It was an eventful East-West All-Star Classic to say the least.
Just about everything happened on top of the mountain at Mingo Central High School’s Buck Harless Stadium as the inaugural East-West All-Star Classic football game was played on a bizarre Saturday night in Newtown.
There were probably only two things that didn’t happen.
Even though it was very cool, even autumn-like as temperatures dipped below 60 degrees at the game’s end, it didn’t snow.
That was good.
Also, no aliens landed in a UFO on top of the former surface coal mine site.
But just about everything else did happen though, on this wild night.
It was a night of fog, fights, flags and, oh yes, football.
The West All-Stars, led by Logan High School football coach Gary Mullins, beat the East, 35-0, in the first ever meeting of graduated senior all-star gridders from across the state of West Virginia.
The East-West All-Star Classic this summer replaced the Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl, which was played at Matewan/Mingo Central from 1996-2013 and pitted graduated senior gridders from West Virginia against those from across the Tug in Kentucky.
After several hours of rain leading up to kickoff, the skies cleared and the sun shined bright on the drying Mingo Central Field Turf.
It was a pretty, picturesque sunset up on top of the mountain.
It looked like the weather might hold.
But that was spoken too soon.
After only four snaps on the West’s opening drive, a mysterious and eerie fog rolled into the stadium.
The fog thickened in a remarkably short amount of time, rolling over in waves, almost like clouds high up in the sky.
It wasn’t “as thick as pea soup,” but it eventually made it difficult for the fans in the stands to see the action on the field.
At one point, even the P.A. announcer and scoreboard operator had to ask if the West’s two-point conversion was indeed good as the referee’s arms signaling a score were unable to be seen high up in the pressbox in the fog’s near white-out conditions.
The fog soon rolled out of Buck Harless Stadium but then returned, uninvited, late in the second quarter.
Mingo Central’s Alex Lee somehow was able to make a remarkable 37-yard touchdown catch in the “Fog Part II” from West quarterback Jon Alexander of George Washington High School with three seconds left as the West All-Stars took a 15-0 lead.
The West’s Josh Rein of Logan, on a faked PAT attempt, connected with Lee on the two-point conversion.
It was a great play and it gave the West momentum heading into the locker room.
The fog stayed around until halftime and into the third quarter but then more or less fizzled out a second time as the game came to a close.
The West used the hook-and-lateral again just before the half as Richmond went for a 27-yard gainer.
The West All-Stars scored its last touchdown of the night with 5:00 left in the game as Logan’s Brynden “Worm” Street scored on a 3-yard touchdown run.
The East All-Stars were coached by River View High School’s Gehrig Justice.
The Offensive MVP’s were: the East’s Devin Allen of Princeton High School; and the West’s Richmond.
The Defensive MVP’s were: the East’s Erik Lindsey of Summers County; and the West’s Walton, who is headed to play Division II college football at Shepherd University.
Four scholarship awards were also handed out to Street, Jon Pittman of Capital High School, Brian Whitt of Wyoming East; and Brennan Wheeler of Bluefield High School.
Cliffs Natural Resources was the main sponsor of the game.