MAN — Over the last seven years Week 2 has been mostly a cakewalk for the Man High School football team.
The Hillbillies’ matchup over the last several years in game number two has been the downtrodden Mount View Golden Knights.
Mount View once had a solid football program as late as the 1990s and early 2000s, often making it to the playoffs.
But then the Golden Knights fell on hard times and for years have been one of the state’s worst programs.
Things seem to be turning around in Welch, however.
Despite an 0-10 season last year, Mount View seemed to make some strides last season under new coach Larry Thompson and this year the Knights hope to be much better.
If last week’s game — a 50-0 home win over River View — was any indication, Mount View will in fact be much better.
Man (1-0), ranked No. 8 in the state in this week’s Class A poll, is coming off an 18-13 win last week in the season opener at home over Class AAA county rival Logan. The Hillbillies look to have its hands full this Friday night with the Knights. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Vic Nystrom Stadium in Welch.
Man coach Harvey Arms acknowledges this time could be different against the Knights. Man has beaten Mount View seven straight years, including last year’s 40-6 win at home. Other wins over the Knights were to the tune of 63-0, 56-0 and 54-6.
It probably won’t be anything like that this time around.
“They are a much-improved team from the past couple of years,” Coach Arms said of Mount View. “Like always, they have a lot of talent and speed. They ran the ball really well against River View and they also threw it well. They have a lot athletes.”
Arms said the Man defense must contain Mount View’s running backs which are particularly good outside of the tackles.
“We can’t let them run around the end and beat us on the outside,” he said. “We have to keep the ball inside that’s for sure. We can’t let them run down field and get the big play.”
Mount View quickly jumped on top of River View 14-0 last Thursday night and never looked back. It was the first win by the Knights over the Raiders in six meetings and it ended Mount View’s 16-game losing streak stretching back to the 2013 season.
The Golden Knights finished the game with 402 total yards, including 290 on the ground and 112 in the air.
“I’m excited. I just hope we can continue to get better every week,” Coach Thompson told the Beckley Register-Herald last week after the victory. “I think the kids battled from start to finish. They played with heart and the pride showed tonight.”
Mount View scored first with sophomore QB’s Elijah Collier’s 11-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Chris Muncy.
The Knights then made it 14-0 with junior running back Joseph Hayes’ 11-yard TD run. Hayes tacked on another touchdown, this one on a 1-yard run. MVHS then used some trickery as holder Ryan Thompson passed to senior Marquis Bonds on a fake PAT kick as the lead swelled to 22-0.
Mount View later made it 34-0 in the second half on Quavon Valentine’s 31-yard TD run.
Then with nine minutes left in the game, sophomore speedster Shemar Hairston scored on a 3-yard TD run as the lead grew to 42-0.
Hairston tacked on a final touchdown, this one from 17 yards out.
Mount View will be honoring the school’s 1990 state runner-up football team on Friday night in a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary.
Man’s defense held Logan to just 130 yards of total offense last week. The Cats also turned it over three times. Man had 232 total yards on the night.
“I thought our defense played really well last week. We were pretty much in control of the line of scrimmage,” Arms said. “They ran a few decent sweeps on us but I thought overall we were tough defensively.”
Man senior QB John Thomas Keffer had 15 rushes for 58 yards and two TDs. Dustin McCoy had 38 yards rushing on six carries. Keffer also had a 58-yard TD pass to Gabby Brown and was 7-for-11 passing for 89 yards.
Jake Frye had eight rushing attempts for 36 yards. Jace Duba was limited to nine rushes for 11 yards.
Tanner Bailey led the Man defense with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery. Duba had eight tackles, while Matt Sanders, Tyler Blair and Richie Nelson had seven tackles each.
“We were pleased with the win last week and we are off to a good start,” Arms said. “We just now know that we’ve got to take care of business for the rest of the season. One game doesn’t make a season. As good and as elated as you feel coming out of that one we know that we have plenty of work to do.”
Arms said Man is in good shape health-wise heading into the game.
“We came out of that game alright,” he said. “We didn’t have anybody hurt. The kids played the whole game and didn’t have any issues with being tired or anything. They really played well.”
Man is also ranked No. 10 in the state in Class A in this week’s WV Metro News Power Index.
Football Friday Night
WHAT: Class A No. 8 Man (1-0) at Class AA No. 16 Mount View (1-0)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Vic Nystrom Stadium, Welch, W.Va.
SURFACE: Natural grass
LAST WEEK: Man won 18-13 at home over Logan … Mount View won 50-0 at home over River View.
INTERNET STREAM: www.manhillbillies.tv.
Man vs. Mount View Series
Last 11 years (Man leads 7-4)
2014: Man 40, Mount View 6
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
(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).