GRAFTON -- There was no comeback from Andy Leach this time. Keyser's Corey Szafran made sure of that.
Szafran had 254 all-purpose yards on just 18 touches and scored the first four touchdowns for the Class AA No. 10 Golden Tornado (7-3) in a 40-6 victory over Grafton (4-6) Friday at McKinney Field.
He had rushing help from M.J. Twyman. Both reached the century mark on the ground, and with quarterback Brian Wilson's 135 passing yards, Keyser had 469 yards of total offense.
By the end of the third quarter, the Tornado were thinking ahead to a possible first-round home game in the playoffs, coming back after last week's loss to Frankfort. Keyser coach Tom Preaskorn predicts a No. 6 or 7 rating when the final West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission ratings come out later today.
"We were coming out on fire," Szafran said. "This is a statement game for us -- like the first game of the playoffs."
Szafran scored on runs of 6 and 36 yards to give Keyser a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter. After Wilson and Leach traded interceptions, the Tornado made a statement with a little bit of luck.
A deep pass from Wilson was tipped near the Grafton 10 and landed in Szafran's hands for a 50-yard touchdown catch and a 19-0 lead with 3:26 left in the first half.
Keyser's offensive assertion surprised Grafton coach Mike Skinner.
"Looking at what they had done previously, I didn't think their offense was that great," Skinner said. "But when you play against them, they're awfully good. They have a lot of weapons."
On Keyser's first possession of the second half, Szafran carried four straight times, ending in a 47-yard touchdown run. Wilson and Ryan Spotts added rushing touchdowns late.
"I knew going into the game people have been able to run on Grafton," Preaskorn said. "Our offense was clicking pretty good. That's the good thing about our offense. You can not key in on one player. We have two outstanding backs."
Grafton predominantly relied on Leach's passing. Last week, he directed an incredible fourth-quarter comeback, as the Bearcats overcame a 20-point deficit to beat Lincoln in the final seconds.
Against the Tornado, Leach had mixed results. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown, a 4-yard pass to Zach Sheme in the third quarter. Grafton's first-team offense was limited to 34 rushing yards on 19 carries. Leach handed the ball off just five times.
"Keyser was bigger than us on the front," Skinner said. "We didn't think we could run the football, so we figured we'd throw it 50 times if we had to. Our skilled kids had done a good job of catching passes."
Sports writer Rob Peirce can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.