West Virginia dominates
MARIETTA – Parkersburg’s Adam Lindamood rushed for a game-high 128 yards and scored three touchdowns to help West Virginia roll to a 33-13 victory against Ohio here Friday night at Don Drumm Stadium in the 20th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Football Classic.
Mountaineer head coach Bobby Burnside of Doddridge County got solid defensive play all night as well as 91 yards rushing from Parkersburg South’s Jordan Quiocho to win for the 13th time in the series.
After taking an early 3-0 lead with 1:33 left in the opening quarter on a 22-yard field goal from Parkersburg’s Codey Roney, disaster struck for Ohio on its ensuing series when Fort Frye’s Spencer Lang fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage.
“I saw that guard pull and I knew it was mine,” said Parkersburg South’s Mack White, who caused the fumble that Tyler Consolidated’s Hunter LeMasters pounced on. “We always learned how to key your guards.
“I saw that guard pull and just went for it and the guy (Lang) was right there. It was just a good solid hit and luckily the ball popped out.”
Lindamood, who toted the pigskin 21 times in earning W.Va. MVP honors, scored from 4 yards out with 39.5 ticks left in the first as Ohio trailed 9-0.
Derek Barnhart of St. Marys proceeded to strip Fort Frye’s Max Alsbach and recovered the fumble on Ohio’s very next play from scrimmage, but the Buckeyes were able to keep the score at 9-0 thanks in part to a pair of Mountaineer penalties.
Ohio signal-caller Dylan Leffingwell of Warren finally got his team on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. After hitting Ohio MVP Korey Lafferre of Monroe Central on a 55-yard bomb, Lang rushed for 13 yards, Leffingwell had a 4-yard keeper and then he hit ex-Warrior teammate Chas Miller on a 3-yard scoring strike. After Miller booted the extra point, Ohio got the closest it would the rest of the game at 9-7.
W.Va. took its next drive and marched 80 yards on 14 plays, which took 6:49 off the clock, as Lindamood culminated the drive with a 7-yard cutback touchdown jaunt. Roney’s extra point was true and Ohio trailed 16-7 with 3:12 left in the half.
Things could’ve been different before intermission, but Leffingwell’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Miller was called back due to an illegal man being downfield and Ohio still trailed by nine at the break.
“We had a couple plays that really hurt us there where we turned the ball over and had the touchdown called back,” said Ohio and Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck. “Those kind of plays, unfortunately, cost us.”
Ohio, which ran just five plays for 7 yards in the opening stanza, had to punt after making one first down to open the third quarter. W.Va. ended up getting a 39-yard field goal following a 23-yard punt as Roney’s boot gave the Mountaineers a 19-7 cushion at the 6:54 mark.
Following another Ohio punt, which was largely caused by Ritchie County’s Brad Riddle dragging down Miller for a 7-yard loss, W.Va. took control of the game on the very next series. With the aid of a personal foul penalty by Ohio and a 39-yard over the shoulder catch by Tyler Consolidated’s Alex Doak from Ritchie County’s Trevor Shepler, Ohio found itself trailing 26-7 with 12.1 seconds left in the third when Lindamood bulled his way in from the 1.
Lafferre, who had game-highs of six catches and 124 yards, hooked up with Leffingwell on a 40-yard TD strike at 9:07 of the fourth, but White blocked Miller’s kick and W.Va. still had the Buckeyes doubled up at 26-13.
“I saw that gap and felt like I had a chance and I slipped in there,” added White. “I jumped a little bit and luckily got it with the palm of my hand and not my stomach or anything else.”
Quiocho then rushed six times for 72 yards on the next drive with Barnhart leading the way at fullback. Ritchie County’s Devon Jones waltzed in from the 2 at 4:48 of the fourth to set the final score.
Leffingwell, who is off to Ohio University, completed 15 of 26 passes for 227 yards.
“It’s a good thing, yeah,” said coach Burnside after the game about getting doused with water. “I want to give the young men who played a lot of credit and the coaching staff. We all worked real hard this week and the players who were there were committed.”