Area High School Football Teams Winding Down
Steubenville Central 0
Magnolia’s Drew Keller rushed for 202 yards and three scores to go over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns on the season to lead the Blue Eagles to a convincing 24-0 shutout over Steubenville Central Catholic Saturday evening on the turf at Harding Stadium in Steubenville.
After the Blue Eagle defense stymied the Crusaders on their opening drive on a three-and- out and two QB sacks, the Eagles were sitting pretty good at midfield after a Steubenville punt. Keller would cap off an impressive 10-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 lead early in the first. On the drive, Keller toted the ball nine times resulting in 40 yards.
Neither team crossed the goal line the rest of the first half. However the Blue Eagle defense would set up two Magnolia scores early in the third quarter. The first one came after Eric Smith stepped in front of a Crusader pass for an interception and Jacob Brill finished the short drive with a five-yard TD scamper to put the visitors in front 12-0.
Shortly afterwards, Kyle Ritz picked off the Crusader quarterback once more, and, one play later, Keller scooted home on a 42-yard touchdown run.
The Magnolia defense held the mighty Crusader offense to 65 total yards on 41 snaps with only 12 yards churned from the turf. The defense added two interceptions, made six quarterback sacks and countless quarterback hurries.
The Blue Eagles put the exclamation point on with another impressive drive that ended with a two-yard scamper by Keller into the Promise Land. The Eagles racked up 248 rushing yards in the contest, with Keller gaining 187 yards, Brill 39 yards, Tyler Anderson, 15 yards and Nick Priem, seven yards. “We felt we had to control the ball,” said veteran MHS Head Coach Mark Batton. “Central has their high-powered offense and we figured we had to hold the ball.
The front line of Cole Seckman, Zach Haught, Hunter Brill, Brandon Clegg, Steven White, Carter Seckman and fullback/tight end Kyle Ritz made it possible for Keller to pound the ball inside.
“This was just a tremendous effort out of our coaching staff and especially our players,” added Batton.
With the win, Magnolia playoff hopes are still alive in Class-A. The Eagles are currently 18th in the computer poll, with the top 16 teams reaching the post-season. Magnolia will close out the regular season at home on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Oak Glen.
It will be Senior Night, where the school will honor all fall sports senior players and dedicate Bill Stewart Memorial Stadium on Alumni Field in honor of the late MHS alumnus and former WVU Head Football Coach.
River 28, Frontier 7
The River Pilots closed out their season in impressive fashion Friday night, when Coach Mike Flannery’s team posted a 28-7 victory against the Frontier Local Cougars.
After a scoreless first quarter, River got untracked as it unleashed senior tailback Jordan Sapp, who finished the 143 yards on 23 carries and scored on runs of four and 24 yards in the first quarter. A second touchdown came with just 15 seconds to go before halftime. A pair of Colton Wright kicks made it a 14-0 cushion at the break.
Bryce Cross, who quietly had a strong campaign for the Pilots, got into the act by scoring act in the third quarter. He hit paydirt on a nine-yard run for the only points of the third quarter.
After a score by Frontier, Sapp finished all scoring with a six-yard run.
River rushed for 200 yards on the ground and claimed 14 first downs. Cross complemented Sapp’s infantry production with 70 yards on 16 carries to allow River to out-gain the Cougars 227-221 yards.
Tygarts Valley 46,
The Hornets’ Shane Matthews returned four Tygarts Valley kicks 75 yards, and tacked on seven punts for a 30-yard average last Saturday afternoon. But it wasn’t enough to get by a 46-0 shutout by the Bulldogs on Senior Night at Cosgray Field.
With heavy rains and blistering winds hitting the Hundred area Friday night, the game was postponed to Saturday.
Tygarts Valley’s ground game was just too much for the smaller Hornets to handle and the Bulldog defense was huge compared to Hundred. However, the Hornets didn’t back down and played hard the whole game.
Davin Copeland paced the Hornets with 25 yards, while Andrew King, Steve Miller, Earl Villers, Logan Kuhn and Rocky Tennant each added positive yardage on the ground. Miller completed six passes, four to Matthews and one each to King and Logan Kuhn.
Matthews also led the Hornets with 11 tackles, while Copeland brought down 10 Bulldogs. King and Kuhn each hauled down nine Tygarts Valley ball carriers.
