Wahama’s Kane Roush keyed South’s victory

CHARLESTON-What a way to end one career and begin another.

That was the case for Wahama’s Kane Roush as the senior closed out the high school portion of his football career with an award- winning performance at the North-South Football Classic played at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field and in the process gave UC fans a look at what they can expect over the next four years.

“It (the game) lived up to all of my dreams,” Roush said following the South’s 46-26 victory over the North. “It feels great playing with these guys and I can’t explain how I felt scoring my first touchdown at my new home (Laidley Field).”

The score, a 75-yard fumble return, was the major momentum changer of the game and came at a time when the North, which was attempting to break a four-year losing skid in the June all-star classic, was driving for an apparent score that would have regained the lead for the Bears.

“I don’t even remember causing the fumble,” added Roush, who was named the South’s Most Outstanding Player for the game. “All I remember was the guys on the sidelines telling me to get the loose ball and run.

“We had been practicing the scoop and run all week in practice and it really paid off tonight.”

Paid off is right as Roush’s dash for six pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 26-14. An advantage that would continue to grow until a 26-yard Jalen Jones dash with 4:56 left to play closed out the South’s scoring.

North quarterbacks Zach Phillips and Aaron Roberts each connected for touchdown passes over the final 67 seconds of the game, but it was too little, too late. Speaking of Roberts, the Parkersburg High signal-caller completed 8-of-16 attempts for 101 yards and one touchdown, but also tossed two interceptions-one picked off by Roush.

Phillips earned the North’s MVP selection by connecting on 19-of-27 passes for 218 yards and three scores.

Locally, Roane County’s Luke Scott made the most of his limited time in the North’s backfield, rushing twice for 32 yards and hauling in one pass for two more while Parkersburg’s Kyle Foster, who will continue his playing days at the University of Akron, punted the ball four times for an average of 38 yards per attempt. His longest went for 44 yards.

During halftime ceremonies the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association presented plaques to this year’s crop of Coaches of the Year. Two, both in track and field, came from Wood County.

Capturing their first COY awards were Williamstown’s Zach Hall and Parkersburg’s Rod O’Donnell.

“I’m honored to say the least,” O’Donnell said following the presentation. “But, this award is not won by a single individual. It’s an award that comes about thanks to the efforts of some very, very talented young men and a coaching staff that is dedicated and works hard to help those young men attain the goals that they have established for themselves.”

The Big Reds broke a 49-year drought at the state track meet with a 93-80 margin over three-time Class AAA champion Jefferson.

“It (the championship) is just now beginning to set in,” said O’Donnell. “The more that I hear about the last time this had happened and the fact that it happened during the event’s 100th year, is somewhat overwhelming.”

Not so for Hall and his Yellowjackets, who have made a habit of traveling to the state’s capital and winning championships. Williamstown’s fourth title in a row and fifth since 2009 was more than enough to earn Hall the nod for state coach of the year laurels.