Points hard to come by vs. Scott foe Keyser
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's hard to lose when the other team fails to score.
That's been the mantra for Keyser's football team this season as it whirls into the quarterfinals of the Class AA playoffs at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against visiting Scott.
The second-seeded Golden Tornado (10-1) has given up yards and especially points grudgingly to opponents.
In 11 games, Keyser has allowed only 12 touchdowns - three of those to Maryland power Fort Hill (9-2), which is competing in the second round of its state playoffs. Keyser still won that game handily 51-22.
"They've only given up a couple touchdowns two, three times,'' said Scott coach Shane Griffith, "and a couple of those came on slop scores late in the game.
"You can't go in there scheming and thinking you're going to put four, five, six touchdowns on the board on them. You've got to balance out your own attack, execute clean and put a couple, three scores on there, and that's what you've got to hold them to.''
The offense for No. 7 Scott (8-3) is predicated on a three-headed running game that features Robert Bias (1,130 yards, nine touchdowns), Cameron Loftus (790 yards, 11 TDs) and Tristan Crone (526 yards, 11 TDs).
"They're huge,'' said Keyser coach Sean Biser. "They're big and they've got a lot of size everywhere - especially the big kids up front. They're probably the biggest team we've played all year, and that's saying something. They do good, hard running in the backfield and [Bias] has got some wheels on him. It's definitely a challenge.''
Biser said the best part of his defense's success this season has been its ability to shut down any kind of offense.
"Our defense has played well all year,'' he said. "Better than what I expected it to. The kids have bought into what we're doing.
"I think we've played against everything. We've played teams that threw the ball 30, 35 times to teams that didn't throw one pass the entire game and ran it right at you with two tight ends. Other teams spread the field on us. We've seen the I-[formation], wing-T and option - pretty much everything you can think of. In the preseason, we even saw the single wing [against Elkins].''
On offense, the Golden Tornado gets most of its yardage on the ground, like Scott.
Danny Fife leads Keyser with 1,042 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns and Blake Ravenscroft has added 925 yards and 11 scores. Of its 368 yards per game, Keyser averages 324 on the ground.
Keyser has gone 7-0 against West Virginia teams this year, including a 25-0 home victory against Bridgeport (8-2), the No. 3 seed in the AA playoffs. Its only loss came to Allegany, Md., 14-12.
If the Golden Tornado makes it past Scott, a rematch with Bridgeport could loom in the semifinals, but Kiser doesn't want his players getting ahead of themselves.
"Honestly, we haven't talked about that,'' Biser said. "It's a cliché, but coaches all say you've got to take it one week at a time. Even at our boosters meeting last week people were asking if we'll make it there [for a rematch with Bridgeport], and I said it's not even an option. I'm not even going to talk about it. Our focus is definitely on Scott. Any other games after this are not guaranteed.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.