Eagles Remains Perfect With 42-14 Victory
Justin “Tank” Fox was 11-22 for 250 yards and three TDs to lead Magnolia to a 42-14 win over Monroe Central Oct. 1 at Woodsfield. Fox is now 21 completions, 31 attempts, 48 passing yards, and nine passing TDs away from being the all-time Magnolia quarterback and may achieve much of that this week against the Weir Red Riders.
Fox also intercepted a pass and kicked seven extra points to give him 30 PATs and four picks on the year.
It was the Eagles’ first victory in Woodsfield since the fall of 2000 and it marked the 20th straight regular season victory.
Monroe scored on a 35-yard pass play in the first half. After the ‘Nole tally, Fox connected twice to Jason Keller on screens that moved the ball to the Eagle 49 yard line to bring up third and short. Traeh Keller plowed ahead to the 50 yard line for a first down. Fox would then hook up with Brendan Kacor on a 50-yard TD pitch-and-catch. Fox would split the uprights on the PAT to give the Blue and Gold a 7-6 lead in the first period of play.
Neither team scored the rest of the period, but the home town Seminoles tallied a 23-yard TD pass play on the first play in the second period to take over the lead at 14-7.
After the ensuing kick, Traeh Keller took the ball to the 35 on a long gainer and Fox connected with Kyle Elliot to move the chains once again. And, once again, Kacor would find the Monroe turf to his liking and dented the scoreboard once more on a 55-yard run. After the extra point kick by Fox, the game was knotted at 14 early in the second period.
The ‘Noles started their next series at their own 48 yard line on a nice return kick. Monroe Central would drive inside the red zone at the nine yard line before a quarterback sack pushed them back to the 15. Fox and Jayson Keller would knock down passes in the end zone to stop the drive on downs.
Magnolia moved the ball to the 29 yard line before the ‘Noles halted their progress and forced them to punt. However, the Big Blue defense flexed its muscles, too. After the ‘Noles moved the ball to their own 41 yard line, the tandem of senior Matt Riggs and freshman Kage Rhode would put the ‘Nole signal caller to rest with a quarterback sack to force them to punt.
Magnolia took over near midfield before Fox hit Jayson Keller with a short pass followed by a great run following his teammates’ blocks for a total 30-yard gainer. Next Traeh Keller would walk into the end zone to give the Eagles a 21-14 lead that they would never relinquish.
After the break, Fox would hook up with his favorite receiver, Steve Rogalski, over the middle for a short gainer. But, Rogalski would use his speed and take it to the barn to double up Monroe Central 28-14 after the Fox conversion kick to open the second half of action.
After the ensuing kick, the Eagles’ Sam Shepherd would recover a bad ‘Nole snap at the Seminole 30 yard. It took Fox only one play for him to connect with senior tight end Cameron Benson for a 30-yard TD to push their advantage to 35-14 with 10:44 still on the clock in the third period.
After the ensuing kick, Magnolia’s Nick Blatt would recover a Seminole miscue. Tanner Fluharty rushed for 12 yards, but would lose yardage later on a holding call. After a tipped pass, Fox connected with Benson for an 18-yard pass play, but would turn the ball over on downs at the ‘Noles 30 yard line.
Fluharty dazed a Seminole ball carrier with a solid tackle in the backfield for loss of yardage and the Eagle defense held and forced them to punt. Magnolia took over at their own 16 yard line and, after a Monroe personal foul, the drive would stall and Magnolia punted.
The next Monroe Central drive also stalled when Benson stepped in font of a pass and returned it to give the Eagles good field position at the 38 yard line. Traeh Keller rushed for positive yardage to end the third period of play. The Blue Eagles were ready to punch it in when they lost the slippery pigskin at the ‘Nole 15 yard line. Fox broke up a pass at midfield and Fluharty would pounce on a ball carrier in the backfield for another tackle and loss of yardage to force a Monroe punt.
Benson, who must have eaten his Wheaties, flew over a Central defender to block his fourth punt of the season and Traeh Keller punched it in for a one-yard TD. After the Fox kick, Magnolia led 42-14 in the fourth period.
After the ensuing kick, both teams exchanged punts. But, the home team couldn’t hold on to the ball and Magnolia was back in business at the Seminole 40 yard line. Runs by Jason Keller took the ball to the five yard line. The Eagle drive stalled and Fox would miss on a 22-yard field goal in the final minutes of the game
The Eagles had 430 yards of offense, with Fox leading the way with 251 yards passing and three TDs. Rogalski hauled in three passes for 101 yards and a TD. Benson caught two passes for 52 yards and a TD, while Kacor hauled in two passes for 46 yards and a TD. Jayson Keller contributed 39 yards on three receptions, while Elliott pulled in one for 11 yards. On the ground, Kacor rambled 64 yards on two carries and a TD, while the Brothers Keller teamed for 115 yards and a pair of Traeh TDs.
Defensively, the Eagles gave up 164 yards, with only 70 yards coming in the second half of play. Benson paced the defense with eight tackles, including one for loss of yardage, hauled in an interception, and blocked a punt. Riggs added 11 tackles and a pair of quarterback sacks, while Shepherd dropped 12 ‘Noles and recovered a fumble. Kacor and Traeh Keller each added nine tackles, while Mark Winters contributed eight stops. Fluharty had seven tackles and added a tackle for loss of yardage. Fox had an interception, while Blast and Jesse Glow each recovered a Seminole fumble.
The Eagles will take their 5-0 record up to Weirton this Friday Oct. 8, to face the 0-5 Riders before returning home to host Class AAA Robert C. Byrd on Oct. 15, homecoming night.