A Season to Remember – Part II
Editor’s Note: This is part two of our two-part series about Magnolia’s 1964 football team.
The Blue and Gold made it five shutouts in a row, beating the Benwood Ironmen, 27-0.
It was a sluggish first quarter as Magnolia’s Noel Lasure recovered a fumble at the 17-yard line, the very next play Bohrer busted through the line for a touchdown, while Schupbach split the first of two uprights to take a 7-0 lead.
A short time later Alan Smith returned a punt to the Ironmen 14, before Gilbert hit Schupbach for a touchdown. Later in the half, the Eagles pushed their advantage to 20-0 with a 14-play 45-yard drive that ended with a Gilbert to Schupbach touchdown.
The Eagles last tally came in the fourth period with a 13-play 64-yard drive, aided by a Gilbert to Schupbach 32-yard pitch and catch with Bohrer ramming it home from two yards out. Bohrer paced the Eagles with 102-yards rushing on 15 carries.
1927 was the last time Magnolia ever got into the playoffs. In its way to make it to the WVSSAC finals was St Marys, who kept them from getting their in past seasons.
Both teams exchanged punts to start the most important game of the season, a trip to Parkersburg in the state Class-AA championship.
The Eagles Alan Smith gathered in a punt and ran it back 62-yards for the score, but the play was called back to the Blue Devils 29 on a questionable clipping penalty. Two plays later, the Eagles were called for holding, that also nullified a Tommy Haught first down, and later fumbled it away.
After a Devil punt in the second stanza that landed dead at the Magnolia 22-yard line, the Flannagan’s would launch a 13-play, 78-yard drive, that included a Dave “Bruiser” Bohrer 26-yard run. From their, Jack Grandstaff scooted around the end for a six yard TD. The conversion attempt failed.
The bad snap of the conversion attempt woke up the Devils as they came to life and drove their next drive down to the Eagles 24-yard line. But a Grandstaff sack, forced St Marys to punt.
After the punt, Jim Gilbert connected with his favorite target Alan “Emo” Schupbach, but an unnecessary roughness penalty back at the 12-yard line. On the next play, the Eagles fumbled and St Marys recovered at the five yard line. Two plays later, St Marys scored, and after the conversion kick, the Devils were on top, 7-6 at the half.
St Marys recovered an onside kick at the Eagles 46-yard line, but couldn’t score with the Magnolia defense holding strong, and forced a punt.
After a Tommy Haught positive run, Bohrer side-stepped and run through a fist-full of Devil defenders down for a 55 yard run to the 24-yard line. Haught carried a Gilbert screen pass to the three yard line with only seconds left on the clock. Bohrer final run fell inches short of the goal line with St Marys still on top, 7-6 at the break.
In the second half, Jack Grandstaff played one of his best games in the past two seasons and covered 85 yards, thanks to great down field blocking, to score his second touchdown. Schupbach’s PAT kick was money with Magnolia taking back the lead at 13-7.
The Devils would not roll over and scored a 17-yard touchdown, while adding the conversion kick to grab the lead at 24-13.
On the next series, the Eagles’ Pleasants County foes marched down to the Eagles 38-yard line. The Magnolia defense bent, but didn’t break, and forced a punt down at Eagles 3-yard line.
Having to travel 93 yards to score, Magnolia went the distance on 13 plays that decided the game, that was aided by a pair of 15-yard Blue Devil penalties, as well as a 22-Stanley Shreve run, and a Gilbert to Schupbach covered 30-yards for the score, with Grandstaff adding the two-point conversion run.
The touchdown pass was Gilbert’s 11th of the season and broke the school record for touchdown passes in one season, formally established by Carl Higginbotham in 1951. Schupbach sailed through the uprights to give Magnolia a 20-14.
Magnolia wasn’t done as Dave “Bruiser” Bohrer carried three riders into the end-zone from 11 yards out, making it 26-14.
The Blue Devils werene’t conceding, and drove down to the Eagles 15 yard line, where Brookover fell on a fumble and would run out the clock.
Twenty Magnolia players made their last home game a memorable one on Senior Night that included, Allen “Emo” Schupbach, Mike Fenley, Mike Custer, Keith Smith, Noel Lasure, Greg Herrick, Dave Nally, Keith Ritz, Steve Newman, Jack Floyd, Bruce Jackson, Ron Hartline, Brent Gamble, Jim Starkey, Jack Grandstaff, Allan Smith, Scott Richter, Dave Bohrer and Kenny Morris.
The Eagles tacked on 297 rushing yards, with Bohrer leading the way with 126 yards, Haught added 67 and Shreve with 37-yards.
The New Martinsville Mayor Robert L. Bruce declared Monday, Nov. 13 as Magnolia Blue Eagle Day after Magnolia beat Mt Hope, 15-7, for the WVSSAC Class AA Championship.
Magnolia opened the state championship on a high with Jack Grandstaff recovering the opening kick, and returning it to their own 28-yard line. But after three runs and a first down, the Eagles had to punt. However, the Mustangs went on a three and out and punted where upon the Eagles returned it to the Eagles’ 39-yard line.
Gilbert went back to pass but fumbled, and Mt Hope recovered. Mt Hope scooped it up and ran 22-yards for the first score of the night.
After the conversion kick, the Mustangs led, 7-0.
During the kick-off return, Grandstaff returned the punt to the Eagles’ 19 where upon he broke three ribs. His night was over. Stanley Shreve ran for nine yards on a good second effort, injuring his knee.
Mt Hope helped the Eagles with an off-sides call to give them a first down, but the Eagles would eventually punt after a 17-yard quarterback sack.
The Eagles bent a little, but didn’t break as the Mustangs rode all the way down to the Eagles’ 29, and would have to punt a few plays later.
Allan Smith returned the punt 47 yards to score the Eagles’ first touchdown. However, Mt Hope knocked down the conversion pass and was still on top, 7-6.
After back-to-back chances, the Mustangs took over at their own 43-yard line. On their first play, they fumbled and John Brookover recovered at the 41-yard line. Mt Hope picked off a Gilbert pass, but couldn’t sustain a drive and punted. However, the Eagles returned the favor by giving it right back on another fumble, and would run out the first half with the 7-6 lead.
In the second half, Mt Hope returned the second half kick to their 31 yard line, while picking up a pair of first downs before punting the ball back to Magnolia.
With Dave Bohrer and Haught moving the ball on the ground, Gilbert would make the Mustangs pay with a nifty 18-yard touchdown to Schupbach. The kicked failed, but took over the lead at 12-7.
The Eagles got the ball back after a Mustangs’ three and out at the 36-yard line. After six straight positive runs, Haught broke loose for a 31-yard run to move the chains once more. The Eagles got close but had to settle for a Schupbach 25-yard field goal to push the lead to 15-7.
Mt Hope would give the ball right back with Nally recovering a fumble for the Eagles. The Eagles got as close as the Mustangs’ 17-yard line, but Mt Hope held the Eagles on downs and took over possession.
The duo of Schupbach and Starkey made back-to-back quarterback sacks and forced them to punt, and the Eagles ran out the clock for their first football state title.
Haught gained 134 yards on 22 carries, while Bohrer added 43 yards on 13 carries to lead the ground game. Gilbert added 12 yards, Dave Grandstaff five yards, Smith and Jack Grandstaff each had four yards on their only carries, while Schupbach tacked on a yard on his only carry.
Schupbach passed for 24 yards for 239 yards of offense, while the Eagles’ defense held a very good Mt Hope team to 50 yards rushing and minus two yards passing for 48 total yards.