MAN — Now that last week’s Chapmanville game is behind the Man High School football team the Hillbillies have a goal set for the rest of the season.
That’s to run the table, close out the regular season at 9-1 and grab homefield advantage for the upcoming Class A playoffs.
Man’s valiant rally fell a little short last week as the Class A No. 1-ranked Hillbillies (5-1) lost 35-28 to Class AA undefeated Chapmanville in the “Battle of the Unbeatens” game at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
The Billies trailed the Tigers 28-6 at one point but came back with three second half touchdowns to tie it up at 28.
Chapmanville then won it with 17 seconds left as quarterback Alex Berry, under heavy pressure, found Noah Dingess in the end zone on a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Man was disappointed the game didn’t at least go to overtime but the Billies were glad they were able to rally from a three-score hole to make a game of it.
The Billies are scheduled to get back into action with Friday night’s road game at Class A Sherman.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Sherman High School football field at Seth.
The Tide (1-6) lost last week’s “Battle of Boone” game on the road at Van, 40-16. Man is scheduled to play host to Van in the regular season finale on Nov. 6. Van (5-2) was No. 16 in the state in last week’s SSAC rankings.
Man also hosts Pocahontas County (5-2) on Oct. 23 and plays at Tug Valley (5-2) on Oct. 30. Pocahontas was 14th last week and Tug 12th.
Man’s final three opponents — all Class A — have a combined 15-6 record.
But in order to run the table, the Billies first have to beat Sherman this week.
Man turned back the Tide 38-12 in last year’s meeting and have beat Sherman two years in a row.
“We emphasized to them after the game last week that we’ve got four more games to play,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “One game doesn’t make a season. We have to rebound now and go after these last four, try to make it to the playoffs and get the best possible seed that we can. Our last three opponents have good records going and that’s good, too, because there’s more points to be had. It’s up to us to get after it and play some good football.”
Sherman is led by quarterback Bailey Kirk and wide receivers Logan Kauff, Kyle Davis and Nate Dickens. Kirk scored a touchdown last week as did Davis who raced in from 60 yards out on the final play of the game.
“They are struggling with the scores but with the two tapes that we exchanged with them they look like they are doing some good things,” Arms said of the Tide. “They have a varied offense. They can line up and play Power-I or they can go to the spread and throw the ball. Their quarterback looks like he’s got a pretty good arm. They have good size. I don’t really know what has happened in their games but they look like a pretty good football team.”
Sherman coach J.D. Fairchild said his team is simply not scoring enough points.
“We need to block better, cover better and score more points,” Fairchild told the Coal Valley News.
Sherman opened the season with a 36-7 loss at Tug Valley, then fell 35-6 at home to Calhoun County before scoring a 33-18 victory at Valley Fayette on Sept. 11. The Tide then lost 32-27 at home to Gilmer County, before falling 43-0 to Liberty Raleigh and 33-6 at Independence.
Man was held to 210 yards of total offense including 127 on the ground in last week’s loss to Chapmanville.
Senior quarterback John Thomas Keffer was 8-for-15 passing for 127 yards with two TDs and one pick. Keffer also had 16 rushes for 29 yards. Jace Duba had 10 carries for 28 yards. Dustin McCoy had eight totes for 23 yards.
Ross Osborne had four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Matt Sanders had two grabs for 62 yards.
Gabby Brown had a 13-yard TD catch on a tipped ball to tie the game at 28 after the successful two-point conversion.
On the season, Keffer is 61-for-94 passing for 914 yards with 11 TDs and just two interceptions.
Duba has 100 carries for 533 yards and five scores. McCoy has 54 totes for 362 yards and one touchdown. Keffer has 54 attempts for 146 yards and eight touchdowns.
Osborne has 35 catches for 525 yards and six TDs. Sanders has another 15 grabs for 220 yards and three TDs.
Keffer, also Man’s kicker, is 9-for-17 in extra point boots.
Man punter Jake Adkins had a fabulous week last week as he punted four times for an average of 48 yards per kick. He boomed three punts for 60, 49 and 50 yards.
Arms reports no major injuries after last week’s game.
“We’re pretty good. That was a physical ballgame last week,” he said. “We’ve got some bumps and bruises but I think that we don’t have anybody that is out at this point. We feel like we’re going to be in pretty good shape for Friday night’s game.”
Football Friday night
WHAT: No. 1 Man (5-1) at Sherman (1-6)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sherman High School football field, Seth, W.Va.
SURFACE: Natural grass
LAST WEEK: Man lost 35-28 to 2A Chapmanville … Sherman lost 40-18 at Van.
INTERNET STREAM: www.manhillbillies.tv
Man vs. Sherman Series
Last 10 years (Man leads 2-0)
2014: Man 38, Sherman 12
2013: Man 36, Sherman 6
2015 Man High School
Football Schedule (5-1):
Aug. 28: Logan, W 18-13
Sept. 4: at Mount View, W 48-6
Sept. 11: at Westside, W 27-24
Sept. 18: River View (Hall of Fame Game), W 54-0
Sept. 25: at Fayetteville, W 26-6
Oct. 2: Bye week
Oct. 9: Chapmanville (Homecoming), L 28-35
Oct. 16: at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23: Pocahontas County, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6: Van, 7:30 p.m.
(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).