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‘Jackets sting Tigers

Williamstown’s running back Oates surpassed 200 yards and scored 3 TD’s

Photo by Neal West Williamstown’s running back Trevor Oates looks for running room during a high school football game Friday night.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Trevor Oates found paydirt thrice, surpassed 200 yards rushing and intercepted Marietta signal-caller Reece Gerber in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter here Friday night as host Williamstown gave new head coach Chris Beck his first win thanks to a 34-28 triumph against the Tigers.

Tied at 28-all following Gerber’s 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Zach Bartlett and Gerber’s ensuing two-point conversion run with 4:56 remaining, the ‘Jackets had a chance for a game-winning drive.

That’s exactly what transpired as WHS used a 10-play, 66-yard drive for the final six-pointer. Oates, who toted 23 times for 206 stripes while missing a couple series in the third quarter due to cramps, broke off a 29-yard on the opening play and finished it with a dive into the end zone from 2 yards out.

“I mean rushing is all the line. That’s the greatest line. I’m grateful for them,” said Oates, who was dealing with an illness last week and added of the late pick “I knew it was coming for me.

“It was a great win. I was on the couch a lot last week and then coming back just knocking off some rust. It was great to be with my team and get the win for my team.”

While Williamstown relied on the run game to the tune of 55 rushes for 383 yards, the Tigers of head man Jason Schob managed to move the ball via the air. Gerber finished 15 of 29 for 225 yards and two picks, the other coming late in the first half when T.J. Billingsley got one in the end zone to thwart a scoring drive.

Marietta took the game’s opening possession and scored on a Gerber 4-yard run. The big play came from wideout Tyson Shaffer, who managed to haul in a 38-yard reception after Billingsley tipped it.

Facing a fourth-and-1 at their own 41, Beck elected to go for it and fullback Rickie Allen got 2 yards, which eventually led to a tie game after WHS quarterback Brayden Modesitt bulled in for the 1. Garret Hill matched Tiger kicker Dillon Meagle’s extra point.

Marietta, which dropped to 0-2 and plays next Friday at Athens, had it first-and-goal at the 10 on its next drive, but WHS held.

Coach Beck also elected to go for it late in the first facing a fourth-and-1 at their own 24, which again saw Allen tote the pigskin for 6 yards. WHS failed to score on the drive as Isaac Joy was called upon to punt.

“Fourth and less than 1, we said all summer our strength was upfront with our four seniors,” admitted Beck. “If we can’t get a foot I don’t know if we deserve to win the game in my opinion. You got to take chances there.

“As soon as I called it I’m like I don’t know about that one, but we got it and great effort by Rickie and a great effort by the line. That’s just us having confidence in these seniors and what they can do.”

The Yellowjackets, who play next Friday at Ravenswood, opened the second half with a 20-yard pass to tight end Kent Wigal. The next play, wide receiver Caleb Stansberry set the edge and Oates was off on a 55-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Hill hit a short one behind the upmen and the Tigers weren’t able to grab it as Wigal fell on the pigskin.

That led to another Oates score, from 3 yards out, and Williamstown held a 21-7 cushion with 8:32 left in the third.

However, Marietta answered with a 9-yard TD run by Gerber and after John Bricker recovered a fumble, Tony Munos had a 25-yard reception to set up Bartlett’s 2-yard run. However, the extra point was no good and the Tigers trailed 21-20 at the 5:43 mark.

Allen’s 25-yard TD burst, where he broke a tackle and did a spin move, led to a 28-20 advantage early in the fourth.

“At halftime we felt good about where we were at and came out and made a few plays,” Beck added. “We thought we had momentum and then we kind of gave it back to them and it turned into a back and forth affair.

“With the adversity our guys had, being three weeks behind them and they’ve already played a game, I’m just happy with the win against a well-coached team.”

Modesitt added 112 rush yards on 19 attempts. He completed two of his nine pass attempts, the other going to freshman Maxwell Molessa for 12 yards. Older brother Leewood Molessa also had a strip sack for the ‘Jackets.

Gerber (14-75) and Bartlett (16-66) led the MHS ground attack. Munos finished with six grabs for 111 stripes and Shaffer had five receptions for 88 yards.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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