The 10th ranked Greenbrier East Spartans (3-1) are eagerly awaiting to get back on the football field after a Friday off last week and the new shiny number by their name.
East, coming off a 56-14 win over Buckhannon-Upshur, will hit the road to Mingo County to take on the Mingo Central Miners (1-3) this Friday, Oct. 1.
The Miners opened their season with a 43-12 win over Wyoming East to get the Chase Moore era started off on the right foot, but since that performance, they have lost their last three games, all in different ways.
They lost a shootout with Point Pleasant, 66-28, played a defensive struggle with Man before falling 7-6 and last Friday night lost 22-13 to Class AA number five ranked Poca.
Mingo Central is a well-balanced team. They throw it and pass it pretty consistently. The first key to containing their offense is to stop Norman Kennedy. Kennedy has run for 600 yards in the first four contests and is averaging 150 yards per game. He has eight touchdowns but has not had one in his last two games.
Other key players for the Miners are sophomore quarterback Chris Ross and Kaeden Bolding on offense, and Michael “Deucey” Porter on the defensive side. In the win over Wyoming East, Porter had 10 tackles and four sacks.
It is unclear how the Miners will attack the Spartans as they have been unpredictable in their first four games. However, one thing is for certain and that is that Kennedy will get the ball a lot. They may try to run often to keep East’s offense off the field, but at the same time may let Ross sling it downfield some to keep the Spartans defense on its toes.
Mingo may very well be 3-1 right now if not for turnovers. They have nine turnovers in their last two games including five in the 1-point loss to Man. If they just have three miscues in that one, they win easily. So the Spartan defense will have ample opportunities for extra possessions.
East comes into this game with momentum on their side. Fresh off the win against Buckhannon-Upshur, the Spartans are riding high with confidence. Offensively, everything starts with running back Ian Cline who has racked up 517 yards on 102 carries so far this season. He is averaging 129 yards per game and has scored six total TD’s (four rushing, two receiving).
Quarterback Monquelle Davis is also having another good season, though doing it quietly. Davis has taken a “wait-and-see approach” to the campaign meaning he is doing what he has to do, but when he has to do more, he can turn it up to the next level. He has thrown for 396 yards and eight scores. He has also totaled 169 rushing yards and two more TD’s.
The Spartans will also attack with Bryson Ormsbee, Lucas Mccallister and Braden Bragg in the passing game. Ormsbee has hauled in 13 passes for 136 yards and four touchdowns. McCallister is the kick return king and is averaging an astounding 58 yards per return and has taken one to the house as well.
Defensively, the Spartans have Kamon Anderson, Levi Wagner, JT Spencer, Garrett Bennett, Jarett McHale, Ormsbee and McCallister with the task of slowing down Kennedy and the Miners. With the game being on the road, that could play a small factor, but when comparing the common opponent, Point Pleasant, the Spartans beat them 32-22 where the Miners were defeated handily. However, that is not a be-all, end-all comparison, but it is the only thing to go by currently. I believe Cline continues to run wild and the East defense will force at least three Mingo turnovers, and continue their ascension up the rankings.
Greenbrier East- 42
Mingo Central- 23