WILLIAMSTOWN - A learning curve exists anytime a high school football team starts a sophomore at quarterback.
On Friday night at Williamstown High School, Wirt County signal-caller Josh Trembly graded out above expectations as the Tigers blanked the Yellowjackets 35-0.
Trembly completed his first 11 pass attempts of the game and finished 17-of-27 for 194 yards with two touchdowns, and added three more touchdowns on the ground while rushing for 70 yards on 16 carries.
Photo by Michael Uhl
Williamstown running back Trace Hart is tackled by Wirt County’s Jacob Linville (No. 6) during the Yellowjackets’ 35-0 loss Friday night at Williamstown High School.
"With a sophomore, you are going to have ups and downs," Wirt County coach Jason Hickman said. "Tonight, he managed the game well and I think he learned that from last week when we had the four turnovers (in a loss at Buffalo)."
Class A's 11th-ranked Tigers improved to 5-2 and defeated Williamstown for the third time in the past four meetings. Wirt County also accomplished something that had never been done against a Yellowjacket team coached by Terry Smith, and that was post a shutout.
That's 113 games spanning nine seasons.
"Tonight we finally played Tiger football, and I think we made a statement," Hickman added.
Williamstown lost for the second straight game and slipped to 3-4. The Yellowjackets contributed to their own demise by turning the ball over five times, including three in the second quarter as Wirt County built a 14-0 halftime lead.
"We're not good enough to overcome those turnovers," Smith said. "Wirt County played a super game. They caused the fumbles and we threw the interceptions."
After Williamstown was forced to punt for the second straight time to open the game, Wirt County needed just four plays to cover 48 yards for the game's first touchdown. On first down from the Yellowjacket 35, Trembly noticed Gavin Goodnight sprinting down the sidelines. Yellowjacket defender Beau Wasmer just missed breaking up the pass, which allowed Goodnight to haul in the reception and race into the end zone.
The first of five extra point conversions from Chad Moore put the Tigers in front 7-0 with 40 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Wirt County's Joseph Lowe recovered a fumble at the Yellowjacket 36. The Tigers needed just nine plays to increase the margin to 14-0 as Trembly scored from a yard out at the 7:12 mark of the second quarter.
On Williamstown's first offensive series of the second half, Goodnight picked off Yellowjacket quarterback Jake Tracewell which left the ball sitting just 36 yards from paydirt.
Five plays later with the Tigers facing a third-and-3 situation from the 5, Trembly once again called his own number and ran off left tackle for the touchdown.
The Tigers allowed the Yellowjacket offense to enter the red zone just once, and that possession stalled when J.T. Stephens deflected a pass intended for Gage Wix near the goal line on fourth down from the 9.
Wirt County then marched 91 yards in 11 plays and finished off the drive when Trembly connected with Stephens on a 7-yard touchdown pass at the 11:55 mark of the fourth quarter. The drive, which extended the lead to 28-0, was kept alive when the Yellowjackets were flagged for roughing the punter on fourth-and-14 at the Williamstown 44.
The final touchdown of the night came as a result of a Jon Cain interception deep in Williamstown territory. Cain scored on the pick, but a holding call nullified the TD and brought the ball back to the Yellowjacket 16.
Six plays later, Trembly scored from 2 yards.
"I'm glad we have our next three games at home because we have played five out of seven games on the road," Hickman said. "We still have some tough competition, but at least we are at our home place. We are tired of traveling."
Wirt County produced 427 yards of total offense compared to just 176 for Williamstown. Trace Hart led the Yellowjackets with 41 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Because of a violation of team policy, Tracewell sat out the first quarter. The Yellowjackets had three other players suspended for the game, including starting lineman Cody Smith.
"There may have been distractions because of that," Smith said. "But football is blocking and tackling, and we definitely didn't tackle."