MAN — The Man Hillbillies seem to be for real.
The Man High School football team won its third straight game — all over Class AA opponents — as the Class A No. 12 Billies swamped Class AA No. 7 River View, 46-8, on Friday night in Man’s annual Hall of Fame Game at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Man, now 3-1, are likely to move up, and possibly inside the top 10 or even top 8 on Tuesday when the WVSSAC releases its new football ratings.
Friday’s victory was Man’s first ever win over River View, a school made up of the former Big Creek and Iaeger high schools. The Raiders had won the only other three meetings.
Man also already surpassed last year’s two-win total.
Heading into next week’s bye week, Man is in a good position as the second half of the prep football season nears. Left on Man’s schedule are Class AA county rival Chapmanville and five Single-A teams. The Billies play again on Oct. 4 at Fayetteville.
Man coach Harvey Arms said he was pleased with the win and with his team’s progression.
“It was a great game,” Arms said. “The kids played well just like last week on all phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams. We dominated up front. Our backs ran hard. John Thomas (Keffer) threw the ball well. The defense played great.”
Man’s offensive line paved the way — led by Jeremiah Beavers, Thomas Holt, Dakota Toth, Joey Buchannan, Christain McCoy and tight end Gage Harvey — as the Billies would score 32 unanswered points in the first half to take a commanding 32-0 lead into the locker room.
The Billies got their first points of the game at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter on a 22-yard touchdown run by Braden Griffin. QB John Thomas Keffer then hooked up with Cayce Mullins on the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
The blowout was under way.
After a River View punt, Man got the ball back at midfield.
Man then hit paydirt on its first play from scrimmage on its next drive to start the second quarter as Keffer scored on a 3-yard keeper. Keffer then ran in the two-point conversion as Man led 16-0 with 11:54 to play in the first half.
The Billies built their lead to 24-0 with 4:34 left after a 25-yard TD run by Griffin. Keffer passed to Cayce Mullins on the conversion play. The drive was kept alive by Keffer, who had a big 7-yard run on a fourth-and-five at the 25.
Man got its third score of the second stanza with no time on the clock as Keffer found freshman Tyler Grimmett in the back of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Mikle Scott Rowe ran in the conversion to make it 32-0 and the rout was in full swing.
Just before the TD Keffer had found Tracy Jones for a TD catch but it was called back for a holding penalty. Man got one untimed down then Keffer found Grimmett for the half-ending score.
Man pushed its lead to a commanding 38-0 midway into the third quarter as Neil Mullins picked off River View quarterback Ryan Blankenship and rumbled 70 yards for a touchdown. The PAT run failed but Man was up big with 8:28 on the clock.
The Billies got their final score of the game with 2:28 left in the third on a 3-yard pass from Keffer to Cayce Mullins. The PAT run by Rowe followed and Man led 46-0.
Coach Arms then called off the dogs and would play his reserves the rest of the game.
The Raiders got their only points of the game on the Billies’ second-team defense with 4:04 remaining on a 40-yard TD pass from Blankenship to Cody Howie. River View scored on the two-point conversion play with a Greg Marshall run to make it 46-8.
Man racked up 306 total yards on offense, with 220 on the ground and 86 through the air.
Griffin had 109 yards rushing on 15 carries and two TDs. Reserve Patrick Wiley had 40 yards on seven carries, while Rowe had seven rushes for 39 yards.
Keffer was 6-for-12 passing for 86 yards and one interception. Jones had one catch for 36 yards. Cayce Mullins had two grabs for 15 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Grimmett had one catch for 19 yards, while Harvey had one catch for 13 yards.
Man had the edge in first downs 18-7 and held the Raiders to only 127 yards of total offense — including 74 yards on the ground and 56 in the air. McCoy and Beavers had one sack each for the Billies.
Noah Maynard and McCoy led the Man defense with seven tackles each. Jones had six stops and one pick. Holt had five tackles, while Beavers and Tanner Bailey had four tackles apiece. Neil Mullins, Ross Osborne, Ritchie Nelson and Robert Caudill had three tackles apeice and Harvey, Bryce Goff and Rowe had two each. Gage Whitt had a fumble recovery.
Man is off this week and travels to Fayetteville on Oct. 4 before returning home to play county rival Chapmanville on Oct. 11 in Man’s annual homecoming game.
2013 Man High School
Football Schedule (3-1):
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, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: Chapmanville (Homecoming), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: Pocahontas County, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8: Van, 7:30 p.m.