Keyser duo signs to play college football

Keyser seniors Zion Powell and Gavin Root celebrate signing their National Letters of Intent to continue playing football on Friday at Keyser High School. Powell will be part of the first team at Bluefield State College since it dropped football in 1980 and Root is going to Frostburg State University. Front row, left to right, Powell and Root. Back row, left to right, assistant coach Nick Whiteman, head coach Derek Stephen and assistant coach Seth Gordon.

KEYSER, W.Va. — A pair of Keyser High School standouts pledged to continue their academic and football careers on Friday, as Gavin Root signed on to play at Frostburg State and Zion Powell committed to being part of history as a member of Bluefield State College’s first football team in over 30 years.

Root, who announced his commitment to the Bobcats in a Twitter post on Jan. 19, was the focal point of Keyser’s high-octane offense under first-year head coach Derek Stephen.

Root played under center and passed more than the Golden Tornado are known for, going 66 of 107 for 1,087 yards and 18 touchdowns. A mobile quarterback, Root had 63 rushes for 470 yards and 10 scores.

Powell played a key role in both the passing and rushing attacks, carrying the ball 78 times for 661 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) and six touchdowns while hauling in 21 passes for 281 yards (13.4 yards per catch) and three scores.

Bluefield State College (Bluefield, West Virginia) is an independent Division II program that last fielded a football team in 1980. The school announced early in the 2020-21 school year that football would be one of 12 new sports added in the 2021-22 academic year.

Kyle Bennett is a sports reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @KyleBennettCTN.

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