‘Eers Take Care Of Bucks
The West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Ohio Buckeyes, 24-14, to break a five-game losing streak Sunday, July 25 at Wheeling Island Stadium in the annual Rudy Mumley OVAC?All Star Game. It was the Mountaineers first victory since 2004 when they were led by Tyler Consolidated’s former Head Coach John Stender.
After falling behind 7-3, the Mountaineers would block a Buckeye field goal attempt on the final play of the first half. The staunch Mountaineer defense would take care of business in the second half, while their offense fed off their inspired play and tallied 14 unanswered points to defeat the heavily-favored Buckeyes to claim the nod.
The Silver Knights’ talented runningback, Nate Taylor, and the Blue Eagles’ all-time rushing record holder, Stingray Bates, tacked on yardage from the air and the ground for West Virginia. Taylor caught three passes in the flat and ran for 26 yards, while Bates toted the ball five times and caught one pass for 15 yards to help West Virginia move the ball.
Taylor also brought back several punts and kickoffs for positive yardage for the Mounties. Jared Blatt, a former Magnolia tight end, and former MHS center Andy Huggins opened the holes and gave the West Virginia quarterback time to throw. They also played significant time on offense.
Huggins played the whole game at center, while Blatt came in on third down situations and played defensive end. Bates and Taylor also posted some time on defense.
River High School’s Queen of Queen candidate Laken Lancaster and Pilot cheerleader Kristy Smith were on hand, as were Paden City cheerleaders Amanda Tallman and Stephanie West. Magnolia had Morgan Dawson and Rebecca Blair cheering for the Mountaineers, with MHS’s Coach Brittany McGinnis as the West Virginia Head Cheerleading coach.
River Pilot Head Band Director Holly McCormick was in charge of the 223 McDonald’s All Star Band members that included Kylie Brown, Zach Schnegg, Josh West, and Katrina Whittington from River; Maddie Bridgeman, Lindsay Cain, Michael Myers, and Billy Feeney from Magnolia; Amanda Goodfellow, Charlie Hamilton, Nicholas Morris, and Hannah West from Tyler; and Eric Byard, Annaliese Henderson, Rachel Ice, Spencer Mason, Brady Nolan, Breanna Nolan, Ezra Rice, Hunter Ring, Brian Sell, Ashley Staley, Cassie Ueltschy, Sarah Wells and Tristen Willey from Valley High School. Breanna Nolan from Valley High School was one of the two Field Commanders. Said McCormick about the event: “It was an experience of a lifetime.”