Two undefeated teams will meet up in their Black Diamond District opener on Friday night. Fuller Field at EMats Stadium will be packed to the brim when the Twin Valley Panthers travel to take on the Honaker Tigers.
Twin Valley has had a phenomenal season so far. Honaker is the first team from the Commonwealth of Virginia the Panthers have faced.
Twin Valley opened its season with a 56-18 win over Jenkins (KY) and followed it up in week two with a 26-16 win over Montcalm (WV).
Brandon Lester has served as the lead variable for the Panthers on both sides of the football. Lester has amassed 229 yards on the ground this season, finding the end zone five times. He has also been on the end of one touchdown pass last week against the Montcalm Generals.
Tylor Keen earned preseason praise from opposing Black Diamond District coaches as perhaps the best quarterback in the BDD. In the early weeks of 2018, the senior signal caller has lived up to the praise. Keen is 8-9 for 175 yards and two touchdowns through the air. His wheels have also churned for 239 yards and four touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Isaac Hampton picked off two passes in the home opener last week against Montcalm. In week one, Lester had eight tackles in the bluegrass state.
Honaker is also sitting at 2-0 after claiming the Russell County championship after wins over Lebanon and Castlewood to open the season.
The rain slowed Honaker’s offensive attack at Castlewood, where the Tiger offense amassed only 177 yards in the 21-6 victory.
Trevor Dye finished with 94 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while Levi Miller was 4-10 for 56 yards and a touchdown through the air against the Blue Devils.
A week prior in the Coal Bowl vs. Lebanon, Dye gained 113 yards for two TDs for Honaker. Miller was 6-of-9 through the air with 170 yards and two touchdowns. Miller also turned the jets on for a rushing touchdown.
On the season, Dye has rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns, while Miller is 10-of-19 for 226 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ aerial attack.
Dakota Casey, a CoalfieldSports.com defensive player of the week nominee, led Honaker with 10.5 tackles last week against Castlewood.
Both of these teams are a win away from tying their total from 2017. A 2-0 start may have been unexpected in Oakwood and Honaker, however, it makes for a raucous week three environment.
The last time Twin Valley traveled to Fuller Field, the Panthers earned their only win in school history over the Tigers, a 22-14 win.
Tylor Keen and Brandon Lester certainly have what it talent to defeat Honaker. However, the Tigers have power in numbers and experience, which may wear on the youthful Panthers. Either way, there is a treat in store for the spectators at Fuller Field on Friday night.
I am a graduate of Richlands High School—class of 2014. In May 2018, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism and History with a minor in war and Society from Virginia Tech.
My passions in life are numerous. We don’t have all day. This is not the place to divulge into Hokie Football, so I will shed some light on one of my other favorites.
I was born and raised in the coalfields of southwest Virginia—Richlands to be exact. I remember the first time I ever went to a high school football game (Richlands-Tazewell ’02). Since then, a passion has grown that is stronger than the current in the Clinch River. As a football player in this region, I was able to witness the passion oozing out of the hills firsthand. It was something that when I began college, people had a hard time believing the spectacle that is high school football in the coalfields. Luckily, I was able to go 42-8 in between the white lines on Fridays and Saturdays from 2010-2013. I look forward to having another platform to tell you my stories, your stories and their stories. Here’s to the good times and hoping I don’t leave you like I did Coach Greg Mance numerous times—by saying, “Gosh Durn It!”
Let’s talk, SWVA sports, Hokies, history or maybe even barbecue.