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Written by: David Burnworth on Sunday, July 25th, 2021
Last night I made another drive to wheeling Island Stadium to take in the OVAC All-Star Game between Ohio and West Virginia. Before I get into the game I want to give a shout-out to the person in charge of the music that person played Football Friday Night by Joe Zelk, this is the song I have long posted and said should be played at every high school football stadium in the nation.
West Virginia came out in a no-huddle hurry-up passing offense that seen Beau Heller complete his first five passes on the opening drive that ended with Joao Lima De Oliveira easily nail a 40-yard field goal to give WV the 3-0 lead with 9:24 left on the clock. Little did we know at the time that this would be the only points the WV offense would put up in this one.
The clock would read 6:24 when a bad snap by WV allowed Branden Medley to be credited for a sack on Heller. Heller really did the smart thing by jumping on the ball and covering it up to avoid a turnover. With 1:49 left in the fast-moving opening quarter, WV would opt to go for it on fourth and eighteen on the Ohio 36-yard line. A pass would be incomplete with a hold called on WV giving Ohio the ball back. The final play of note in the quarter came on a long punt return to the Ohio 36-yard line by Gage Patterson.
WV would face fourth and fifteen just six seconds into the 2nd quarter again they elected to go for it and once again Ohio was ready for it with Jake Rose knocking the ball away. On the first play after getting the ball back Ohio would put the ball on the turf and Kyler O’Connor scooping the ball up and then returned it for the 30-yard touchdown. Oliveira added the point P.A.T. to make this a 10-0 game with 11:09 left in the half.
The Ohio defense would get a much-needed big-play when Carter Dennis picked off a Heller pass that was tipped. Ohio would finally get on the scoreboard on a 3-yard run by Matthew Schaefer making this a 10-6 game. Schaefer was stopped on a two-point conversion run. The Ohio defense would not come close to scoring again in this one.
Heller would bobble the snap from center and paid the price for this when Mitchel Stokley sacked him at the 7:33 mark of the quarter. When Ohio got the ball back Schaefer would gain 29-yards on a nice run but the offense was pt to sleep after this by the tough WV defense. Heller would find Anthony Sessi wide opened for a long gain. Heeler bobbled another snap that caused Jordan Waterhouse to be tackled for a loss of eleven by Justin Bartlett with 2:36 left in the half. Heller would be sacked by Reese Skaggs as the Ohio defense showed that they too were very strong. Some other highlights from the quarter were a long punt return from Ohio’s Dylan Moore and then a sack on Heller by Stokley and Timothy Wehr.
The WV defense would get another score when Shaheed Jackson made an easy pick on a bad Ohio pass and then took it to the house making this a 17-6 game after the P.A.T. was good. This was the first play of the third quarter. At the 3:06 mark of the quarter, Skaggs was stopped short on a fourth-down try by Dalton Flowers. Jordon Brueck was credited for a tackle on Schaefer. The quarter ended with Sessi hammering Garrett Dozier.
In the fourth Ayden Hannahs just missed getting a pick for Ohio. WV would get a nice defensive play from Steven Felton, who plowed Moore on a punt return. Staying with the impressive defensive play Gage Patterson would get another pick for WV. The Ohio defense got another sack on Heller, this one by Luke Jozwiak. With 5:29 left facing a third and eighteen, Heller found Kobe Hill wide open for the big first down. The Ohio defense recovered from that with Stokley stopped Hill for a yard loss. The last play of not came in the final minute with Brian Palmer laying a big-time hit on Drake Hukill.
212 yards (90 in the first half)
Passing 9-23 2 Int’s
215 yards (75 in 2nd half)
Passing 17-39 1 INT
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