KEYSER - With just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter the Golden Tornado entered the red-zone trailing Robert C. Byrd by 6 points. “You got to make plays when the time comes.” said Keyser Head Coach Sean Biser. Unfortunately for the black and gold, the Eagles made a big play forcing a fumble and recovering the football with 90 seconds remaining to essentially eliminate Keyser's threat of pulling off the comeback win.
Coach Biser talked about how his team performed on Friday night,”We played good in spurts and we played bad in spurts. It’s hard to overcome two fumbles on drives when you are going in to score.” The Golden Tornado had difficulty slowing down the RCB rushing attack as the Eagles pounded out 371 yards on the ground. RCB relied on the dynamic talents of Ghovan Davidson who rushed for 177 yards on the ground while hauling in a pair of passes for 71 yards.
For the second week in a row, severe thunderstorms wreaked havoc on high school football games across the mountain state, causing games to be delayed including this AA matchup of top ten teams at Alumni Field. Once the officials deemed the weather suitable for play, the game kicked off abruptly. Similar to the lackluster performance in the 1st quarter against Berkeley Springs, the Golden Tornado once again lacked intensity to start the game.
Keyser failed to slow down the rushing combination of Ghovan Davidson and Jeremiah King as they established the run to pace the RCB offense. On their first two possessions of the game, the Eagles rattled off two long drives which resulted in two touchdowns to grab a 14-0 advantage at the 10:45 mark in the 2nd quarter. All of the momentum at Alumni Field was with the team dressed in white and green as Keyser took over from their own 30 yard line. One play later on 1st and 10, senior Brady Clay received the handoff, identified an open lane along the left sidelines, followed his blocker, then turned on the afterburners. Brady showed off his ability to separate in the open field sprinting past RCB’s secondary into the endzone for a 70 yard rushing touchdown.
Caden Biser crossed the goal line for the two point conversion to make the score 14-8 in favor of the Eagles. Finally there was a sense of energy and excitement that started to flow on the sidelines of the home team as drenched fans waved umbrellas in the stands screaming words of support of their beloved Keyser kids. RCB received the kickoff and went right back to work on offense driving the ball deep into Keyser territory. The Golden Tornado defense came up with several big stops in the red-zone but RCB converted on 4th and 6 from the 10 yard line to keep the drive alive. On 1st and goal, RCB got stuffed. Then on 2nd and goal Keyser benefited from a holding call which sent RCB in reverse to the 13 yard line.
After two errant passes from QB Xavier Lopez on 2nd and 3rd downs, the Eagles went to the air again on 4th down but the Golden Tornado secondary played excellent defense. Lopez tossed the ball to his WR in the endzone who attempted to straddle his feet in bounds along the left sidelines but the tight Keyser coverage forced him to make the catch out of bounds allowing the Keyser offense to take over at their own 13 yard line with 5:23 remaining in the 1st half.
Two plays later on 2nd and 8, QB Ryan Shoemaker called his own number and followed his blockers to daylight, then sprinted 83 yards before getting hauled down at the 2 yard line. Sophomore FB Drae Allen finished off the drive with a 2 yard rush crossing the goal line with 4:13 left in the 1st half to tie the game 14-14.
Coach Biser commented on Drae’s rushing performance, “He was running hard and he has put his time in the weight room and doing all the things he needs to do.” Neither team could gain ground on their next possession and the teams hit the locker rooms for halftime all squared at 14. “I told our guys at halftime I was proud of them because they could have laid down but they fought back. We looked like we were running the swiss cheese defense out there in the 1st quarter.” In the third quarter, RCB drove the ball into Keyser territory highlighted by QB Xavier Lopez’s completion on 3rd and 14 to Ghovan Davidson down the right sideline to the Keyser 2 yard line.
Davidson wrapped up the drive with a rushing TD to give RCB a 20-14 lead at the 2:28 mark in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Keyser, the offense was not able to post any points on the board in the 2nd half. Brady Clay led the rushing attack for the Golden Tornado with 124 yards, while Ryan Shoemaker finished the day with 6 carries and 95 yards. Drae Allen carried the rock 14 times for a total of 91 yards.
Next up for the Keyser Golden Tornado (1-1) is a road trip to Weirton, West Virginia to play against the Red Riders of Weir (3-0). Robert C. Byrd (2-1) will host Preston on Friday September 14th, in Clarksburg.