WELCH – The Man High School football team picked up its first win of the season on the road on Friday night in convincing fashion with a 44-0 shutout over the Mount View Golden Knights at Welch.
Man (1-1) got a fine performance from senior Cayce Mullins, who was moved to running back in place of starter Braden Griffin, who suffered a shoulder injury in the season opening Logan game and did not suit up.
Mullins answered the call and had a huge game by returning a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns and also catching a touchdown pass out of the backfield.
He did just about everything except for serving Mount View’s famous fish sandwich at the concession stand.
Hillbillies’ sophomore quarterback John Thomas Keffer also had a big game as he tossed two TD passes in the Man victory. The Billies’ defense also came up big, pitching the shutout over the Golden Knights (0-2).
Mount View, which lost 28-0 to River View in its season opener, have now been outscored 72-0 in two games.
The Golden Knights, which snapped a 33-game losing streak last year by winning three late season games, are looking to turn around its once prominent program this fall under second-year head coach Todd McCoy. Mount View has 10 starters back on offense and the entire defense returns in tact.
However, Man crushed Mount View and took the brand new Man-Mount View travelling trophy. Man, winners of six straight over the Golden Knights, have played Mount View 35 years in a row on the gridiron.
Man coach Harvey Arms was pleased with the win.
“We played great,” Arms said. “It was a very competitive game early with a scoreless first period but we broke it open to start the second half on that kickoff return for a touchdown by Cayce and we didn’t turn the ball over. Our defense also played well with the shutout. We must now get ready for Westside Friday night.”
The first quarter of Friday night’s game was scoreless as both teams played great defensively.
Man struck paydirt to take the lead for good at the 7:41 mark of the second period on a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown by Cayce Mullins. The two-point conversion try was no good.
Mount View got the ball back on its own 24-yard line but a big quarterback sack by Man’s Jeremiah Beavers on Chris Muncy for a 7-yard loss forced the Golden Knights to punt the ball away.
Man wasted little time, marching 57 yards to paydirt on seven play as Keffer hooked up on a 17-yard TD strike to his cousin Cayce Mullins to give the Billies a 12-0 lead with 1:26 to play in the first half. The PAT run failed.
Mullins then showed some more flashes of brilliance in the second half as he took the kickoff coast-to-coast for an 80-yard touchdown, giving the Billies a commanding 20-0 lead with 11:45 showing on the third quarter clock. Keffer connected with Gage Harvey on the two-point conversion.
Man then capitalized on its next score as the defense came up big as Ross Osborne picked off a Muncy pass at Man 33-yard stripe.
Keffer then marched his troops down field. An illegal procedure penalty on Man pushed the pigskin back to the 39-yard line but then on second-and-10 Keffer fired a strike to Tracy Jones for a 39-yard TD, Mullins reeled in the two-point conversion pass to put the Billies on top 28-0.
In the meantime, the Billies’ defense held firm as Mount View was yet again forced to punt. Jones took the punt return deep into Golden Knight territory at the 26 with a 52-yard run.
Keffer then hooked up with Mullins on a pass to the MVHS 8-yard line. On the next play, Mikle Scott Rowe bulled in from 8 yards out for a touchdown. Keffer fired to Mullins on the conversion play to put the game on ice as Man led 36-0 with 5:48 to go in the third quarter.
Then it was Man fullback Neil Mullins’ turn to get into the act. Mullins ended up having some key runs for the Billies as MHS pushed its lead to 44-0 with 8:56 left with a Noah Maynard 4-yard TD run and a Neil Mullins conversion run.
Coach Arms then called off the dogs and substituted liberally in the final eight minutes of the game.
Keffer was 4-for-10 passing for 103 yards. Rowe rushed nine times for 57 yards. Neil Mullins ran six times for 33 yards.
Man is scheduled to get back into action next Friday night at Clearfork with a game against the homestanding Westside Renegades. Westside is 1-1 after losing the Golden Shovel to Wyoming County rival Wyoming East, 35-6, on Friday night.
Westside has played its first two games without starting quarterback Justin Cogar, who suffered a leg injury during a preseason game and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Cogar’s dad is former Man football standout Noel Cogar.
2013 Man High School
Football Schedule (1-1):
Aug. 30: Logan, L 20-40
Sept. 6: at Mount View, W 44-0
Sept. 13: at Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: River View, 7:30 p.m.
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.