KEYSER - Berkeley Springs gets demolished by Golden Tornado 49-0

KEYSER - Did you know Tornadoes are more common in the United States than any other country on earth? Did you know ‘tornado season’ is from March until June? According to the Britannica Encyclopedia; during the late summer & early fall season, tornado activity across the United States tapers off significantly. Apparently the encyclopedia failed to calculate data from Friday nights in Keyser, W.Va.

If you are looking for eye witness testimony regarding the intensity of a Golden Tornado in Mineral County, just ask the boys on Berkeley Springs about the fierce twister they encountered on Alumni Field last night. Loyal Keyser fans filled the stands wearing black and gold and enjoyed a small rainfall as the Keyser Golden Tornado officially kicked off the 2017 season by destroying the Indians 49-0.

Pregame: The scene before kickoff featured the wonderful sounds of the Golden Tornado Marching Band playing the Keyser Fight Song, the smell of hot dogs, and the chatter about the upcoming season. Another highlight before kickoff was the announcement of the Keyser Athletic Queen. A large cheer erupted from the crowd when Madi Anderson was selected to take home the 2017 crown. More information about the Keyser Athletic Queen will be posted in the paper on Tuesday.

1st Quarter: Jose Torres kicked off the 2017 season by booting the ball deep in the endzone for a Berkeley Springs touchback. Berkeley Springs fumbled the ball on their first possession, and the fumble was recovered by Keyser at the Berkeley Springs 38 yard line. After a false start penalty on Keyser to start the drive, the Golden Tornado kept the ball on the ground and pounded the ball right up the gut of Berkeley Springs. Christian Ravenscroft #4 scored the first touchdown of the season to give Keyser a 7-0 lead with 8:33 left in the 1st quarter. On the next possession the Indians could not muster more than 1 first down as the Keyser defense played tough and forced a punt. Keyser started their second drive by shooting themselves in the foot by letting the play clock hit 0 on first down. However the drive was accelerated by a nice pass from Brady Ours to Christian Ravenscroft for a 35 yard gain. On 4th and 4 from the 20 yard line Brady Ours faked a handoff to the right as the offensive line created a huge lane on the left side of the formation which allowed Brady to show off his wicked speed in the open field beating every Indian defender to the goaline for a touchdown with 3:01 left in the 1st half. 14-0 Keyser. Berkeley Springs looked better on their 3rd possession, as the Indians were able to cross the 50 yard line with the help of a pass interference call against Keyser. The following play Keyser jumped offsides which sparked life into the Berkeley Springs offense. The Indians kept the drive alive by running sweeps to the left but they failed to convert on 4th and 4.

2nd Quarter: To start the 2nd Quarter Brady Ours ripped off a huge 40 yard run to setup the offense in Berkeley Springs territory. On the very next play, Keyser took advantage of single coverage and Brady Ours tossed a beautiful sideline pass to WR Reggie Redman who walked a tightrope and managed to stay in bounds while completing the catch as he fell to the ground knocking over the orange pylon. Initially the referee signaled incomplete but the call was overruled as Redman clearly made the catch for a fantastic Keyser Touchdown. Berkeley Springs failed to ignite any offense on the next possession and in the blink of an eye, Keyser found themselves deep in Indian territory again. On 4th down from the 20 yard line, Keyser kept the ball on the ground and let the big boys up front create a hole for Christian Ravenscroft, who burst through the hole, and was challenged by a Berkeley Springs linebacker but #4 in the black and gold pulled off a nasty juke move which can only be seen playing Madden Football on Playstation. The Keyser defense continued to suffocate Berkeley Springs forcing another 3 and out. tarting at their own 25 yard line Keyser threw the ball on first down but Brady was picked off and the Indians ran back a touchdown. Luckily a penalty against Berkeley Springs after the interception nullified the TD but the Indians started the possession deep in Keyser territory. The Indians managed to get the ball to the Tornado 1 yard line but on 3rd and goal the defensive lineman Steven “Scooba” White timed the snap and knocked the ball loose to force a fumble which was recovered by Brady Ours. With their backs against the wall the Keyser defense stepped up and showed true grit and determination to keep the shutout active. This is the type of play displayed by elite teams in pressure situations. Fueled by the momentum of the defense, Keyser marched the ball right down the field and scored another Touchdown as Brady Ours connected on a 12 yard out route to WR Reggie Redman. 35-0 Golden Tornado. On the last possession of the half, BS attempted a pass and allstate safety Brady Ours lowered his shoulder with a force so hard that fans on both sides of the field in unison exclaimed, “Ewww!” It was the epitome of a bone crunching hit. Halftime 35-0 Keyser.

