ELIZABETH - Whether it was Cody Smith registering a sack, Noah Bellew making a tackle for a loss or Brandon Root hauling in a big catch, visiting Williamstown made plays all evening long here Friday at Wilson-Eismon Field as the fifth-ranked Class A Yellowjackets cruised past host Wirt County, 20-7.
Jake Tracewell made sure the Tigers' senior night wasn't a good one as the Yellowjacket signal-caller had a hand in all three touchdowns. He hit 6 of 9 first-half passes for 77 yards and rushed 12 times for 71 stripes to help WHS (6-1) take a 14-0 lead at intermission.
Tracewell found Hunter Neely all alone in the back of the end zone with 6:22 left in the third quarter for their second touchdown connection. That capped the WHS scoring as the senior quarterback lofted a pass above the closest orange and black defender.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Williamstown’s Dakota Watson, left, and Jake Tracewell march out for the coin toss against Wirt County on Friday night in Elizabeth.
Wirt County, which trailed the battle of total yards 93-14 after the opening stanza, grinded out a 15-play, 77-yard drive which consumed 6:49 of the fourth before denting the scoreboard on a Damian Rhodes 3-yard touchdown run with 3:53 to play.
The Tigers had no answer for Tracewell, who finished with 111 yards rushing on 15 attempts while throwing for another 81 yards.
After trading a first down apiece and a punt on the respective opening possessions of the game, Williamstown marched 75 yards to take the lead for good on its second series. Neely had an 18-yard slant and Dakota Watson took a shovel pass 14 yards as Tracewell scored from the 1 at the 2:21 mark. The first of two Trace Elder extra points made it 7-0.
Williamstown, set to face rival Parkersburg Catholic at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday at Stadium Field, turned the ball over on downs during its next possession at the Tiger 20. Although the hosts drove into the red zone, David Hastings had a key stop on Jake Linville, tackling him for a 1-yard loss on third-and-2 at the 'Jacket 14. After Wirt County failed to convert on fourth down, the 'Jackets took control. Tracewell engineered an 80-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 17-yard slant pass to Neely for six with just 24 ticks remaining in the half.
The Yellowjackets held a 13-5 edge in first down at halftime and won the final total yards battle 250-199.
Wes Valentine led the Tigers, who dropped to 2-5 and return to action next week at Calhoun County, with 79 rushing yards on a dozen attempts.