Biser said the depth Keyser has at running back, with nine different players with carries in two playoff games, is a big reason the Golden Tornado has been successful this season.
"Both of those guys are splitting time with other backs," he said. "We've got eight kids we rotate in and out of the backfield. All of our backs know other positions."
For Bridgeport, senior tailback Brett Hathaway has been the main offensive threat, totaling 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns on 220 carries. In two playoff games, Hathaway has run for 402 yards and four touchdowns. His career-best rushing day also came in the playoffs last season when he ran for 272 yards in a Class AAA semifinal loss to George Washington.
"Brett's biggest attribute is his mind," Nicewarner said. "He's such a football thinker that sometimes I almost think that he thinks too much. He understands the game so well and not only our offense, but what other teams are trying to do. He's got a strong will and he's very difficult to bring down. He's been here before and just like everyone else, he knows what it's going to take."
Biser said the experience his team gained last season helped ready them for a playoff run in 2012.
Keyser had to hit the road as the No. 14 seed and make long trips to Westside and eventual state champion Wayne. This season as the No. 2 seed, the Golden Tornado accomplished what most Class AA schools hope for -- it secured home-field advantage and ensured that if it gets a shot at No. 1 Wayne this year in the playoffs, it will not have to make the trek from Mineral County to visit the Pioneers.
"We wanted to stay on the other side of the bracket away from them. We traveled 300 miles one week and 300 miles the next week," Biser said. "Being able to play at our own place has been a blessing for sure."
Reach Tom Bragg at tom.br...@wvgazette.com.