Maroon Knights Crown Blue Eagles, 8-7
Wheeling Central completed a third-and-long 72-yard pass with 1:23 left to play in regulation to lift them to a 8-7 victory over Magnolia Sept. 26 at Bill Stewart Stadium on Alumni Field.
The Eagles’ Tyler Anderson galloped 72 yards that Brooks Parsons cashed in on with a five-yard TD. Oscar Celedon booted a successful PAT to give the Eagles a 7-0 advantage.
With Magnolia leading and controlling the game late in the fourth period, Central coughed up what appeared to be the tie-breaker at the Eagles’ five-yard line with 6:37 to go. But, Magnolia’s Caleb Nice forced a fumble with a ferocious hit and Peau Halahingano recovered it.
Magnolia, unable to add to its lead, was forced to punt, putting the ball 72 yards away from the goal line. After, three straight incomplete passes, Central connected on a 20-yard pitch-and-catch. On the play, the MHS defender fell down, allowing the Central receiver to run into the end zone for six points.
Wheeling Central then converted on a two-point pass to take an 8-7 lead with 1:28 left on the clock.
After the ensuing kick, the Eagles got close to midfield and what appeared to be a first down. It was short and, with time running out, Magnolia’s quarterback Nick Priem was sacked to end the game.
Anderson paced the Magnolia offense with an impressive 180 yards on the ground on 23 attempts and a touchdown, while Parsons netted 30 yards. Through the air, Priem was 3-10 for 12 yards with two interceptions. Anderson caught one for five yards, while Halahingano hauled in two for seven yards.
The Eagle defense held Central to 45 yards rushing on 35 attempts, but gave up 188 yards in the air.
Nice paced the Big Blue defense with eight solo tackles, three of them for a loss of yardage. He also forced a fumble and made two quarterback sacks. Halahingano made six solo stops and four assists, while making a fumble recovery and a tackle for loss of yardage.
Zach Haught made four solo tackles, assisted on two others, and made one tackle for a loss. He also hauled down the Central quarterback twice on sacks.
In addition, Carter Seckman had three solo tackles, four assists, and one tackle for loss of yardage, while Chase Streets made three solo tackles and two assists. Todd LeMasters made four solo tackles, one assist, one tackle for loss of yardage, and had an interception.
The SRO Magnolia crowd included members and coaches of the 1964 state championship football team that was recognized at halftime. Also recognized were the players and coaches of the present New Martinsville Junior Football League.