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76th Rudy Mumley All-Star Game: Ohio 33 West Virginia 15

Written by: on Sunday, July 24th, 2022

 

Last night I took in another game at Wheeling Island Stadium, a place that I definitely have in my top ten spots to catch a game. This game was the 76th installment of the OVAC. all-star Rudy Mumley Game. The crowd overall was pretty good once everyone finally got into their seats. The weather was not too bad, with a nice breeze coming off of the river. The game, after all was said and done, would be a game of two totally different halves for each team. In the opening half, West Virginia held Ohio to thirteen unofficial yards, while in the second half, Ohio would hold West Virginia to sixteen yards.

Justin Driscoll (Buckeye Local) would come up big for Ohio when he recorded an eleven-yard sack with 11:33 left in the opening quarter. Just twenty-seven seconds later, the Ohio defense came up even bigger with Wyatt Reiman (Shadyside) pouncing on a West Virginia fumble on the West Virginia one-yard line. Reiman was just warming up for the show he would end up putting on in this contest.

It would take Ohio two plays to make this a 6-0 game, with Reiman busting in for the score. Then, Lucas Otto (St. Clairsville) nailed the point after kick, making this a 7-0 game with 10:14 left in the first quarter. The Ohio front line looked very comfortable run blocking on the short drive, showing early on that this was the unit’s strength.

At the 8:50 mark of the opening quarter, Driscoll would come up again with a huge play on defense when he pounced on another West Virginia fumble. The West Virginians made quick work of the Ohio offense this time, allowing only four yards on the drive.On the ensuing drive, the dangerous Daminn Cunningham (University) grabbed a thirty-three yard catch to get things going for the offense. Driscoll would get his fourth tackle of the game when he slugged Ayden Baker to the ground, bringing up a fourth and eight for the West Virginia offense. With 3:01 remaining in the quarter, Jacob Morgan (Weir) connected on a 26-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.

The West Virginia defense easily put the Ohio offense back on the sideline, getting their offense back on the field with all of the momentum on the home side. The offense was primed to keep things that way. A thirteen-yard catch by Carson Yobbagy (Weir) on a nicely thrown ball by Santino Arlia (MaDonna) helped set up the same combo for the first West Virginia touchdown, which came on a twenty-three-yard pass. The point-after kick from Morgan out of the hand of Dylan Conley (Oak Glen) was missed after a five-yard penalty on West Virginia’s special teams unit, leaving the game 9-7 with 37 seconds left in the quarter.

At the 10:13 mark of the second quarter, Driscoll would record his fifth tackle of the game when he tackled the West Virginia ball carrier for a loss of five yards. Then Mason Vannest (Shadyside) made a nice play on a delayed draw run by the West Virginia offense, with the result being a five-yard loss. Shadyside, a very good Ohio team, had a good showing from their talented players in this one. The Tigers are a big playoff rival for a team, Newark Catholic, whom I have followed since the ’70s.

After getting the ball back, Ohio started to show a tiny heartbeat on offense. That would be stopped when Malachi Rose Burton (Monroe Central), a very speedy running quarterback, put the ball on the ground and Baker pounced on it like a hungry alley cat seeking its first meal of the week. The Ohio defense shut down the ensuing drive without any harm being done.

The clock showed 5:08 left in the first half when Drew Sefsick (St. Clairsville) found Reiman for a big twenty-three-yard gain. Reiman can do it all on offense, and with half of Shadyside set to my right, they let everyone know how much love they had for their hero. A sack by Cunningham netted a ten-yard loss for the Ohio offense and helped force a punt. Cunningham is 100% pure electricity. When he is on the field, you sit on the edge of your seat and wait to be shocked by his play. Ohio would botch the punt, setting the West Virginia offense up just one yard away from another touchdown. The offense shook off a little badness to score on a sensational catch by Evan Quering (MaDonna) to make this a 15-7 game with a little over one minute left in the half.

