In a showdown 12 years in the making, Mingo Central took control from the opening kickoff as they dominated cross-county rival Tug Valley, 38-0, on Thursday night at Bob Brewer Stadium in Naugatuck. It was only the second meeting between the two Mingo County schools and the first since 2011.
The Miners (1-0) took control right away as a Tug Valley fumble on the opening kickoff was recovered by Mingo Central’s James Moore at the Panther 29-yardline. A few plays later, quarterback Chris Ross carried the ball in from 2 yards out to give Mingo Central a 6-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, Aidan Burke found the end zone for the Miners on a 24-yard carry around the right end and down the sideline. The conversion failed. Neither team scored the rest of the half as Mingo Central carried a 12-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
Mingo Central exploded to put the game away in the third period. First, Ross found Dylan Vance on 32-yard touchdown pass to make the score 18-0. A few minutes later, Vance found the end zone again, this time on a 4-yard run. Ross added a conversion run to make the score 26-0. The final score of the quarter came when Ross connected with Burke on a 19-yard pass to increase Mingo Central’s lead to 32-0.
The Miners’ final touchdown came in the fourth quarter as Amanti Lovett rumbled into the end zone from 15 yards out for the 38-0 final.
Ross was dynamic for Mingo Central. He completed 11-of-17 passes for 148 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also carried the ball 11 times for 68 yards and 1 touchdown.
Dylan Vance led the Miners in rushing with 87 yards and 1 touchdown run. Burke had 4 carries for 31 yards and 1 touchdown. Lovett had 5 rushing attempts for 30 yards and 1 touchdown. Nathan Hynd added 1 carry for 1 yard.
Vance led the Miner receivers with 5 receptions for 59 yards and 1 touchdown. Burke had 2 catches for 50 yards and 1 touchdown. Malaki Sheppard had 2 catches for 17 yards. Michael Prater added 1 reception for 11 yards.
On defense, Sheppard led the Miners with 5 tackles. Lovett and Taegan Hackney both added 4 tackles. Davion Joplin added an interception.
The win was Mingo Central’s 90th as a program and the first shutout since 2021 and the first on the road since 2017. The Miners are now 79-3 when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
For Tug Valley (0-1), Jaxon Nenni-Mills completed 6-of-12 passes for 57 yards. Preston May completed 1-of-4 passes for 6 yards and 1 interception. He also carried the ball 7 times for 19 yards.
Adam Slone had 7 carries for 15 yards. May added 1 carry for 10 yards.
Bryson Elia led all receivers with 58 yards on 4 catches. Brady Brewer added 1 catch for 6 yards. Slow had 1 catch for 3 yards.
Defensively, Cane Thompson had a fantastic game with 14 tackles, including 3 for a loss. Elia and Slone each added 6 tackles. Elia also had 1 interception.
The Miners will play next Friday when they welcome the Westside Renegades to Miner Mountain for a 7 pm clash.
Tug Valley is scheduled to host the Sherman Tide next Friday. The opening kick is set for 7:30 pm.
Photos Courtesy of Samantha Waine