NEW MARTINSVILLE - Magnolia wasn't about to let another impressive first-half showing go to waste.
After blowing a 14-point in a loss last week against Linsly, the Blue Eagles preserved a 17-0 halftime lead against Williamstown and defeated the Yellowjackets 24-7 Friday night at Alumni Field.
Wlliamstown's offense never materialized in the first half and managed just three first downs by intermission. The Yellowjackets' initial rushing first down didn't occur until fullback David Hastings scored on a 63-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
"Defensively, we were just playing lights out," Magnolia coach Mark Batton said. "We had to play hard and play fast, and the kids did that.
"But we knew Williamstown was going to answer, and that first possession of the third quarter is so crucial. We kind of let them right back in there, but we battled through it."
The Magnolia combination of Tanner Hanna and Stephen Rogalski picked apart the Williamstown secondary for nine pass completions and 175 yards through the air.
Rogalski's 56-yard reception in the fourth quarter continued a drive which resulted in Hanna's 7-yard touchdown run which capped off the scoring at the four-minute mark.
"It's so hard to guard (Rogalski) for so long because he is so good," Williamstown coach Terry Smith said. "Their quarterback is good, too. So whatever happened they had the two best athletes on the field."
After going three-and-out on the first series of the game, Magnolia converted on its next three drives.
On first-and-10 from their own 32, Magnolia running back Drew Keller gained 18 of his game-high 108 yards and nearly broke free if not for a leg tackle downfield from Hunter Neely. Three plays later with the ball sitting on the Yellowjacket 30, Kage Rohde got the call on a draw play and reached the end zone for the first of his two touchdowns.
Foreign exchange student Clemens Raitmayr playing in his first game as Magnolia's placekicker converted the first of three extra points to put his club in front 7-0 at the 5:38 mark of the first quarter.
Williamstown went three-and-out for the second straight possession and Magnolia took over at its own 42. Hanna opened the drive by completing three straight passes, including two to Rogalski. Six plays later, Rohde ran the sweep to perfection and scored from 4 yards out with 19.1 seconds remaining in the first period.
Again Williamstown did not manage a first down and Magnolia answered with a six-play drive which covered 56 yards and resulted in Ratmayr's 20-yard field goal at the 9:14 mark of the second quarter.
"Defensively, Magnolia was just quicker," Smith said. "They were getting off the ball and getting to the hole."
Hastings led the Yellowjackets in rushing with 84 yards on just five carries. Backfield mate Dakota Watson added 47 yards on 16 carries.
"In the second half, I didn't think we were bad," Smith said. "We moved the ball, but had a couple of turnovers which hurt our momentum."
Magnolia (1-1) plays host to Tyler Consolidated next Friday. That same evening, Williamstown (1-1) plays at Fairfield Union.