KEYSER - For the second week in a row at the 9:21 mark of the 3rd quarter, the Golden Tornado trailed by double digits, and this time the score was 24-7 in favor of the Jefferson Cougars. “It's like Groundhog Day all over again.” said Coach Sean Biser.
Last week it was Weir's Donovan Kirby tearing up the Tornado defense on the ground scoring 5 touchdowns. This week it was Cougar QB Corbin Pierson that had the honor of torching the Tornado defense recording his third touchdown of the game (1 rushing & 2 passing) early in the second half. Trailing by 17 points with no signs of life on offense, Keyser looked doomed once again. But, in the words of Coach Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!” ...
Last week the Keyser kids were the only people in the Mountain state that believed they could comeback from a 26 point 2nd half deficit to beat Weir in Jimmy Carey Stadium. This week was different. This week the comeback kids had the unwavering support of the black and gold fans who sat nervously but waited patiently for that special play to turn the game around.
Once again momentum changed after a physical play from the defensive line. Last week the Red Riders felt the pain inflicted by 6’10" 320lb DT Shawn See as he drove the Weir RB into the turf which resembled the Stunner Move of Stone Cold Steve Austin. That was the spark that lit the fire and from that point forward Keyser didn’t allow another point.
This week it was senior DT Jerrod McGann who bull-rushed his blocker and stuck his nose in the pile to force a fumble which was recovered by Brady Clay at the Jefferson 22 yard line. Once again, this was the flame to ignite the fire of momentum which completely shifted to the sidelines of the comeback kids midway through the 3rd quarter. Keyser rewarded Brady Clay for his fumble recovery by handing him the pigskin in the red zone. Clay could not be stopped as he punished Cougar defenders and scored a touchdown just a few plays later trimming the Jefferson lead down to eleven points, 24-13.
ATTENTION: A Golden Tornado warning has been issued for Alumni Field. The Jefferson Offense should seek shelter now. Do not delay! The Keyser defense played fierce and fast forcing the Cougars to punt on their next possession after just five plays.
ATTENTION: A Golden Tornado warning has been issued for Alumni Field. The Jefferson Defense should seek shelter now. Do not delay! The Keyser offense took over and ran the rock right through the Cougars making them look like kittens.
Senior RB Evan Moreland eluded a tackler then scampered for a 19 yard rushing touchdown at the 4:17 mark of the 3rd quarter to make the score 24-19. The Cougar offense stalled and lost yardage on their next two possessions. In the 4th quarter with the game still up for grabs, the conditioning and physical endurance of Keyser became the deciding factor. Weight-room warrior RB Aaron Lyons let his hogs on the O-line clear a huge hole then dashed for 46 yards into the endzone to give the Golden Tornado a 25-24 lead. Lyons finished the game with 94 total yards rushing and 1 rushing TD. “Here’s a kid that didn’t miss a workout all summer long, and he lifted and worked his butt off in the weight room, and we knew he was going to be a key player for us.” said Coach Biser.
After the Lyons touchdown Keyser tried to grab a 3 point lead but the 2 point conversion failed. With a narrow 1 point lead midway through the 4th quarter Keyser lined up for the kickoff. Just like last week, freshman kicker Seth Earnest was called upon to come up with a game deciding play under intense pressure. Last week the score was tied 40-40 late in the fourth quarter. Seth Earnest trotted on the field for a PAT and kicked the football through the uprights to give Keyser a 41-40 victory. This week with a 1 point lead Seth was asked once again to perform under pressure and execute an onsides kick. Coach Biser noticed the Cougars were out of position and calculated the risk/reward given the situation believing his freshman footballer could come through. Earnest rewarded Biser with a beautiful boot and the squib kick was recovered by Keyser, making Biser look genius. Black and gold fans applauded the gutsy play call which runs against the logic football coaches across the country who would have sent the ball deep. “Sometimes its better to be lucky than good,” said Biser.
Emotionally after that play Keyser spirits touched the heavens. The Jefferson sideline was shocked as players and coaches stood frozen like Frosty the Snowman in complete disbelief. The Golden Tornado momentum was swirling so fast it reached the level of category five, and not surprisingly Keyser capitalized. Sophomore FB Drae Allen made the Jefferson defense pay for ignoring the Tornado Warning. Drae is the type of kid that looks for contact while running with the rock and he crushed Cougar defenders lowering his shoulder and trucked into the endzone for a 13 yard rushing touchdown giving Keyser a 31-24 lead. Jefferson had one more chance on offense to tie the game but Sports Editors like myself already had the Headline engraved in stone. The Golden Tornado defense continued their suffocation of the Cougars and the comeback kids of Keyser stole another victory from the jaws of defeat.
While all the action was in the 2nd half, Keyser did manage to put points on the board in the first half with a play on 4th and 9 from the Cougar 20 yard line. Keyser QB Ryan Shoemaker put the pigskin in the air and let his senior WR Reggie Redman jump high and pull down the ball for a touchdown with 1:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Statistically for Keyser the defense held Jefferson to a total of -12 yards rushing (net). Don Woodworth was an absolute monster once again recording 7 solo tackles to lead the Keyser wild bunch defense. “Don Woodworth is out there killing himself every snap and giving it everything he’s got,” said Coach Biser. Also defensively for Keyser Jackson Biser recorded 4 tackles while Aaron Lyons, Adam Kephart, Shawn See, and Jerrod McGann each finished with 3 tackles. The offense gained a total of 357 yards on the ground with Aaron Lyons rushing for 94 yards and 1 TD, Brady Clay with 80 yards and a TD, Sam Perry had 68 yards, Drae Allen rushed for 66 yards and a TD, Caden Biser had 32 yards, and Evan Moreland had 15 yards and a TD. Reggie Redman caught 3 passes for 58 yards and a TD, but once again his highlight film will show his dynamite downfield blocking as he dusted the Cougar DB’s on multiple running plays.
Next up for Keyser (3-1) is a home game on Friday September 28th against the Trojans of Hampshire at Alumni Field with kickoff scheduled for 7:00pm.