MAN, W.Va. - The Keyser Golden Tornado traveled 5 hours southwest to play against Man High School in the Hillbilly Homecoming game. The weather was perfect for a parade before the contest, but after kickoff a Tornado storm hit the Hatfield/McCoy region and shutdown any plans for a hillbilly party on Friday night. Keyser won in dominant fashion 32-0.
Man received the opening kickoff, but the Hillbillies couldn’t keep control of the football and coughed up the ball on their first drive of the game. The Keyser offense started with great field position deep in Man territory but good field position hasn’t always resulted in touchdowns for the Golden Tornado. Perhaps the Keyser offense should take a 5 hour bus ride each week to start the game because they looked prepared and focused to punch the ball in the endzone, and they accomplished their goal as Brady Clay scored a TD to give Keyser an early 7-0 lead.
Both teams traded possessions that failed to produce any points on the following drives. On the third drive of the game for Keyser, it was first and goal from the 5 yard line and the speedy Christian Ravenscroft ran the ball up the gut and kept his feet pumping to score a touchdown. The PAT was no good. At the end of the 1st quarter Keyser led 13-0.
With just over 11 minutes left in the 2nd quarter Brady Ours rolled out to the right, noticed his deep wideout was covered, then tossed a nice leading pass to Christian Ravenscroft who was running a 12 yard out route in the flats near the Keyser sideline. After Ravenscroft caught the football, he tucked it away then used a stiff arm to shed the first Man tackler, then utilized a nice shake and bake move to fool the remaining 2 defenders and sprinted into the endzone for a Tornado touchdown. PAT was good.
The Man offense was anemic most of the game because of the pressure of the defensive line. Coach Sean Biser commented, “Our guys simply executed on the defensive line which allowed us to put pressure on the QB.”
With just over 6 minutes remaining in the first half trailing 20-0, the Hillbilly defense knew they had to step up and keep Keyser out of the endzone. Keyser drove the ball into Hillbilly territory but on 4th and 8 the Golden Tornado were not able to convert the first down allowing Man to remain in the game. Another Man possession and another punt from the Hillbillies. Keyser took over and drove the field
On 4th and 13 with 35 seconds left in the first half Brady Ours had great protection from his offensive line, and found Christian Ravenscroft deep downfield to keep the drive alive. On the next play Keyser put the ball back in the air and Reggie Redman came down with the pigskin to increase the Keyser lead to 26-0. Once again the PAT No Good.
Man kickoff returner Quentin Moody #84 showed off his agility with the football making a nice juke move followed by a spin-o-rama before being brought down around midfield. With time winding down in the first half, Man looked to get the ball back in Moody’s hands and lined up in a twins right formation which put him in a 1v1 situation with Keyser DB Reggie Redman. The Hillbilly QB tossed the ball downfield and Moody went up to snag the ball, however Reggie made a great defensive play timing his jump perfectly and coming down with the ball firmly in his mitts.
On the next offensive series for Keyser #63 Alex Oates laid a bone crunching hit on the Man defender down the sidelines to open up a lane for his QB to gain extra yards before time expired in the first half.
Halftime score: 26-0
Keyser received the kickoff to start the 2nd half and managed to get all the way down to the 3 yard line but the Hillbillies defense held strong as Keyser failed to convert. Man took over on downs, but the Keyser defense continued to bring pressure on the QB.
A player on defense that continues to improve is defensive lineman Shayden Daugherty as he showed off his ability to shed blockers while taking good pursuit angles on the ball carrier.
Keyser forced another Hillbilly punt and the Tornado offense took advantage of great field position. A few plays later Christian Ravenscroft found the endzone for another Keyser TD. To the surprise of Golden Tornado fans in the stands, a holding call confirmed we were watching a different game of football compared to the zebras on the field. Although the phantom flag for holding pushed the offense backwards, the Golden Tornado responded with a nice catch by Reggie Redman to move the ball down to the 1 yard line. With 2:44 left in the 3rd quarter the drive was finished by Brady Ours with QB sneak up the middle to stretch the lead to 32-0. At the end of the 3 quarters is was Keyser 32-0.
Honestly this game was long over and the only thing to be decided in the 4th quarter was if Keyser could collect another GooseEgg this season. Substitutes were inserted into the game but the shutout would remain as the Hillbillies left George A. Queen Memorial Field scoreless on homecoming.
Interesting side notes from the game: The 50/50 drawing was called the Half & Half .
Winner of the homecoming float was named Keyser: Wanted Dead or Alive ... The Man Hillbilly fight song for some unknown reason was the Notre Dame fight song.