Man's Gavin Bartram (2) looks for running as Corey Morgan (1) blocks during a kickoff return in the second quarter of Man's 40-0 loss to Mingo Central (Photo courtesy of Dave Adkins/Dave's Sports Page).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
MAN Chris Ross threw for 154 yards and one touchdown and ran for two more as Class AA co-No. 6 Mingo Central rolled to a 40-0 win over Class A No. 1 Man Friday night at George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Ross connected with Dylan Vance on a 42-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and scored on runs of 10 and 7 yards as the Miners handed the Hillbillies their first loss of the season.
Coming into Friday night’s contest many thought the game would be a defensive battle as Mingo Central had allowed just six points in three games this season and Man only seven points, however, it was the Miners defense that kept the Hillbillies off the scoreboard and held Man to just 97 yards of total offense on the night.
Mingo Central put the finishing touches on an impressive defensive performance with a pair of defensive scores in the fourth quarter.
The first score, a 45-yard interception return from Malaki Sheppard put the Miners on top 34-0 with 10:49 to play. Nearly three minutes later, Amanti Lovett returned a fumble 63 yards for Mingo Central’s final score with 7:53 to play.
As impressive as Mingo Central’s defense was Friday night, its offense was equally as impressive as the Miners racked up 481 yards of total offense including 327 rushing yards in the win.
Coming into the contest, Man had allowed just 146 rushing yards and 358 total yards in three games this season.
Man’s best scoring chance came in the first quarter following a Lukas Haney interception of Ross that gave the Hillbillies the ball at the Miners 39 with 3:39 to play in the opening quarter.
A pair of 1-yard runs by Corey Morgan and Devon Sanders moved the ball to the Miners 37 before a holding penalty on third down backed the Hillbillies up 10 yards.
Facing a 3rd-and-18 from the Miners 47, the Hillbillies were unable to keep the drive alive and were forced punt the football away.
Mingo Central took over at its own 31 and drove 69 yards in six plays to take an 8-0 lead on a 10-yard touchdown run from Ross with 9:37 remaining in the second quarter.
With 1:01 remaining in the first half, Vance scored on an 88-yard touchdown run to give the Miners a 14-0 lead.
On Mingo Central’s opening drive of the second half, Ross scored from 7-yards out to put the Miners out in front 20-0 with 7:53 to play in the third quarter.
Ross finished the evening with 154 passing yards on 12 of 15 attempts while Vance ran for 164 yards on nine carries and had two receptions for 56 yards. Aiden Burke had seven receptions for 77 yards.
Kaleb Mullins ran for 34 yards on six carries while Josh Spriggs carried the ball six times for 30 yards and Jaden Brumfield rushed for 21 yards on five attempts.
Haney and Spriggs each had an interception for the Hillbillies on defense.
Mingo Central improved to 4-0 on the year and will welcome reigning Class AA champion Independence to James H. “Buck” Harless Stadium this coming Friday night.
Man falls to 3-1 with the loss and will host Wyoming East Friday night.