The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
As the second round of the high school football playoffs are looming, three of the county’s six teams are still alive.
Bridgeport and South Harrison won their opening round games last Friday evening, while Robert C. Byrd earned their victory Saturday afternoon.
The Indians bombed Independence 41-7 at Wayne Jamison Field. The Tribe overcame seven fumbles (five of which were lost), and the lack of Dylan Tonkery in the offensive backfield, to earn the win. The Tribe exploded out to a 21-0 halftime lead, and nearly doubled it by scoring 20 third period points to put the game on ice. Dante Bonamico picked up the slack, gaining 129 yards on 17 carries; Bonamico also scored the game’s opening touchdown on an 18 yard run. He also found pay dirt on a 40 yard reception from Zack Spurlock in the second quarter. Spurlock was 3 of 4, passing for 96 yards and a pair of scores. Spurlock also rushed for 110 yards on 11 carries. Elijah Drummond chipped in with 88 yards on the ground on just six opportunities. Drummond also found the end zone on a 56 yard run.
Bridgeport also sported a pair of impressive goose eggs. The hosts did not punt the ball once and they didn’t commit a penalty in the affair. The Indians will head into semifinal action against cross-town rival Robert C. Byrd.
The Flying Eagles earned an impressive win over Chapmanville, 42-14. The third longest road playoff trip in school history didn’t slow down the rushing attack, that was once again led by Juwan Jones-Wright. The senior recorded his second 300 plus yard rushing effort of the season. Jones-Wright claimed 322 yards on 29 attempts. He also scored four of Robert C. Byrd’s six touchdowns, on runs of 32, 45, 5, and 15 yards respectively. Signal-caller Julian Marino was 6 of 10 passing for 148 yards and a 36 yard scoring strike to Cole Fisher. Fisher led the team in receiving with 96 yards on three catches.
The Flying Eagles and Bridgeport have met in the playoffs twice in the last four seasons. Earlier this year, the Indians defeated Robert C. Byrd 48-21 in Clarksburg.
The Hawks earned a 53-12 win at Gary Barnette Field. After trading scores, South Harrison scored four unanswered touchdowns to gain control of the match up. Six different players had a part in touchdowns for the hosts.
Cam Barnette claimed a game high 178 yards on 17 carries and one score. Chase Jenkins picked up 97 yards on 13 rushes and two touchdowns. Freddie Canary provided a special team’s spark with an 89 yard kick return to crack the scoreboard.
The second round provides a rematch with St. Mary’s. South Harrison earned a 20-13 road win in week nine. The big difference is that the rematch will take place in Hawkland.
Lincoln ended its season with a 28-14 loss at Fairmont Senior Friday evening. The Cougars battled throughout and picked up a pair of fourth quarter scores but could not overcome three turnovers.
Hunter Moore led the Lincoln attack with 67 yards on nine carries. Moore also accounted for both of his team’s scores. The first was a 6 yard run and the last was on a 20 yard fumble recovery. The Cougars had an impressive season and finished with a 7-4 record.
On the next level, West Virginia picked up its second
consecutive win, grilling the Longhorns of Texas 38-20. The defense generated five turnovers and bent, but did not break, keeping the visitors out of the end zone for the majority of the game.
The ground game was key for the Mountaineers. It was
paced by Wendell Smallwood, who had a career high 165 yards on 24 carries. It also put Smallwood over 1,000 yards on the campaign.
WVU is back over the 500 mark at 5-4 and in position for a post season push.
That will do it for now. Until next time…take care and God Bless!