By Bill Nestor
Bridgeport knew that George Washington High School would provide a tough test in the opening round of the Class AAA football playoffs. The eight versus nine matchup is usually a close contest with a slight advantage going to the home team – and that’s exactly how it played out last Friday.
The Indians had to come from behind after spotting the Patriots an early six to nothing lead. Bridgeport’s Timothy Jeffress would find pay dirt from 65 yards out and Gavin Williams’ extra point would provide a seven to six lead. The Tribe appeared poised to run away with the game after touchdown runs from Zach Rohrig and Josh Love made it 21 to six.
However, a George Washington score before the half made it 21 to 14 at the break. Rohrig scored the lone Tribe touchdown in the second half to give the home team a two score advantage. The Patriots would battle back and, with just over two minutes left, were just an extra point away from tying the game. Indian lineman Wes Brown Jr. blocked the attempt and the offense played keep-away to preserve the victory.
Rohrig led the Tribe with 199 rushing yards on 21 attempts with a pair of scores. Love added 80 yards on the ground in 17 rushes while Jeffress claimed 78 yards on three carries.
North Marion defeated Lincoln 35 to 14 this past Friday in Rachel. The Huskies jumped out to a 28 to nothing halftime lead, which was too much for the Cougars to overcome, despite a strong second half effort. Lincoln quarterback A. J. Bart was 16 of 34 for 285 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Noah Sears had six receptions for 125 yards, including scoring plays of 87 and four yards respectively.
A couple of interesting stories surrounding bordering class AA programs took place this past weekend. Phillip Barbour earned its first ever playoff football win in school history and the circumstances surrounding it were rather impressive.
The Colts had to travel to Mingo Central, which is a three and a half hour drive (by car, not bus) from Philippi to Delbarton. By the time the team got off the bus and stretched their legs, it’s 13 to noting at the end of the first quarter. Phillip Barbour looked at the scoreboard in the second quarter and were trailing 21 to seven. The Colts scored the game’s final three touchdowns and utilized a goal line stand as time expired to claim their come from behind triumph. Kaden Humphreys ran for a touchdown, threw for one, and ran back an interception for a third.
Philip Barbour now gets the pleasure of making the much shorter trip to Fairmont to play class AA power Fairmont Senior.
Wayne rolled into East-West Stadium for an opening round clash with the Polar bears and held a 21 to 17 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Pioneers probably thought they had a chance to come away with a win, but they didn’t know that Fairmont Senior head coach Nick Bartic has a magic wand. Bartic also has a handful of magicians that pull big plays out of their hats at big times.
Quarterback Brody Whitehair threw for 225 yards and three scores. Dylan Ours rushed for 160 yards and a score. Damani Johnson hauled in the game’s winning pass from 25 yards out to seal the come from behind win.
What a storyline for this weekend from the Friendly City. Philip Barbour versus Fairmont Senor. David versus Goliath! This is what is great about high school sports!