St. Marys shuts down Wirt County, 26-7

St. Marys’ Logan Rice and Wirt County’s Kolton Parsons fight for the football during the second quarter of the Blue Devils’ 26-7 win over the Tigers Friday at Bill Hanlin Stadium. (Photo by Joe Albright)

ST. MARYS — Jodi Mote and his St. Marys Blue Devils entered their matchup with Wirt County possessing a want to get back on the winning track after suffering their first loss of the season last week.

They did just that.

Brennan Boron scored three rushing touchdowns, the St. Marys’ offense overcame a sluggish night against a solid Tiger defense, and the Blue Devils picked up a 26-7 win over the Tigers Friday night at Bill Hanlin Stadium. The win advanced the Blue Devils to 4-1 and put a smile on coach Mote’s face. “It is nice because both of us were in those shoes where we were coming off losses and it was important to get back on the winning track,” Mote said.

His team did it on a night where they gained as many yards as their visitors. Each team only picked up 163 yards on offense. St. Marys also never had one sustained drive all evening and instead had to take advantage of multiple good field positions gifted to them by Wirt County. Only one of the Blue Devils’ scoring drives started on their side of the field. Despite the scores, it was a cause for concern.

“It is just something we are going to have to keep working on,” Mote said. “It was a tight game and I think Wirt County has a great defense. But you obviously have to be able to establish and sustain a drive. But if you put 26 points up and I think that is a positive.”

The Blue Devils were helped by the scoring prowess of Boron. It seemed like when the Blue Devils needed a big play close to the red zone, he was able to deliver.

“He made some great plays tonight and I thought he had a pretty good game,” Mote said. One of those plays gave the Blue Devils the lead for good. His 23-yard scamper where he bounced off Tiger defenders like a pin ball before barreling into the end zone was the first score of the game with 11:52 left in the second quarter. His other scores were on runs of 4 and 24 yards.

For Wirt County, it is back to the drawing board after they finished the hardest part of its schedule against Doddridge County and St. Marys by scoring just two touchdowns. It was a hard loss for Jason Hickman to accept as St. Marys left some opportunities in the passing game open by playing cover zero most of the evening. “It is hard to run when they load the box all night and you have to be able to connect on a couple of passes and we weren’t able to do that tonight. It is frustrating and we weren’t able to do that at times, we made a lot of mental errors and it is kind of a repeat of last week,” he said.

However, there were a few occasions on the evening where the Tigers did some good things. They forced an interception and shut down more St. Marys drives than they allowed them to find the end zone.

Yet, mistakes would crop up and quickly push the positives to the back. “We would ruin the momentum we were creating and against a football team like the Blue Devils if you continue to do that time after time after time obviously, they are going to make you pay for it,” Hickman said. “We sure gave them plenty of opportunities to have a short field and they took advantage of it which is what a good football team does.”

One of the few times things did go right came on their only score of the game. Garrett Parsons’ pass to Kolton Parsons hit the receiver in stride and he took it 73 yards to the house.

Tre Moss was the only other player to find the end zone on his 1-yard plunge with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.

Wirt County now prepares for a trip to Wahama, while St. Marys makes the short drive up the river for a date with Magnolia. Each are next Friday at 7 p.m.

Mote was adamant his team would come out strong against the Blue Eagles.

“You are never satisfied because you are always working. I think what is important is understand you are in a COVID year so you don’t know when your last game is going to be. I wouldn’t have guessed we would have six games in, but we finished senior night and homecoming night and that is pretty special. But we are always working. Penalties, turnovers, all of that stuff you are always working on. You just keep doing what you do to improve week in and week out,” Mote said.


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