BLUEFIELD - To quote the legendary baseball player and gaffe artist Yogi Berra, “It was like déjà vu all over again.”

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
BLUEFIELD - To quote the legendary baseball player and gaffe artist Yogi Berra, “It was like déjà vu all over again.”
That most certainly was the feeling of Keyser fans in attendance and listening in on the radio to Bluefield’s convincing 43-20 win over Keyser on Friday. Last year, as you will recall, Bluefield topped the Golden Tornado on this same weekend and in this same place 35-0 to end Keyser’s season.
Keyser most certainly knew what they were getting into, not just because of the outcome of last year’s game, but because a team as talented and dominant as Bluefield with multiple division one caliber players, certainly has a significant buzz surrounding their program.  The Beavers, just like leading up to last year’s contest, had lost only to out-of-state Lord Botetourt from Virginia, and had dismantled the rest of their competition. Keyser knew the challenge from the homestanding Beavers would match, even exceed the challenge faced at Bluefield a year ago.
This year, however, Keyser was much improved, much more dominant on the season than the Golden Tornado had been in 2018. While certainly a solid team, 2018’s Keyser squad did not put up the mind-boggling numbers of the 2019 squad, a team that entered the contest with Bluefield having outscored opponents 50-4 on average and with eight shutouts in 11 games.
“We didn’t make some plays here and there, and they’ve got great athletes. We knew it was going to be tough. We didn’t match up well in spots, and we knew that,” Keyser coach Sean Biser stated.
According to Biser, “I don’t think the final score is definitely indicative of the game because our kids were going at it. They just played hard and I’ve said all along that this is calling card of this group of seniors.”
In Bluefield, Keyser faced a team with a potent passing attack led by an outstanding quarterback with a plethora of tall, athletic receivers to throw too. Keyser had not really faced an effective passing attack all season, let alone one as efficient and explosive as Bluefield’s.  All this without mentioning Bluefield division one running back prospect JJ Davis who recently de-committed from Toledo and has offers from Cincinnati, Marshall, Maryland, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Leading up to the contest, Biser stated, “This may be the most athletic team I’ve ever seen on film, honestly. They’ve got five Division 1 football players on their team right now, and it’s just a heck of a challenge for us.”
The story of the game would be Bluefield’s explosive passing attack, led by quarterback Carson Deeb. Deeb completed 21 passes in 30 attempts for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Keyser did a great job containing the Beavers running game led by Davis, but could do very little to stop the Beavers’ prolific air assault.
Bluefield finished with 417 total yards compared to 297 for Keyser.  Keyser committed only four penalties while Bluefield committed 13.
As stated, Carson Deeb led the Bluefield offense by completing 21 passes in 30 attempts for 345 yards and four touchdowns.  Deeb’s touchdown tosses went to Jahiem House (two in the second half), Brandon Wiley and JJ Davis.
JJ Davis accounted for 128 yards of total offense for the Beavers with 12 catches and six receptions. Davis had both a rushing and receiving touchdown.  
Keyser was led offensively by senior quarterback Ryan Shoemaker who completed two of four passes for 13 yards and rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Drae Allen led the Keyser ground game with 97 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.  Logan Proud rushed for 65 yards on eight carries; Zion Powell gained 38 yards on 11 carries; Aaron Lyons finished with five yards on four carries.
Gavin Root led the Tornado in receiving with one reception for 11 yards; Logan Proud caught one pass for two yards.
In terms of scoring, Bluefield started the game with 14 first-quarter points. Jacorian Green scored on a seven-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Carson Deeb’s 11-yard touchdown toss to Brandon Wiley gave the Beavers a 14-0 lead at the end of one quarter of play.
The only scoring in the second quarter was a 28-yard field goal by WVU-bound Bluefield kicker Kaulin Parris to give the Beavers a 17-0 lead at the break.
JJ Davis caught 65-yard scoring strike from Deeb to open the second half. Deeb then connected on a 10-yard scoring strike with Jahiem House to give the Beavers a 31-8 lead, still in the third quarter.  Keyser would finally get on the board to close the third quarter with a six-yard scoring run by Ryan Shoemaker and Shoemaker’s two-point conversion pass to Brendan Pattison to cut the Bluefield lead to 31-8 to close the third quarter.
Keyser’s Drae Allen’s six-yard scoring run to open the fourth quarter got Keyser to within 31-14 of Bluefield. Bluefield responded in a big way with JJ Davis’ 50-yard scoring run and then a Carson Deeb scoring strike to Jahiem House to extend the Beavers’ lead to 43-14.  One final Keyser score brought the final to 43-20 in favor of Bluefield.
Keyser finishes the season with a remarkable and memorable 10-2 record, and most importantly, with a return trip to the state quarterfinals. Keyser’s 2019 squad will be remembered also for outscoring their opponents 573-92 on the season with eight shutouts in 12 games.
After falling to Bluefield 35-0 in the state quarterfinal a season ago, Keyser entered the 2019 season facing a tough schedule on paper that included six West Virginia class AA playoff teams from the year before. Keyser breezed through the schedule, throttling absolutely everyone in their way until falling to Bridgeport 28-7 in the eighth game of the season. They rebounded nicely, dominating their next three opponents by a combined 149-14, before falling to Bluefield on Friday 43-20.
“It’s a tough group to let go, I’ll tell you what. I’ve watched all these kids grow up since they were little, one of my sons included. They played together, and that’s always been their calling card, they just never quit. They just play and play and play,” Biser explained.
According to Biser, “My hats off to them, they’ve done a lot of great things for our program. I told them just a little bit ago, that the young guys have a lot to live up to now, because they’ve set a standard that no other senior class in my opinion has ever set. Even some of my what people would say were very talented teams, I don’t think that we’ve ever had a group like this.”
Keyser may have fallen short of their ultimate goal this season and that’s winning a state championship. What they did do, however, was give themselves and their fans a season to be proud of, particularly in the way they dominated much of their competition, really statistically in a way not seen before. The 2019 Golden Tornado football squad will be remembered surely as one of the best.