The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

August 31, 2013

Westside’s victory goes through Mullens

Junior running back runs for 290 yards as Renegades blast Raiders

CLEAR FORK — The question on the minds many of the Renegade Rowdies — Westside’s cheering section — heading into opening night Friday was just how would first-year coach Larry Cook make up for the loss of quarterback Justin Cogar.

His answer?

Mike Mullens.

The bruising junior running back looked more like a tank on the field, running over Liberty defenders and helping the Renegades pick up their first win of the season, 44-16.

Anyone thinking of giving Mullens a nickname, the humble back has just one suggestion.

“Just call me Mike,” he said.

Mullens and the rest of the Renegades helped give Cook his first win as Westside head coach.

“This win is very important for our team (and) for our program right now,” Cook said. “We started off with a real good scrimmage and then we had a bad scrimmage, and losing Justin. We knew we were going to have to adjust and ride Mike and a sophomore quarterback. That put a lot of pressure on the offensive line and the running game. I think they responded to Mike.”

Mullens rambled and rumbled for 290 yards on 36 carries and scored six touchdowns. That sophomore quarterback, Cook’s son Larry Jr., threw for 134 yards in his first start for the Renegades.

“Mikey just really stepped up for us tonight,” Cook said. “I’m proud of him and his performance.”

Through it all, Mullens remained humble.

“I couldn’t have done it without my offensive line,” he said.

When Cogar went down in a scrimmage with Shady Spring earlier this month, Cook knew he was going to have to ride Mullens. He just didn’t realize he was going to be this explosive.

“I told him nine out of every 10 carries was his,” Cook admitted. “I told him to keep it honest.”

“I was a little worried because I knew the offense was really built around me and Justin,” Mullens said. “And I knew I was going to have to step up. I really couldn’t have done it without my offensive line.”

Mullens was part of one of the more creative plays of the night.

Nearing the end of the first half, Cook Jr. dropped back and found an open Corey Bowles over the middle, who lateralled the ball to Mullens. Mullens then rushed 69 yards down the field and eventually set up his own touchdown.

It’s that kind of magic Mullens was hoping he’d see.

“I knew when Justin went down it was going to be on the rest of us to pick it up,” he said. “That’s what happened. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

When Liberty coach Jeff Alexander began training camp, he knew he was going to have a young team. And much to Alexander’s credit, that’s exactly what he got.

“Well, I think we looked like a team full of freshmen and sophomores out there,” he said.

Liberty accumulated only 219 total yards on offense and sophomore quarterback Hunter Wright threw six passes for 137 yards. It’s the growing pains Alexander expects, but knows the team will bounce back from.

“Next week we’ll go to Sissonville,” he added. “We expect much of the same.”

Westside will travel across Wyoming County to take on arch rival Wyoming East, which defeated Mingo Central 27-26.

— E-mail: and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Legion.jpg Post 32 rips Parkersburg 19-3 in American Legion tournament

    The double play in baseball is said to be a pitcher’s best friend. If that is the case, an 11-run inning by the offense is a very close second.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Gaddis.jpg Former Mountaineer standout Gaddis making career in MLS

    Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis may consider Indianapolis his hometown, but make no mistake about it, the Mountain State will always have a place in his heart.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Beamer sees turnaround for Hokies

    Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer painted a rosy picture of the Hokies’ prospects during Monday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff press conference in Greensboro, N.C.

    July 22, 2014

  • saints Picnic with the Saints

    The New Orleans Saints are coming to town, and fans will have the chance to share in the excitement at Picnic with the Saints this Saturday at the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center at The Greenbrier. INCLUDES UPDATED PRACTICE SCHEDULE.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp