PARKERSBURG - Ohio rallied from a 15-0 first-half deficit with the game's final 18 points, the last eight with 5:53 left to play, to notch an 18-15 BACF Football Classic win over West Virginia Friday night at Stadium Field.
Fort Frye's Chandler Lang, the Ohio MVP, set up what proved to the game-winning touchdown with a sideline interception at the W.Va. 38 with 7:23 remaining and trailing 15-10.
Ohio overcame an offensive pass interference penalty that left it facing a 1st-and-30 from the Buckeye 44 as Warren's Austin Klintworth hit a 54-yard pass to Warrior teammate David Ryan, who was open for the catch at the W.Va. 20 and then took it down to the 3.
West Virginia's Cody Smith, center, gets a block from Noah Spitzer, left, while Melvin Stubbs looks for someone to block during the BACF Football Classic at Stadium Field. Smith was named the MVP?of the West Virginia team.
Lang followed that with a burst up the middle into the end zone at the 5:53 mark to lift Ohio into a 16-15 lead. But Lang wasn't done just yet as on the two-point conversion try, he rolled right and found Meigs' Damon Jones with a successful short flip across the goal line, upping the margin to 18-15.
West Virginia, which still leads 13-8 in the cross-river series, moved to the Ohio 33 with less than a minute and a half to play. But on fourth-and-1, a horde of Ohio defenders halted the threat with a stop for no gain on W.Va. quarterback Alex Lipscomb with just 1:11 to go in the game.
Ohio got the ball back with 10 seconds left at its own 32, but threw an interception as Jones picked a pass off at the Buckeye 39 and ran out the clock on West Virginia.
Parkersburg South's Cody Smith, the W.Va. MVP, stifled Ohio on the first possession of the game by intercepting at his own 4 with Ohio on the doorstep at the West Virginia 7, returning the pass theft out 41 yards at 8:07 of the first quarter.
The Mountaineers drove all the way to the Ohio 10, where on fourth-and-3, Bruce Sefert of Beallsville squelched the march with a tackle after only a 2-yard gain at 3:54 of the first.
W.Va. scored first in the game, though, when from the Ohio 1, St. Marys' Noah Spitzer plowed over the right side to paydirt with eight seconds left in the opening period and Ravenswood's Nathan Cunninghm booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
In the second stanza, Lipscomb aired out a 61-yard scoring strike to Wirt County's Justin Joy, who snagged the aerial at the Ohio 20 and the Tiger gridder took it the rest of the way for a TD at 3:43.
Then on a fake PAT, holder Payton Sturm of Parkersburg Catholic picked up the ball, rolled left and hit Williamstown's David Hastings with a two-point pass for a 15-0 lead.
However, Ohio went 77 yards in three plays in just 25 seconds to reduce the deficit to 15-7 only 1:13 before halftime. A 35-yard pass to Ryan and a 40-yard run by Lang to the Ohio 2 set up Lang's 2-yard TD dash.
And after a scoreless third quarter, Marietta's Brent Huck hammered home a 29-yard field goal at 10:10 of the fourth quarter to narrow to gap to 15-10.