Coming out of the locker room after halftime, the Ohio team seemed primed for a big second half, even though their offense had only netted thirteen unofficial yards. The West Virginia offense, though, had just eighteen yards of offense. The big question was which defense would be let down first. Both offenses were so talented that Vegas would consider it a 99-1 longshot that both defenses could maintain such strong efforts.

I spoke with a very talented defensive lineman from Ohio, Gavin Carpenter (Barnsville), after the game, and here is what he said about taking the field in the second half: “We knew that our defense wasn’t playing bad; we were just in bad positions the whole first half.” We knew that all we had to do was get the offense moving and everything would fall into place, and that’s what happened. It turns out his crystal ball was spot on.

As I said earlier, Burton is a very talented running quarterback. He would demonstrate this with a sixty-yard touchdown run that made the West Virginia defense look like a turtle. Otto connected on his point after kick, making this a 15-14 game. The Ohio offense had fully woken up from the nightmarish opening half.

The Ohio offense was quickly back on the field after getting a fourth-down sack by Ryan Florence (Shadyside). I told you earlier that the Shadyside Tigers had a very good showing in this game. For the record, they are a school you all should make the drive to see. They have a great little stadium, and their fans are as true as they come, and they, all in all, treat the visiting teams’ fans pretty well. The Ohio defense had to overcome the West Virginia offense, starting on the Ohio thirty-yard line because of a nice return by Mr. Electricity, Cunningham.

With 8:39 left in the third quarter, Burton would throw a Johnny Unitas-like pass to Colin Oberdick (St. Clairsville) for thirty-three yards. Burton, as dangerous as he is at running, can sling the rock when given the time to read the defense and the time to get the ball off. He seems to have the ability to shrug off the bad plays like a major league closer shrugs off a blown save. Jacob Jordan (St. Clairsville), who had a large group of fans set a few rows in front of me, went off loudly when he scored on a six-yard run. Reiman was stopped just short of the two-point conversion run, leaving this a 20-15 Ohio lead with 7:25 showing on the clock.

Wyatt Reiman, the PAFOOTBALLNEWS Player of the Game, scored on an eighty-yard run with 4:55 left in the third quarter after seemingly disappearing and reappearing in the endzone once he shot through the line. The kid runs as fast as a magician can do magic. The two-point run was stuffed short again, leaving this a 26-15 game with 4:55 left on the clock.

The last big play of the quarter came from the Ohio defense with Caden Kenworth (Cambridge) sacking Arlia for a six-yard loss and forcing another West Virginia punt. In the fourth quarter, both teams showed their share of chippiness, showing all of those in the stands that yes, this is an all-star game, but a game both teams wanted to win. I spoke to Gavin Carpenter right after the game on the subject of how badly he wanted to win this game, especially with it being the last football he would play and this is what he shared: “Really, really badly, you always want to finish your last game with a win. It felt great to do so.”

The fourth quarter would see Tanner Bills (Frontier) record a sack on Arlia, who was playing with what looked like a shoulder injury thanks to a hard hit earlier in the half. The kid showed true grit in gutting it out. Preston Harmon (Morgantown) would recover another fumble by Burton. With defense ruling the quarter, the PPNF HIT OF THE GAME came from Carpenter with 5:50 showing on the clock. He would square up and plaster Hunter Dixon (Wheeling Park), holding the talented runner to a gain of a few inches. I told Carpenter after the game during the quick interview that I was awarding him the hit of the game and he smiled and said thanks. Reiman would blast off for thirty more yards, putting him well over one hundred yards for the game with 4:23 left. The last touchdown of the game came on a nice ten-yard run from Spence Bliss (Barnsville), followed by the last point of the game, the point after kick from Otto, giving us the final score of 33-15.

UNOFFICIAL STATS

Ohio

59 Plays

344 yards

Passing

1021

West Virginia

62 plays

105 yards

Passing 6-17, 2 Touchdowns

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