KEYSER, W.Va. — Danny Fife ran for three touchdowns and Keyser turned three turnovers into points as the Golden Tornado put away Mingo Central 61-14 in the first round of the West Virginia Class AA playoffs Friday night at Alumni and Friends Stadium at Tornado Alley.
The Golden Tornado (10-1) will host Scott, a 46-16 winner over Wyoming East, either Friday or Saturday. The date and time will be determined Sunday or Monday.
By the time the second quarter began, the Golden Tornado was in complete control with a 40-0 lead.
Mingo Central won the toss and elected to receive. That proved to be a mistake.
“We were not going to kick to Joe May,” said Keyser head coach Sean Biser. “We worked on kicking them high. We really worked on the bounce kick this week. He (Fife) was getting better hops than even we thought he would. On the first kick that they caught, that was a line drive kick as well.”
The kick was smothered at the Mingo 44.
Expecting the Tornado to key on their outstanding, all-state running back May, who entered the game with 1,200 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns, the Miners attempted three passes, completing one for seven yards to the Keyser 49. Their fourth down attempt was broken up by Wes Nelson.
The Tornado needed only six plays to score when Cody Eversole hit J.R. Flint for a 27-yard touchdown pass to the right side of the end zone. Logan Robinette’s first of three consecutive extra points made it 7-0.
Mingo appeared to answer with two first downs, the first on a 14-yard run by Joe Hall followed by an 11-yard run from Chance Lester. On third-and-nine, quarterback Matthew Lester dropped back to pass and was hit as he attempted to bring the ball up. It came loose and bounced backwards where Keyser’s Trystan Baker picked it up at the 33 and returned it to the three. Fife scored two plays later from the one and it was 14-0 with 5:11 to play in the first quarter.
The ensuing kickoff bounced past the returner and Mingo fell on it at its own five. Keyser’s Christian Smith recovered the next fumble, at Mingo’s seven. Blake Ravenscroft made it 21-0 with a third-down three-yard run.
Mingo misplayed the next kickoff with Keyser’s Deondre Williams recovering at the Miner 22.
Fife scored from the six with 1:42 to play and it was 27-0.
Amonte Turner returned a Mingo punt 57 yards to make it 34-0 with 34 seconds to play in the first quarter.
On Mingo’s next play from scrimmage, Matthew Chester’s pass was intercepted at the Miner 36 by Harley Yader. Fife, who finished with 67 yards on 10 first-half carries, scored untouched on the next play and the missed extra point made it 40-0.
Keyser scored 14 points in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Austin Ravenscroft and a 33-yard run by Hunter Kasmier.
Kasmier, the game’s leading rusher with 180 yards on 15 carries, scored the Tornado’s last touchdown on the second play of the second half on a 69-yard run up the right sideline.
Mingo’s scores came on a one–yard run by Deonte Joplin in the third quarter and Joseph Hall’s 80-yarder in the fourth.
Hall led the Miners with 143 yards on 13 carries.
Mingo Central, in its second year of existence, finished 5-6.
Jeff is a sportswriter for the Times-News. Contact him at email@example.com