The Minford Falcons played hard, but the still undefeated Wheelersburg Pirates played smart in Friday nights game, with the Pirates beating the Falcons 41-10.
The first quarter had both teams fighting for yardage, and neither team gaining many. Minford offense was able to move the ball along the field, but Wheelersburg’s defense made them work for it, earning a couple yards at a time. By the end of the first, Minford seemed to have gained a good understanding of how Pirate offense moved across the field and came hard with some strong defense gathering a flock of Falcons on the quarterback each play by picking up Pirates and carrying them back. Entering the second quarter, a very physical game was underway. Neither team went without a personal foul. The Falcons continued to push and often carry Pirate offense, costing the Pirates several yards a play. Eager to light up that scoreboard, Wheelersburg was forced to show what they were made of. The Falcons could predict their plays in advance, but the Pirates were not ready to lose tonight. With some quick wit and some strategy, Burg’s Mack Dyer went for a 64 yard pass to Tanner Holden for their first touchdown of the night. For the remainder of the game, Minford could barely touch them. Even Pirate rushing game improved, with ball carriers doing baseball slides under Falcon defense rather than being carried back and doing all they could to make sure the Falcons never knew who had the ball.
Following the game, Minford Coach Jesse Ruby commented, “They showed why they’re undefeated. They have guys that can score from anywhere on the field.”
Wheelersburg showed that in just the second quarter with three touchdowns from as far away from goal as 61 yards or as close as 2 with fierce Falcons such as Tyler Compton, Landon Caudill, and Trey McSweeney making sure it was never as easy win. The Falcons pushed, refusing to give up and taking any point they could earn, closing the first half with a 34-yard field goal by Tanner Gamp.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Pirates had guys like Dominic Reyes, who just came with run after run. The Pirate cannons were sounding. The Falcons managed to keep the Pirates from goal all but one time in the third, but Burg came back to score two more times in the fourth. The Falcons showed some real persistence throughout the game, finally scoring their first touchdown in the fourth quarter with 7:44 remaining in the game.
Ruby recognized the the passion of his Falcons, despite the hard loss.
“I thought our kids played very hard, especially in the first. They showed an ability to bounce back. I’ve very proud of our ability to come back in the second. They could’ve just folded up,” Ruby stated. “I’m also really proud of or senior leadership. All my seniors played hard tonight and never gave up on each other.”
Ruby said the Falcons are going to work hard all week to prepare for next week’s game against Waverly, who was undefeated until losing last week against the Pirates.
Pirate Coach Rob Woodward that his team had a great week of practice leading up to the game. They came in confident. He was really proud of the whole team’s ability to adapt, something that he says his team is trained to do.
“We try to practice and prepare for all situations they could possibly face,” he commented.
Woodward said he was disappointed a few times missed a few cues and left points on the field; however, several players had some great accomplishments. Both Tanner Bivens and Keaton Newsome has some great runs. Clint Hatfield had a big catch. And, Dominic Reyes ran the ball hard.
“Defense was stout all night,” Woodward added.
He said in the coming week, the Pirates will prepare to meet Valley at home.
“They have a lot of young players, but they’re a team that always comes prepared, and we are excited to play at home again,” he concluded.
Wheelersburg will kick off against Valley at 7 p.m. at the Ed Miller Stadium, while Minford faces Waverly at home.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1924
Wheelersburg – Holden 61 yard passing (kick) 10:52
Wheelersburg – Lowry 2 yard rushing 5:02
Wheelersburg – Newsome 3 yard rushing (kick) 1:10
Minford – Gampp 34 yard field goal 0:22
Wheelersburg – Carmichael 4 yard rushing (kick) 8:21
Wheelersburg – Dyer 12 yard rushing (kick) 11:12
Minford – Compton 31 yard rushing (kick) 7:44
Wheelersburg – Bivens 10 yard rushing (kick) 2:34