HAMLIN, W.Va. — Friday night marked the first meeting on the gridiron between the Man Hillbillies and the Lincoln County Panthers and the Billies came up with the 25-10 victory and four-game winning streak, improving to 4-1 at the midway point of the season.
Man is now 4-1 and plays at county rival Chapmanville Regional this Friday night.
The Billies struck paydirt first on their second offensive series, marching just 37 yards after a bad punt of only nine yards by the Panthers.
Eight plays later, freshman Dylan Morris raced in from 3 yards out at the 2:57 mark of the first quarter. Zack Cook’s extra point attempt was no good as Man took the early 6-0 advantage.
The Panthers then wasted little time to take the lead, going 53 yards in just two plays capped off by QB Jake Ashley’s 21-yard TD pass to Jacob Kirkendoll with 2:12 to go. The extra point kick by Ashley was good, giving the Panthers a slim 7-6 lead.
Man got the ball on its own 24-yard line midway in the second stanza but Billies’ senior QB Cameron Simpson’s pass was picked off at the Panthers’ 47-yard line.
Lincoln County then lined up to punt and faked it, going for a first down to the Man 18-yard line.
Facing another fourth down, the Panthers then elected to go for a field goal and Ashley was able to bang home a 27-yarder — the first field goal in school history — as the Panthers led 10-6 with 2:56 left in the first half.
Man then got the ball on its own 40-yard line and had a golden opportunity to take the lead back but a costly fumble at the LCHS 4-yard line with 51 seconds left turned the ball over.
Man took the lead for good late in the third quarter as Seth Osborne stripped the ball from Panthers’ QB Ashley and rumbled 80 yards for a touchdown with just 34 seconds left in the third period to give MHS a 13-10 advantage. Cook booted the point after and that was the score after third quarters of play.
Lincoln County got the pigskin at its own 25-yard line to start the final quarter of play and on second-and-10 Nick Albright intercepted an Ashley pass at midfield.
Man then moved the ball to the Panthers’ 27-yard line and then on fourth-and-14 Simpson’s pass was incomplete as Lincoln County took over on downs.
Man got excellent field position late in the fourth quarter after a bad snap on a punt as the Billies got the football at the Lincoln County 10-yard stripe.
Three plays later Kyle Browning broke loose on a 3-yard TD run to give the Billies a 19-10 lead with 2:22 left in the game. Cook’s PAT was no good.
Man kicker Cook then pinned the Panthers deep at their own 12-yard line on the ensuing kickoff.
Chapman then sacked Ashley on first down and then on the next play Man put the game away as Kayne Brown intercepted Ashley’s pass in the end zone for a TD to give Man a 25-10 lead with just 1:25 to play.
Man’s defense once again stepped up big in win with the shutout in the second half and scored 12 points as well in the victory.
The defense was led by Brown, with three tackles, one sack and a pick six. Osborne also led the defense with nine tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a TD.
Tyler Blair had eight tackles and a QB sack, while Brock Muncy had six tackles and Josh Vanover five. Dustin McCoy and Austin Bragg each had four tackles. Seth Chapman had three tackles and a sack.
Sanders had three tackles and a pick. Albright had two stops and one interception. Chase Harvey had two tackles and DJ Browning and Matt Ramey had one tackle each.
“Our defense played well with the shutout in the second half and they scored 12 points as well,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “We moved the ball well on offense. Kyle Browning had a good game. He scored a touchdown and Morris scored one too. We moved the ball a lot better than they did added.”
Jacob Frye returned at running back after an early season injury and had several key first downs on short runs.
Freshman running back Zack Frye, Jacob’s cousin, was injured and did not play.
Browning rushed 15 times for 72 yards in the game. Morris had nine carries for 25 yards. Jake Frye had six rushes for 11 yards. Osborne had three totes for 10 yards and Simpson had two attempts for four yards.
DJ Dirickson led Lincoln County with 10 carries for 55 yards.
Simpson was 10 of 17 passing for 76 yards and an interception.
Ashley was 6 of 18 passing for 101 yards with one TD and three picks.
Man’s Sanders had three catches for 27 yards. Nick Collins had two grabs for 23 yards, while Morris finished with one catch for 12 yards. Whitt had three grabs for 12 yards and Osborne had one catch for two yards.
2016 Man High School
Football Schedule (4-1):
Aug. 25: at Logan (Coalfield Kickoff Classic), L 13-48
Sept. 2: Mount View (Hall of Fame Game), W 45-44 (3OT)
Sept. 9: Westside, W 27-14
Sept. 16: at River View, W 7-0 (OT)
Sept. 23: Open Date
Sept. 30: at Lincoln County, W 25-10
Oct. 7: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: Bluefield, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Van, 7:30 p.m.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).