MAN — For the third straight year, the Man High School football team is headed to play in the Class A playoffs.
The No. 5-seeded Hillbillies (8-2) will meet southern West Virginia rival and No. 12 seed Tug Valley (7-3) in a first-round game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
The teams met last season in the playoffs with Tug Valley winning 16-12 at Mingo Central.
The two also played each other just a few weeks ago as the Billies won a dramatic 14-12 overtime game on the road.
It’s been another memorial season for Man football and head coach Harvey Arms.
Before the Billies enter play in the post-season, here’s a look back at Man’s 2015 football campaign.
Man 42, Van 22
MAN — Man High School quarterback John Thomas Keffer had a career day in the Hillbillies’ regular season finale on Nov. 6 in a 42-22 win over Van.
Keffer tossed six touchdowns and had 329 yards passing as he ripped the Van secondary apart. Keffer completed 17-for-24 passes and was intercepted once.
Ross Osborne had eight catches for 108 yards and three TD’s, while Matt Sanders had 122 yards on five catches and one score. Adkins had two catches for 49 yards, both going for touchdowns.
The win secured a home playoff game for the Billies.
Tug Valley 12 (OT)
MAN — The Man Hillbillies scored a thrilling 14-12 overtime win on Oct. 30 at Tug Valley in a game between two top 10 teams.
Tied 6-6 after regulation, Man QB John Thomas Keffer rolled out and found Ross Osborne on a 19-yard touchdown pass in overtime. Keffer then ran in the two-point conversion as the Billies led 14-6.
Tug Valley scored a touchdown on it OT possession but the Billies stopped the Panthers on the two-point conversion to seal the win.
Tug Valley dominated the game statistically, outgaining Man 452-150 in yards of total offense but could not convert several drives in the red zone into scores as the Billies were able to stop them when it counted.
Matt Sanders also had a touchdown catch for Man.
Pocahontas County 40,
MAN — Pocahontas County rolled over Man, 40-14, on Oct. 23 at Man.
The Warriors led 33-8 at the half and coasted.
Man quarterback John Thomas Keffer had a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ross Osborne. Matt Sanders also had a touchdown grab.
Man 48, Sherman 6
SETH — No. 4-ranked Man ripped the Sherman Tide 48-6 on Oct. 16 on the road.
Man senior All-State candidate and quarterback John Thomas Keffer went over 4,000 yards passing in his career at Man High School as he passed for 154 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Billies to victory.
The Man rushing attack racked up 250 yards on the ground, led by Jake Frye with 90 yards on just nine carries and one touchdown. Jace Duba rushed for 86 yards on 18 attempts and two touchdowns, while Dustin McCoy added 57 yards on eight carries and one score for the Billies, which went to 6-1 on the season.
Chapmanville 35, Man 28
MAN — In the “Battle of the Unbeatens” on Oct. 9 at Man, Chapmanville Regional was able to beat the Hillbillies 35-28 at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Man trailed 28-6 late in the third quarter but the Hillbillies battled back, drawing even 28-28 with 2:52 left in the game when Gabby Brown snagged a tipped pass in the end zone from quarterback John Thomas Keffer which first went off the hands of Trey Whitt.
The Tigers then won it with a TD pass from QB Alex Berry to Noah Dingess with 17 seconds left in the game.
Man was held to 210 yards of total offense including 127 on the ground. Keffer was 8-for-15 passing for 127 yards with two TDs and one pick. Ross Osborne had four catches for 48 yards. Matt Sanders had two grabs for 62 yards.
Man punter Jake Adkins boomed several punts on the night for 60, 49 and 50 yards in the first half, helping keep the Chapmanville offense at bay with poor field position.
Man 26, Fayetteville 6
FAYETTEVILLE — The Man Hillbillies won 26-6 in the rain on Sept. 25 at Fayetteville.
Man senior Jace Duba had a huge game, rushing for 302 yards on 33 carries and scoring two touchdowns to lead the Hillbillies to victory.
Man racked up 377 yards on the ground while the Billies’ defense held the Pirates to just 40 yards rushing on the night.
The Billies dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball with 513 yards of total offense to the Pirates’ 109. The Billies had 24 first downs to the Pirates’ four.
Dustin McCoy added 90 yards rushing on 12 attempts for Man. QB John Thomas Keffer was 11-for-14 passing for 136 yards. Ross Osborne caught nine passes for 127 yards.
Man 54, River View 0
MAN — The Class A No. 1-ranked Man football team routed River View 54-0 on Sept. 18 at home.
The Billies put up 19 first quarter points and added 33 in the second period of play and went on to get the lopsided win.
Man put up 337 yards of total offense with 200 rushing and 137 via the air, most coming in the first half of play.
QB John Thomas Keffer was 9-for-12 passing for 134 yards and three TDs.
Ross Osborne had 74 receiving yards on four catches with two TDs. Matt Sanders had three catches for 36 yards and one TD.
Man 27, Westside 24
CLEAR FORK — Man prevailed 27-24 at Westside in a tight battle on Sept. 11 on the road.
Man was able to hold off a furious Westside fourth quarter rally in which the Renegades scored 18 points.
Hillbillies’ quarterback John Thomas Keffer was 16-for-24 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Jace Duba was the workhorse for Man as he ran with the ball 25 times for 88 yards.
Matt Sanders had six catches for 65 yards and a TD. Ross Osborne had seven grabs for 61 yards and a score.
Tanner Bailey led Man’s defense with seven tackles and one pick.
Man 48, Mount View 6
WELCH — The Man Hillbillies won easily in Week 2 on Sept. 4 on the road with a 48-6 victory at Mount View.
QB John Thomas Keffer tossed three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Hillbillies won for the eighth straight time over the Golden Knights. Keffer was 10-for-18 passing for 229 yards.
Dustin McCoy and Ross Osborne also had big nights for Man as McCoy rushed for 149 yards and one TD and Osborne caught seven passes for 178 yards and two TDs.
A swarming Man defense, led by Tanner Bailey and Richie Nelson, held the Knights to just six points and only 125 yards of total offense on the night.
Man’s offensive line paved the way as the Billies racked up 462 yards of balanced total offense with 233 on the ground and 229 in the air.
Man 18, Logan 13
MAN — The Man football team beat Class AAA county rival Logan, 18-13, on August 28 in the 2015 season opener and first ever game played on the new Field Turf at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Man led 12-7 at the half but then trailed 13-12 to Logan.
Billies’ QB John Thomas Keffer scored on a 4-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter to put Man up for good.
Man’s defense held Logan and senior RB Matthew Cox to just 130 yards of total offense.
Keffer had 15 rushes for 58 yards and two TDs for Man. 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.
(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).