Playoff football: Jackets oust Bishops

WILLIAMSTOWN – Quarterback Jake Tracewell and running back David Hastings combined to rush for 316 yards and five touchdowns, and Williamstown’s defense held visiting Bishop Donahue’s vaunted passing attack to just 11 completions Saturday afternoon as the Yellowjackets bested the Bishops 54-12 in a quarterfinal-round Class A playoff game.

The win now puts fourth seed Williamstown, 10-2, in next weekend’s semifinals, facing No. 1 rated Madonna (12-0) at Weirton.

Bishop Donahue, the 12th seed, finished its season at 8-4.

The Jackets started slow Saturday, but once they got started, there was no stopping them.

However, before that occurred, Williamstown’s D staved off an early Donahue scoring threat. Cornerback Hunter Neely, who was called for pass interference, redeemed himself four plays later after Bishops reached the ‘Jacket 13 with an interception at 5:07 of the first quarter.

Then after a 12-yard punt gave Williamstown the ball at its 40, Tracewell -who picked up 139 yards on 10 carries Saturday – scored five plays later, racing 34 yards to paydirt for a 7-0 lead with 1:02 left in the opening period.

Donahue, however, closed to 7-6 at 11:15 of the second stanza when Lavonte Hampton burrowed two yards into the end zone, but then had the extra-point try blocked by Dakota Watson.

Neely turned in another key play at the 8:59 mark of the second, intercepting again and this time taking the pass theft 15 yards to the house for a 13-6 Williamstown lead.

But the Bishops came right back to again pull within one at 13-12 when quarterback Jesse Padlow tossed a four-yard scoring strike to Matthew Vucelik with 6:46 to go before halftime.

The rest of the half, though, belonged to the Yellowjackets – and to Tracewell in particular – as the Williamstown QB tallied on a 47-yard TD dash at 5:31, then with 1:20 remaining, he pushed through the pile two yards on a sneak for another score and a 27-12 advantage at intermission.

And to begin the second half, the Yellowjacket express just kept right on rolling along -so much so that by the end of the third quarter, Williamstown had jumped out to a commanding lead that was to be the final score.

On just the second play from scrimmage in the second half, Hastings -who netted 177 yards on the day on 13 carries – burst through a hole right up the middle of the field for a 55-yard TD romp at the 11:12 mark.

Then on the Bishops’ initial play of the third quarter, Tracewell intercepted at the ‘Jacket 23 and returned to the Donahue 37, followed two plays later by his fourth touchdown of the game on a 35-yard run for a six-pointer and a 40-12 lead.

And things continued to go Williamstown’s way through the rest of the third quarter as Tracewell (7-of-10 passing for 121 yards) hooked up with Logan Lindsey for a 69-yard aerial TD at 7:18 for a 47-12 margin before Watson rammed into the end zone from five yards out at 1:20 for the game’s final score.

In all, Williamstown rolled up 506 yards while surrendering only 274 to Donahue, but just 88 rushing on 29 carries.

“We sort of made them one-dimensional,” said Yellowjacket head coach Terry Smith, who noted that even though Padlow passed for 186 yards, he did so by completing just 11 of 33 passes.

“We really got after him (Padlow) with pass-rush pressure when we knew they weren’t going to be able to run that much on us.”