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Written by: David Burnworth on Saturday, June 4th, 2022
Last night I made another drive to St. Marys, West Virginia, this time to take in the 27th annual battle against cystic fibrosis between Ohio and West Virginia. I estimated close to 1,000 fans took this all-star game in even though gas prices are nearing five bucks per gallon. Ohio would get the first nice play in this one with Josh Hupp (Byesville Meadbook) finding Spencer Bliss for fifteen yards and a big first down for Ohio.
At the 5:30 mark of the opening quarter, Justin Haggerty (Mt. View) took in a little pass and used blazing speed to go eighty-six yards to put West Virginia up 6-0. The kid seemed to glide in the air as he made the strong Ohio defense look like turtles running uphill. The last minute of the quarter would see Haggerty recover an Ohio fumble, then Ohio would get a break when Tanner Bliss (Frontier) recovered a West Virginia fumble.
Ohio would take the lead, a lead they would not give up when Austin Creamer (River) broke to his left, using some nice blocking from his line to go five yards for the touchdown. Zack Hocutt (River) would make the point after kick to make this a 7-6 game. The Ohio drive lasted eight plays, going for thirty-seven yards. The holder of the play was Brody Longwell (River).
Defense again ruled most of the time left in the half, but Ohio would get three big plays in the last forty-five seconds, with the end result being a touchdown to go up 14-6. The first play came when Hupp found Longwell for a thirty-one-yard gain. Longwell made a nice leaping catch. Then the same combo hooked up for a 47-yard gain, with Longwell making a nice move to get to the West Virginia two-yard line. The score came on a two-yard run by Austin Creamer.
On the first play of the second half, West Virginia got the break they needed when Wes Hill (Parkersburg) pounced on an Ohio fumble to set up the offense on the Ohio forty-one-yard line. The Ohio defense and some sloppy play by West Virginia limited the drive to three yards on seven plays. In the last 9:15 of the quarter, Ohio would be able to move the ball very well. Hupp would find Franko Rome (Buckeye Trail) for a nice gain of forty-two yards. Then, a little over one minute later, Hupp found Austin Creamer for sixteen yards. But it would be the West Virginia defense that got the stop on the one-yard line when several players stopped Austin Creamer on a fourth and goal play. The biggest play in that time frame would come with just under one minute left when Hupp found Longwell for the fourteen yard score. After the point after kick, we had a 21-6 game.
The Ohio defense would stuff the West Virginia defense for 99% of the final quarter, with the biggest hit of the game coming from Jayden Evans (Eastern) on the West Virginia quarterback just as the pass was being thrown with just sixteen seconds left in this one. The Ohio defense would also get a fumble recovery from Avery Creamer (River). The Ohio offense did put one final score on the board, with Slick running back Bliss using his speed and field vision to go thirty-three yards. The point after kick was blocked, giving us our final 27-6 score.
This game changed for Ohio’s offense when Gavin Carpenter entered the play center. The line as well as the team seemed to relax, allowing their talent to take over.
For West Virginia, Haggerty looked like a player who could take it to the house on any play, showing just how well the Ohio defense had to play to be able to contain him for most of the game.
Unofficial Stats provided by myself
Passing 13-21 1 touchdown, 1 interception.
Passing 9-26 1 touchdown, 1 interception.
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