Miss West Virginia made both BACF football sides grin
ST. MARYS, W.Va. — Chelsi Rose helped put a smile on the all-stars of both the Ohio and West Virginia sides.
Last Friday night, Miss West Virginia presented the winning hardware to the Ohio stars after they defeated West Virginia, 47-13, in the silver edition of the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Football Classic (BACF) at Bill Hanlin Stadium at St. Marys High School.
No doubt, the West Virginia stars were probably a little envious. After all, Rose lives in Parkersburg.
But the Ohio side proved to be the better team, at least on this particular evening, even though the Buckeyes of River High head coach Mike Flannery were outnumbered, 30-21.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Ohio All-Stars assistant coach Kevin Welsh. “You can only play 11 at once anyway. And we had a 11 good kids out there who just wanted to win, and played well.”
Welsh, who will be an assistant football coach at Fort Frye High this upcoming fall, paused.
“When you get these guys together, and they learned what we wanted to do, that made a difference,” he said.
The Ohio stars got off to a great start, staking itself to a 14-0 first-quarter advantage. After that, they never looked back.
Quarterback Ryan LaFollette, with his legs and arm, led the way, and as the game progressed, others like Tojzae Reams of Belpre, Nick Miller of Shenandoah, Cole Hinerman of River, Clint Wikander of Shenandoah, Teddy Smith of Waterford, Devon Moss of Marietta, Gabe Rejonis of Bellaire to name but a few all made contributions.
Reams ended up being Ohio’s Most Valuable Player, while Miller led all ballcarriers with 87 yards on 15 carries.
“It’s a great, crazy feeling playing with everyone here,” Reams said. “This was a good squad. I’m going to miss playing with them.”
Thing is, Ohio just had weapons galore of offense.
“We knew going in that if we could use them (weapons) all, we’d be all right,” Welsh said.
The West Virginia stars rallied to cut it to 21-13 in the second quarter but trailed at the intermission, 28-13.
“West Virginia had some athletes, too,” Welsh said. “They had some good kids, a big line… we made some adjustments to shut their offense down.”
After the break, Ohio tacked on 19 more points, while West Virginia went scoreless.
“We shut Jaiden Smith (of St. Marys) down a little bit and didn’t let him run like he did during the season,” Welsh said. “So, that helped a lot.
“Plus, we played really good defense in the second half, a lot better than in the first half.”
With 2:37 remaining in the contest, Rejonis intercepted a pass and was tackled by Aaron Peterman of Wirt County. On the play, Peterman was injured, and all play stopped with the players from both sides taking a knee.
The emergency rescue squad stood by ready to roll.
After several minutes, one of the game’s refs approached each of the players and the chain gang — and shook their hands. The game was over.
Fortunately, Peterman was able to get to his feet, and when he did the crowd cheered.
Aaron Turner of Point Pleasant, who had a touchdown reception, was named the MVP for the West Virginia all-star squad.
“It was a very intense game,” he said. “There was a lot of smack-talking going on, but it was a fun game.”
“I’d rather have had the win, but I’ll settle for this (MVP), too,” he said.
No doubt, Turner and his teammates would’ve enjoyed a winning presentation from Miss West Virginia, too.
Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org