ST. MARYS, W.Va. - In a battle of ranked Class A Little Kanawha Conference foes here Friday night at Imlay Field, No. 6 St. Marys capped a 9-1 regular season by running past No. 17 Doddridge County, 40-12.
Head coach Jodi Mote's Blue Devils used their power running attack on senior night to help build a 27-6 cushion at intermission. St. Marys ran 12 times for 122 yards in the first quarter and then added 20 rushes for 137 stripes in the second period. After the first drive of the third quarter, Blue Devils Noah Spitzer (10-100) and David Gray (11-107) already has surpassed the century mark on the ground and didn't carry again.
Things started off great for first-year Bulldog head coach Bobby Burnside's team when senior Devron Siders forced a fumble and recovered it on the first play of the game. Despite having the pigskin at the Blue Devil 32, the visitors couldn't convert a fourth-and-2 at the 24. St. Marys, which will be at home next week in the opening round of the playoffs, then marched 77 yards in 11 plays as Derek Barnhart's 9-yard TD run followed by Garrett Furr's extra point put the hosts ahead for good at 7-0 with 5:34 left in the quarter.
DCHS sophomore tailback Wyatt Ford, who entered the fray with 948 yards rushing, hurt his shoulder on the first play of the ensuing drive and carried just once more in the contest, which turned into a fumble. However, the Bulldogs scored after a 24-yard slant pass from David Lipscomb to Daniel Plaugher when freshman Clayton Lagasse bulled in from the 1 just before the quarter expired.
With the help of a David Gray 39-yard burst, the Blue Devils jumped ahead 13-6 at 11:29 of the second when Gray tallied the first of his three six-pointers on an 8-yard scoring scamper.
The tide turned on the next offensive play for the visitors when Ford's fumble was recovered by Spitzer. Although a Gray 36-yard TD run was called back a play after Bulldog John Underwood sacked Andrew Cosper, Gray found his way into the end zone six plays later when he took a toss sweep left and scored untouched from the 6.
St. Marys 40, Doddridge County 12
Doddridge (6-4) 6 0 0 6 - 12
St. Marys (9-1) 7 20 13 0 - 40
SM: Derek Barnhart 9 run (Garrett Furr kick) 5:34, 1st
DC: Clayton Lagasse 1 run (kick failed) 27.1, 1st
SM: David Gray 8 run (kick failed) 11:29, 2nd
SM: Gray 6 run (Noah Spitzer run) 7:34, 2nd
SM: Gray 5 run (kick failed) 1:21, 2nd
SM: Spitzer 4 run (kick failed) 7:33, 3rd
SM: Andrew Cosper 77 interception return (Furr kick) 3:36, 3rd
DC: Lagasse 4 run (pass failed) 9:16, 4th
Doddridge County: First downs: 10; Rushes-yards: 34-42; Passing yards: 100; Total yards: 142; Passing: 8-17-1; Punts-average: 3-30.7; Fumbles-lost: 3-1; Penalties-yards: 4-30
St. Marys: First downs: 19; Rushes-yards: 50-324; Passing yards: 23; Total yards: 347; Passing: 1-2-0; Punts-average:1-21; Fumbles-lost: 3-1; Penalties-yards: 7-49
Doddridge County: Rushing: Christian Arbogast 1-(-8), David Lipscomb 7-(-9), Wyatt Ford 4-17, Devin Anderson 11-20, Clayton Lagasse 5-9, Zachary Cottrill 1-2, Daniel Plaugher 1-2, Jeff Bonnell 1-(-7), Jarrod Sandy 3-16; Passing: Arbogast 0-2-0, 0 yards; Lipscomb 8-15-1, 100 yards; Receiving: Plaugher 4-52, Anderson 4-48
St. Marys: Rushing: Michael Stout 2-(-12), Andrew Cosper 9-50, Noah Spitzer 10-100, Derek Barnhart 8-33, David Gray 11-107, Ethan Rader 3-37, Jacob Box 3-4, Bret Fetty 4-5; Passing: Cosper 1-2-0, 23 yards; Receiving: Gray 1-23
Next game: Class A playoff game at St. Marys, next Friday or Saturday, time and opponent TBA.
Before the break, St. Marys went on another 11 play, 77 yard scoring jaunt that was capped by Gray's 5-yard TD burst with 1:21 left before intermission as DCHS found itself down by 21.
Spitzer added a 4-yard score on the Blue Devils' first series of the third quarter and Cosper returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown as the hosts built a 40-6 cushion after three.
Doddridge County, which finished the year 6-4, got a pair of 21-yard gains via a Jarrod Sandy run and a Plaugher catch early in the fourth quarter that set up Lagasse's second TD. The 4-yard touchdown capped the scoring at the 9:16 mark.
Cosper added 50 yards rushing and completed one of his two passes for 23 yards. Lipscomb hit 8 of 15 aerials for 100 yards. Plaugher caught four balls for 52 yards while Devin Anderson had the other four catches for 48 stripes.
St. Marys had 14 first downs at halftime, finished the game with a 347-142 advantage in total yards and held the 'Dogs to 42 yards rushing on 34 attempts.