Keyser looking to win fourth straight Friday at Point Pleasant
By Chapin Jewell
KEYSER - Tonight, the 4-1 Keyser Golden Tornado is looking to continue their hot streak and win their fourth straight as they make the long trip westward to Point Pleasant (1-2). This is just one of many long road trips for Keyser on the season.
This will mark the second meeting between the two schools with Keyser being the victors of the first matchup, a 29-6 victory over the Big Blacks in Keyser on Sep. 13, 2009. Point Pleasant has been lacking in games in general the last two seasons. In 2019, Point Pleasant played only an eight-game schedule. Thus far in 2020, pandemic issues have the Mason County squad with only three game instead of five thus far.
Keyser enters the contest with a record of 4-1 and has defeated 2 AAA teams (Washington, Hampshire)), and 2 AA teams (Berkeley Springs, Nicholas County). Keyser’s lone loss of the season is to Oak Glen (35-12). The Black and Gold have outscored their opponents 252-122, for an average score of 50-24, an advantage on average of 26 points per game.
In the WVSSAC playoff ratings released on Tuesday, Keyser is currently rated fifth in class AA. In the WVMetroNews Power Rankings that were released this week, Keyser is ranked sixth in class AA.
Point Pleasant enters the contest with a record of 1-2, with their lone win being a 51-13 drubbing of Brooke at home. The Big Blacks have suffered losses to Oak Glen (36-13) at home, and Bluefield (46-29) on the road.
In their approximate 100 years of playing football thus far, Point Pleasant has established themselves as one of the more formidable programs in the state and have enjoyed great success and been consistent year in and year out.
From 2011-2018, Point appeared in the state finals class AA, the semifinals of class AAA, the quarterfinals in class AAA once and class AA twice, and the first round of the playoffs in class AAA and class AA twice.
“Things are looking about how they’ve been the last couple of weeks. We’re still working on things trying to get better every week. Things are heading in the right direction, at least we’re on that path to the right direction right now,” Keyser coach Derek Stephen stated.
Considering that Point Pleasant has already played what are likely the top two teams in class AA in the state, the Big Black can best be described as battle tested. That’s how Stephen sees it, “For sure, both Oak Glen and Bluefield have potent offenses and good defenses. I would say they are battle tested and going to be ready for us.”
“They run the ball and throw the ball at about a 60-40 rate, so they’re one of the more balanced teams that we’ve seen. They’re going to keep us on our toes with their quarterback being their best player. He throws a decent ball but is also good with his legs,” Stephen explained.
Stephen and the rest of his Keyser squad are looking forward to the trip and the challenge of taking on one of the better programs in the state historically.
“We told the players, this is a very historic program, they’re a lot like us. They are consistent year in and year out, they’re going to be battle tested, they’re very physical. To go in there and get a win against a team like that would be a great thing and a real springboard for us for the second half of the season.”
Tonight’s kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.