The Hundred Hornets’ season will come to a close Saturday when they face Hannan for the second time this season at 1 p.m. in Hannan.
Tyler 33, Valley 14
Jacob Highley scored three touchdowns and rushed for 116 yards to lead Tyler Consolidated to a 33-14 victory over the Valley Lumberjacks at a jam-packed Tom West Field in Pine Grove Friday night, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
The Silver Knights got on the board first in the opening stanza. The Knights recovered the opening on side kick and marched down to score the game’s first touchdown from 10 yards out. Shortly thereafter, Valley turned the ball over and the visitors responded with a Highley 12-yard TD scamper to go on top 14-0 after the two-point conversion run.
The Lumberjacks moved the ball on the next drive, but would have to punt after a few first downs. The Lumberjacks’ senior defensive back Thomas West would step in front of a Knight pass and go the distance for a pick six from 42 yards out to put Valley on the board, 14-6.
The Lumberjacks recovered the ensuing muffed kickoff and were looking to make some noise at midfield. However, the Silver Knight defense would bend, but not break and they took over on downs.
Consolidated marched right down the field and turned what could have been a tie game into a 20-6 advantage with a Highley 24-yard touchdown scamper at the break.
Highley opened the second half with a 19-yard touchdown, and the Knights added a TD pass in the fourth before the Lumberjacks’ Trey Streets scored the final TD of the night on a 26-yard run into the end zone. Peyton Palmer caught the two-point conversion pass from Streets.
Even though the Lumberjacks lost by 19 points, the players coaches and the many Valley fans on hand were truly excited on how well the team played.
Streets rushed for 48 yards and a scored a touchdown, completed six passes for 41 yards and a conversion attempt. Kale Lloyd carried eight times for 17 yards, while Palmer rushed for 16 yards on three carries. Gunner Knotts tacked on seven yards on a pair of carries.
West caught five passes for 40 yards, while Streets hauled in a tipped pass for a yard. Both teams had four penalties and seven first downs, while the Knights picked off three passes and Valley recovered a fumble.
The Lumberjack season comes to a close Friday at Berger Field at 7:30 p.m. when they lock horns with county rival Paden City.
Paden City 26,
South Harrison 25
The Paden City Wildcat football team had a wild time in Harrison County Friday night, edging out host South Harrison 26-25 in the final few minutes of the game.
“We scored the first time we had the ball, and had a chance for another quick score but a penalty took it away,” said Paden City Head Coach Brent Croasmun.
“We were able to score again in the second quarter, but then everything fell apart on us. We were behind 25-13 at half time.”
Paden City worked hard in the first two periods, collecting two touchdowns from junior Brandon Cross, who took a pass for 55 yards from quarterback Zach Heasley for the first score of the night. He then then returned a kick-off 74 yards for another six Wildcat points.
The Hawks, however, used the second quarter to score all 25 of the points they earned for the night.
“After some discussion in the locker room at the half we came out and played a better second half of the ball game,” said Croasmun. “We dug ourselves a hole and had to work to get out of it.”
Having to play catch-up in second half, Paden City again went with the Heasley-to-Cross combination as the two connected on a 36 yard pass for their third TD of the game.
With minutes left to play, it was Paden City’s Deven Price hauling in a Heasley pass in the end zone, followed by the all important extra point kick by Heasley giving the ‘Cats the 26-25 win.
Brandon Cross was the leading go-to man for the Green and White, running the ball eight times for 69 yards. Heasley rushed 12 times for 58 yards. And, to keep things interesting, Kane Pyles had six carries to gain 34 yards.
Cross caught eight Heasley passes to lead all receivers with 144 yards and two touchdowns. Deven Price had a catch for 50 yards and the winning touchdown, while Luke Cooper caught one for eight yards.
Heasley had a difficult time in the pocket, completing 10 of 22 passes for 202 yards on the night. He threw three Wildcat touchdowns and was intercepted three times.
Junior Spencer Billings led the ‘Cat defense with 13 tackles, including two for losses. Cross had nine tackles,
Hayden Hizer had nine tackles and an interception, while Heasley was credited with nine tackles and a quarterback sack.
Logan Carroll had eight tackles in the game. Pyles five tackles, Isaac Hall made tackles and Cooper had five tackles and a sack.
The Wildcats will play their last game of the season on Friday, hosting Valley at 7:30 p.m. Senior night ceremonies will take place proceeding kick-off.