MARIETTA - Warren's Jeremy Fivecoait used his height advantage and leaping ability to give Ohio two first-quarter touchdowns that were just the opening salvo in a 48-0 win over West Virginia in the 19th annual BACF Football Classic at Don Drumm Stadium Friday night.
Wide receiver Fivecoait's pair of TD receptions from Marietta quarterback Justin Futrell in the first 9:27 of the game staked Ohio, which had lost two straight and six of the last seven meeting in the series, to a 14-0 lead that was the springboard to the rout, and earned the Muskingum University-bound gridder his side's MVP award.
There was no West Virginia MVP selected for the game, the first time that has happened in BACF football history that an MVP was not chosen for both teams, although W.Va. still leads the overall series, 12-7.
The 48-point margin of victory was largest ever, surpassing two 36-0 games, first by Ohio in 2000 and then two years later by W.Va., and equalled the most points scored by a single team, 48 by W.Va. in a 48-33 win in 2003.
Fivecoait, at 6-3, twice in a row on the first two Ohio possessions of the game snagged leaping grabs for TDs over shorter W.Va. defenders. First, Ohio foiled a game-opening W.Va. onside-kick ploy and then drove behind the running of Shenandoah's Shane Crum, who led his team in rushing with 41 yards on 12 carries, to the W.Va. 24. From there, Futrell lofted a pass toward the corner that Fivecoait skied to latch onto before falling into the end zone at 8:52 for a 7-0 lead.
Then 6:19 later, at 2:33, Fivecoait again climbed the ladder to snare a jump ball Futrell had flung to the same left-side corner for his second six-pointer of the night. On defense, Fivecoait, who led his team with three catches for 38 yards, also had an interception, plus Ohio recovered four W.Va. fumbles to aid in the convincing win.
Fivecoait said the mismatches in the passing game with his height against the shorter W.Va. defensive backs was ''definitely one of the things we focused on. If was an uneven match in our favor, then just throw it up. That was just how we practiced it. If I was open, we'd go for it.''
But even more than the MVP honor, Fivecoait said he was ''excited to have this last chance to be able to do this (play another game with his senior Warren teammates on the Ohio squad).''
And, he added, ''at least for Warren, and probably for all the other Ohio schools as well, we just wanted to come out and make a statement. Everybody kept saying West Virginia had won so many times out of the 18 games so far, so we just wanted to go out and show them that Ohio had the team to do it this year.''
West Virginia head coach Mike Dawson of Ritchie County took ''the blame for the loss. Our kids played hard, never gave up, but I didn't have them ready and that's my fault.''