MAN – One of the weaknesses of Man High School’s football team last year was its kicking game.
In short, the Hillbillies really didn’t have a proven kicker.
A lack of a kicker might have cost the Billies last year in their 26-20 double overtime loss at Chapmanville.
This fall, Man senior quarterback John Thomas Keffer is taking on the kicking chores.
So far so good.
Keffer didn’t kick any last season.
“Keffer didn’t kick last year, not because he couldn’t kick, but we had trouble finding a holder and someone to get it snapped,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “He can also do that. We have Zach Cook this year, a freshman, who will be able to hold it and get it down. This year, at least at this point, we think we’ll be able to kick extra points and some short field goals if we get in those situations.”
In fact, Man didn’t attempt any extra point kicks or field goals last season.
“I think that we went for two every time last year,” Arms said.
Austin Compton will likely be the Billies’ kickoff man.
Jake Adkins or Matt Sanders will be Man’s punters. Adkins punted 11 times last year for an average of 28.2 yards per boot.
Arms said the Field Turf could help Man in the special teams.
“One thing that we noticed during practice that we hope holds true in games is that when we kick it on our turf the ball has never come down and bounced back toward the punters,” Arms said. “It always keeps rolling the other way. Hopefully that will continue. I don’t know if that’s just the way we are kicking it or if it has something to do with the turf. So far, we’re getting some good rolls on the turf.”
All three Logan County high school football teams saw action over the weekend.
Chapmanville traveled to Scott and scrimmaged the homestanding Skyhawks in the Cardinal Conference Gridorama. The Tigers outscored the Skyhawks 24-12 although no official score was being taken.
The Tigers stopped Scott on the Skyhawks’ first series of 10-play drives and reached the end zone as Ricky Combs picked up a fumble and rumbled 40 yards for a touchdown.
Chapmanville senior quarterback Alex Berry then marched the Tigers 70 yards down field, reaching the end zone on the 10th play as Tanner Dillon scored on a 1-yard TD plunge.
The drive was set up by two completions to Jacob Dingess and nice runs out of the backfield by Dylan Smith and Dillon.
The Tigers have a home scrimmage Friday on the Tiger Stadium Field Turf against Lincoln County.
Logan traveled to Paintsville, Ky., on Saturday and played Paintsville and Tug Valley in a tri-scrimmage. The Cats go to Wayne on Friday for their final preseason test.
Man went to Charleston and scrimmaged 3A George Washington on Saturday. The Billies only scored one touchdown on the Patriots.
The Hillbillies play at River View on Friday in the preseason finale.
The lines were off
Man coach Harvey Arms said he also noticed something about the turf when it was laid down this summer.
“Our old lines on our old grass field evidently were measured off wrong because we picked up about a yard on each side of the sideline,” he said.
Dillon’s turn to shine
Chapmanville Regional High School senior running back Tanner Dillon looks to have a breakout season for the Tigers this fall.
At running back, the Tigers lost Devin Wiley (115 carries for 643 yards and four TDs) to graduation but return leading rusher Dillon. Dillon ran for 789 yards on 151 carries and scored nine touchdowns a year ago as a junior. On defense, Dillion had 95 total tackles last year with a sack and a fumble recovery.
“Tanner Dillon had five touchdowns in the Logan game last year,” CRHS coach George Barker said. “We found out last year that running Tanner inside was good for us. He’s a good, hard-nosed football player. He’s one of those tough guys. He’s a warrior and he plays on both sides of the ball. It’s hard to keep him out of there. He’s a great kid.”
Chapmanville opens the season Aug. 28 at home against Sissonville in a key Cardinal Conference clash.
start at Belfry
Former Logan High School quarterback Noah Corbett is the likely starter this season at Belfry (Ky.)
The Pirates, a Kentucky state powerhouse, have won two straight Class AAA state championships.
Corbett is now a junior at Belfry and played some at QB last season as a sophomore. He played his freshman year at Logan and was a part-time starter. Corbett started some last year due to an injury to Keaton Taylor and got valuable experience.
Belfry opens the season Aug. 28 by hosting Lexington Tates Creek in the Pike County Bowl.
On Oct. 2, Belfry has an interesting matchup in a Kentucky vs. West Virginia game at Cabell Midland.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).