3rd Quarter: Keyser received the ball to start the second half and the offense continued to run like a well oiled machine. The series was highlighted by RB #20 Brady Clay’s refusal to be brought down on a play that was stretched out to the sidelines. Clay galloped past four Berkeley Springs defenders who appeared to be going through the motions and then he turned on the jets for another Keyser score. 42-0 Golden Tornado. The theme of the evening continued on the Indians next drive as the offense failed to advance downfield and the possession ended without a score. With the score standing at 42-0 midway through the 3rd quarter, head coach Sean Biser decided to give reps to his second team offense so they could gain some in-game experience. Also strategically this was a smart move that allowed his starters to get some rest and more importantly, eliminated the risk of injury as Fort Hill looms on the horizon.

4th Quarter: To start the 4th quarter players on the Berkeley Springs sidelines appeared to be sneaking a few peaks at the Morgan County busses parked on the northeast end of the field. The mood of the team dressed in black and gold on the southwest sidelines was all smiles as the 2nd string continued to apply pressure. With 5:46 remaining in the game Freshman RB Drae Allen was escorted by several offensive lineman all the way to pay dirt to increase the Keyser lead 49-0. The Indians took possession 2 more times late in the game and with one drive ending with an interception and the other drive with a fumble as the offense failed again to crack the goose-egg displayed under the word guests on the scoreboard.

Next Up: The Golden Tornado take a short trip to Cumberland Maryland next week to play against the Sentinels of Fort Hill at Greenway Stadium. Fort Hill is the four time defending Maryland 1A state champion. In 2016 Fort Hill beat Keyser 41-0 at Alumni Field. The previous year Keyser won 48-41 at Greenway Stadium. Keyser’s 7 point victory on September 11th, 2015, is the only regular season home game the Sentinels have lost since the 2010 season. Kickoff for this interstate rivalry is scheduled for Friday September 8th at 7:00pm.

Nick's Notes: The physical domination in the trenches on both sides of the ball was a major improvement compared to the performance in the scrimmage against Spring Mills. The defense should be commended for their mental ability to face a tough situation after Berkeley Springs intercepted a pass and gave the Indians possession deep into Keyser territory. Momentum can swing rapidly throughout a football game (see Super Bowl 51) and the Keyser defense dissolved any hope of the Indians chance to build momentum by forcing a fumble on the 1 yard line. Coach Sean Biser stated, "Credit our coaches as they did a good job working with the defensive line in practice all week. Also we did a better job of rotating different personnel into the game and that helped our guys stay fresh. The big thing is we have gained some depth too as more players have had the opportunity to see the field."

A smart, physical, and disciplined defense will win championships, especially when that defense can overcome adverse situations. The Keyser defense should be proud of their ability to step up to the challenge and keep the Indians off the scoreboard completely. Fans in the stands enjoyed watching this team capture the scarce and rarely seen goose-egg.

The offensive line appeared to be improving as well. Overall the big boys up front demonstrated the ability to perform in cohesion as a full functioning unit. From the snap of the football the individual steps of the O-line were in sync. Also there appeared to be very little confusion regarding the blocking assignments of each player. Not only did the O-line know who to block, they also showed how to block each player properly (See pictures in the photo gallery). Great offensive lines can part a defense like Moses parted the Red Sea which allows talented RBs with patience and vision a chance to make a great play in the open field against an isolated safety or linebacker. 

The biggest area of improvement for Keyser is reducing the number of presnap penalties. Head Coach Sean Biser shed light on the penalty situation,"Most of the penalties are the result of first game jitters. We didn't have any personal fouls or anything like that, just some little things we need to clean up."

Those little mistakes might not impact a game with a 40 point differential, however Keyser will need to reduce the little mental errors to improve their chance of capturing victory next week in Cumberland.