Mingo Central at Pikeville
Who: Mingo Central (0-0) at Pikeville (1-0)
Kickoff: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.
Location: Hillard Howard Field, Pikeville.
Coaches: Mingo Central, Josh Sammons. Pikeville, Chris McNamee.
Notes: Mingo Central will open its season Saturday evening. Pikeville opened the season with a big 47-25 win over Bardstown.
Mingo Central returns a lot of talent.
The Miners return quarterback Daylin Goad, wide receivers Drew Hatfield and Devin Hatfield. Kaeden Bolding and Westan Christian are two running backs who should see the majority of the action in the backfield.
Mingo Central will play its first game out of state in the Pike County Bowl.
Mingo Central went 8-3 last year and the Miners were expected to be rebuilding.
This season, the Miners should be in the hunt for a Class AA state title in West Virginia.
Mingo Central is a fun team to watch.
Pikeville opened the season by pulling away from Bardstown.
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead, but the Tigers came back to take a 25-21 lead early in the third quarter.
Pikeville’s defense clamped down after falling behind.
On offense, sophomore quarterback Isaac McNamee looked sharp in his first start. He was 15 for 21 passing for 152 yards and two TDs with one interception.
McNamee found Jackson Hensley five times on the night for 51 yards and a TD. Zac Lockhart added three catches for 54 yards. Clay Tinsley had three catches for 19 yards and a TD.
Cody Raines took over the reigns in the Panther backfield. Raines rushed for 165 yards and three TDs on 28 carries. Raines looked like he kept getting stronger and stronger running the ball as the game progressed.
Hensley added 45 yards on the ground on three carries and Jon Collum added 24 yards and two TDs on three carries.
On defense, Raines and Nate Collins each had nine total tackles to lead the Panthers. Hensley and Collum followed with seven tackles each and Brody Birchfield added six.
Peyton Boyd-Blair and Carson Wright each came away with interceptions for the Panthers.
Who 2 Watch: The defenses.
Of course, everybody will be focused on each of these high-powered offenses.
There should be plenty of points scored on each side.
Both teams have stand out quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs with good offensive lines.
The defenses will be key.
Which defense will stop or slow the other?
That will be the deciding factor.
Pikeville has a ton of speed on defense and creates a lot of turnovers.
If one team can force turnovers, that could lead to easy points and these offenses just need a spark to get going.
Tug Valley at Hurley (Va.)
Who: Tug Valley (0-0) vs. Hurley (Va.) (0-0)
Kickoff: Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Hurley (Va.).
Coaches: Tug Valley, Hady Ford. Hurley, Greg Tester.
Notes: Tug Valley is implementing a new offense that should keep the tempo of the game at a fast pace.
Hurley will attempt to control the clock with a consistent rushing attack.
The Rebels are a senior heavy group, sporting over 15 seniors on the roster.
The Tug Valley Panthers are fitted with very few seniors, but have some electric playmakers and a massive offensive/ defensive line.
In last seasons matchup Tug Valley prevailed in a one-sided showing; putting up 30 points to Hurley’s 6.
Who 2 Watch: For Tug Valley, quarterback Ethan Varney and linebacker Zach Savage.
Varney is a first-year starter at the position, but his ability to move in the pocket and create with his legs will help extend plays along with taking pressure off his offensive line. He has the capability to throw the ball as well but Hurley will be the first test to see how efficient Varney can be for the Panthers.
Savage is one of the most prominent playmakers for the Panthers and looks to continue racking up big tackles all over the field. Expect to hear this young man’s name a lot on both sides of the ball.