pretty satisfied.”
Man’s defense also played well against the Golden Knights as the Billies yielded just 37 yards rushing on 21 carries. Mount View had 155 yards passing for 192 total.
“We thought that we ran to the ball pretty well,” Arms said. “We also felt we played real well up front. It showed in the statistics.”
Spurlock led the Man defense with five solo tackles and two assists.
Westside is led by a trio of players — Thomas Forren and twin brothers Justin and Dustin Tilley.
Forren rushed for 201 yards on just 13 carries and scored on TD runs of 80 and 62 in the opener against Liberty Raleigh.
Justin Tilley ran for 86 yards on 13 carries and reached the end zone twice on runs of 5 and 4, while Dustin had 83 yards on the ground in nine attempts and added one score.
The Renegades led Liberty only 8-0 at halftime but broke the game open with a 24-point third quarter to take a 32-0 advantage.
Westside, a Class AA playoff team from a year ago, couldn’t stop Shady Spring quarterback Adam Weeks last Friday night as the Tiger signal-caller completed 19-of-22 passes for 313 yards and four touchdowns. Weeks reached the end zone on the game’s first play as he burned the Renegade secondary for a 58-yard touchdown pass to Chase Connor.
Shady led Westside just 20-13 at the half but outscored the Renegades 21-7 the rest of the way.
Forren led Westside with 11 rushes for 57 yards and one TD.
The Tilley brothers combined for 14 rushes for 50 yards and a score.
Westside was 0-for-2 passing in the game.
Westside flanker Mike Mullens also scored on a 51-yard reverse to cut the Tigers’ lead to 27-20.
“They’ve got a good backfield,” Arms said of the Renegades. “They run the ball pretty good. They have the two twins and their quarterback runs the ball pretty good, too. We’re going to have to be ready for the run game, plus the play action pass because they do some of that also.”
Arms said his team is healthy heading into the game.
“We’re good. We don’t have anybody hurt,” he said.