Prep football: Blue Devils swat Yellowjackets
ST. MARYS, W.Va. – St. Marys got contributions from just about everyone on the field here Friday night at Imlay Field as the host Blue Devils drilled rival Williamstown, 32-13, in a battle of what was unbeaten Class A Little Kanawha Conference rivals.
The No. 1-ranked Yellowjackets (4-1) kept it close for a while, trailing just 12-6 at the half, but the second-ranked Blue Devils of head man Jodi Mote were steadfast with their gameplan and it worked to perfection.
“They just had difficulty stopping us,” said Mote, whose offense rushed 61 times for 267 yards and usually had all 11 WHS defenders within six or seven yards of the line of scrimmage. “We just kept going with what worked. Sometimes you can outthink yourself. We are not a second and third-and-long team.
“We came into the game knowing we hadn’t played four quarters yet and were making a lot of mental mistakes. The kids responded and I’m very proud of them. It was a total team effort. That’s for sure.”
Williamstown never really managed to get anything sustained offensively and finished with just six first downs. Quarterback Jake Tracewell completed 2 of 7 passes and was intercepted thrice, two of them by Bret Fetty and one by Noah Spitzer.
St. Marys, which will look to improve to 6-0 next week in Mt. Zion against Calhoun County, joined WHS in having a pair of first-half turnovers. However, it was a fumble recovery by Blue Devil Jeremy Pratt when David Hastings was stripped on a punt return that got the hosts going.
The Blue Devils turned the turnover into a 6-0 lead when they drove down the field and David Gray scored the first of his three TDs. His 3-yard score made it 6-0 with 1:19 left in the first, but Garrett Furr’s extra point was blocked by Dakota Watson.
SMHS drove down the field on its next series to take a 12-0 lead with 5:23 left in the half. Pratt ran through two WHS would-be tacklers for a pivotal 28-yard gain and Gray bulled in from the one.
Williamstown, which heads to Oak Glen next Friday night and lost the battle of total yards 279-167 to St. Marys, turned a Blue Devil fumble into points just before intermission. Senior defensive lineman Adam Pfeiffer pounced on a bad center-quarterback exchange as WHS took over with 59.3 seconds to go on the Blue Devil 18. Two plays later, Tracewell scored from the 12 on a shotgun keeper.
The hosts owned the second half and got a big boost by Fetty when he returned the second-half kickoff 50-plus yards to the ‘Jacket 27. That led to a Gray 11-yard TD run and WHS found itself trailing by a dozen at 9:21 of the third.
Although Tracewell raced 69 yards for a score just 1:20 later and Kade Kiselica’s extra point made it 18-13, the visitors never got any closer.
Spitzer, who had 58 yards rushing on 13 carries, picked off a Tracewell aerial and returned it 31 yards to the ‘Jacket 12. On first down, Spitzer took a toss sweep and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Furr for a 24-13 cushion with 5:20 left in the third.
Thanks in large part to Gray, who churned out 111 yards on 28 carries and Pratt (14-96), the Blue Devils owned the time of possession. Spitzer’s 5-yard touchdown run followed by Michael Stout’s two-point pass to Corey Stewart set the final score just 16 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Tracewell (11-112) and Hunter Neely each had an interception against Stout, who didn’t complete any of his three pass attempts.