The Mineral Bowl by the numbers
By Chapin Jewell
The Mineral Bowl, which unfortunately won’t happen this year - the result of the COVID-color map turning to red - is alive and well, despite this one-year hiatus.
It has produced many great memories, and will produce many more. It’s nice to pause and the look at the numbers as we’ve done here.
It began with the creation of Frankfort High School in 1976 through the consolidation of Ridgeley and Fort Ashby high schools. The creation of the new school brought with it the creation of a new rivalry, Frankfort versus Keyser.
With the creation of the new rivalry would ultimately come the creation in football of the annual “Mineral Bowl” game. Held annually every year since 1976, it’s a locked-in alternating home and home series that’s been played a total of 44 times. To be clear, Frankfort and Keyser have ultimately played 45 times in football as there was bonus game - a playoff matchup in 1997.
This article and the accompanying numbers focuses solely on the 44 Mineral Bowl games and does not include the outlier playoff game in 1997.
In Mineral Bowl contests played from 1976 through 2019, Keyser holds an all-time advantage of 29-15, representing a winning percentage for the Golden Tornado in the Mineral Bowl of 66 percent. Essentially, Keyser has won roughly two out of three Mineral Bowls played.
Keyser currently enjoys a five-game win streak in the series, winning five straight Mineral Bowls from 2015-2019. This current streak is tied with another five-game win streak Keyser enjoyed from 2004-2008, with the two streaks representing the longest ever win streaks in Mineral Bowl history.
The longest win streak ever enjoyed by Frankfort in the Mineral Bowl series is four games from 1994 through 1997. In 1997, Frankfort won the regular season Mineral Bowl 25-0 in week 10 and then fell to Keyser 7-3 in the playoff game the next week.
Presidential Election Years
Keyser is 11-1 against Frankfort in Mineral Bowls played in Presidential election years. The Golden Tornado won in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. The only Presidential election year Frankfort won a Mineral Bowl was 1996.
August, September, October and November
October is the month in which most Mineral Bowls have been played; 18 times to be exact. Sixteen Mineral Bowls have been played in November, seven have been played in September, and three in August.
Frankfort leads the way in Mineral Bowls played in August (2-1) and September (4-3).
Keyser leads the way in Mineral Bowls played in October (14-4) and November (11-5)
Keyser leads 15-7 in games played in Short Gap. Keyser also leads 14-8 in games played in Keyser, which includes games played at both Stayman and Alumni and Friends fields.
In 44 Mineral Bowls played, Keyser has scored a total of 956 points and Frankfort has scored 549 points. As a result, the average score for each Mineral Bowl game has been 22-13 in favor of Keyser, a margin of nine points per game.
Speaking of margins, the largest margin of victory for a winning team was 62 points, as in 1989, Frankfort defeated Keyser 62-0.
Keyser’s largest margin of victory in a Mineral Bowl is 60 points, as in 2015, the Golden Tornado defeated the Falcons 67-7.
The lowest combined scoring Mineral Bowl in history happened in 1988 when the two teams combined for nine points with Keyser defeated Frankfort 9-0.
The highest combined scoring game in Mineral Bowl history was in 2015 when the two teams combined for 74 points, with Keyser defeating Frankfort 67-7.
Despite Keyser holding a nine-point advantage on average per game, out of 44 Mineral Bowls played, 15 of the 44 have been decided by seven points or less and 5 of the 44 have been decided by three points or less.
Keyser has won eight of the 15 games decided by seven points or less and the Golden Tornado has won three of the five games decided by three points or less.
In 44 Mineral Bowls, there have been a total of 13 shutout victories. Keyser has won 10 of those 13 games won by shutout.
In 44 Mineral Bowls, there have been a total of five overtime finishes. Four of those overtime games were concluded in single overtime (1978, 1981, 1996, 2014) and one in triple overtime (1984). Frankfort has won three of the five games played in overtime.
In total, 14 different head coaches have led their teams in Mineral Bowls. There have been eight coaches from Keyser and six coaches from Frankfort. By and large, the Mineral Bowl, in terms of all-time coaching records, has not been kind to those coaches.
Seven coaches have a losing record in the Mineral Bowl, three coaches have an even record in the Mineral Bowl, and only four have a winning record in the Mineral Bowl.
Three Keyser coaches have a winning record in the Mineral Bowl. Sean Biser leads the way with a 14-2 record, followed by Jim Thompson with a record of 5-1, and Tom Preaskorn with a record of 4-3. Greg Phillips is the only Frankfort coach with a winning Mineral Bowl record at 7-6.
Those three coaches with an even record in the Mineral Bowl include, all from Keyser, Mike Calhoun (2-2), Wally Mahle (2-2) and Doug Jennings (1-1).
The seven coaches with a losing record in the Mineral Bowl include, from Frankfort, Jim Fazzalore (3-6), Mick Lantz (2-8), Kevin Whiteman (2-8), Craig Scott (0-1) and Kevin Watson (0-1). Keyser coaches with a losing Mineral Bowl record are Mike Marsh (1-2) and Kelly Day (0-2).
Mineral County sports fans have been treated to an exciting football rivalry between Frankfort and Keyser since 1976, the beginning of the rivalry. Certainly this extends to sports beyond football, as the Frankfort/Keyser rivalry is competitive and exciting in all sports.