No. 8 Big Blacks outduel Miners in 2nd half
POINT PLEASANT — Two of West Virginia’s top quarterbacks in Class AA dueled for one half Saturday to determine who would advance to the quarterfinals of the WVSSAC football playoffs.
In the end, the No. 8-seeded Point Pleasant Big Blacks, playing on their home field, adjusted their defense and dominated No. 9 Mingo Central in the second half to roll to a 65-36 victory and earn a date with No. 1 Fairmont Senior in the quarterfinals.
Cason Payne of Point Pleasant (9-1) battled Daylin Goad of Mingo Central (8-3) through the air and on the ground as the two star players carried their offenses to a 29-29 first-half tie.
Payne was efficient through the air, going 10 for 16 passing for 166 yards and no interceptions. On the ground, however, the senior was dominant, rushing 17 times for 265 yards and scoring six touchdowns, sparking his team offensively and defensively.
“We came in with a good offensive game plan,” said Payne, whose performance Saturday put him past the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and passing for the second consecutive year.
While it appeared Mingo Central also prepared well, Point Pleasant had defensive answers for Goad, while the Miners never figured out how to stop the Big Blacks.
Goad, a sophomore, went 23 of 41 with one interception for 233 yards and two touchdowns in the game, but most of that was in the first half. In the second half, Goad was limited to 4 of 18 passing for just 24 yards.
The Miners’ only score of the second half was on a 76-yard punt return touchdown by Drew Hatfield in the third quarter.
Point Pleasant won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. With its opening possession of the third quarter, the Big Blacks broke the halftime tie on a 40-yard TD run by Brady Adkins to make the score 36-29.
The Miners punted on their first possession of the second half, only its second of the game to that point, but it helped Point Pleasant steal momentum. A rushing TD by Payne with 7:45 to play in the third gave Point Pleasant a 14-point advantage.
After allowing the Miners’ special-teams score, Point Pleasant went back to work. Payne added a 10-yard rushing touchdown, a 2-yard rushing score and had possession on what would prove to be another score when the third quarter ended.
“In the first half they did a lot we hadn’t seen before,” Payne said. “We just made the adjustments we needed to make the stops.”
The quarterback said a week of preparation to face the Class AA top seed at Fairmont’s East-West Stadium will now be the focus of the Big Blacks.
For Mingo Central, Goad will begin to review the loss for improvement.
“We played hard, but they played harder,” said Goad, who also added a rushing touchdown for Mingo Central. “I knew we could play with them, but we kind of gave up in the second half.”