Dons Blow Out ‘Jacks, 42-13
Weirton Madonna tallied a 71-yard off tackle touchdown run with 11 seconds remaining in the first half and went on to upend the Valley Lumberjacks 42-13 in a mutual season opener in Weirton Aug. 28.
After holding Madonna in the first series to a net two yards, the ‘Jacks would score the game’s first points when do-it-all Kody Jenkins brought back a 50-yard punt to take a 7-0 lead after his PAT kick. It was the first time that Madonna has been behind in the score since the championship Class A title game in 2008. Madonna answered with a 81-yard punt return of its own in the first period and would score a six-yard TD in the second period for a 14-7 lead.
Valley worked its way to the inside of the red zone and had a dropped pass in the end zone that would have tied the game, before the hosts took over on downs.
Madonna would go off tackle for a 71-yard TD run that broke the backs of the visiting Lumberjacks right before the break.
“That was a big turnaround,” said Valley Head Coach Tom West. “We had stopped them and moved the ball and I thought we had something going. But that play, right before the half, was devastating.”
The ‘Jacks saw themselves down 14 points and without the services of Jenkins, who left midway through the second quarter with a knee injury. (Jenkins’ knee is only bruised and he could play Friday night or he may sit out a couple weeks with a bye coming up in the third week of action.)
In the second half, the Blue Dons went for the jugular and tallied a seven-yard TD in the third period and added a 47 yarder and a 14 yarder in the fourth period before the Lumberjacks’ Casey Pingley dented the scoreboard on a 14-yard run. The drive went 10 plays that accumulated 70 yards.
Earlier in the second half, the ‘Jacks moved the ball, only to cough it up inside the 20 yard line. Madonna ran the ball 43 times for 302 yards and converted 4-7 passes for 64 yards, while Valley netted 186 yards on 39 tries. Pingley had 92 yards rushing on 13 carries and a TD, while Cody Bates accounted for 41 yards on 11 touches. Jenkins rushed for 21 yards on three carries before leaving with an injury. Garrett Ueltschy had two passes intercepted and had one pass dropped on six attempts. He rushed for 23 yards, while Drew Wade tallied seven yards.
Defensively, Pingley and Clay Ueltschy led the way for the Lumberjacks with a dozen tackles each. Clay Ueltschy added a quarterback sack. Davie Sivert added 10 tackles, while Bates and Spencer Mason each made eight tackles.
The ‘Jacks look to rebound on their home turf against Wetzel County rival Hundred in battle for county supremacy at 7:30 p.m., Friday.