Williamstown falls to Wheeling Central, 33-0

Photo courtesy of Neal Smith Williamstown’s Donathan Taylor (5) carries the ball as Wheeling Central’s Adam Murray (55) tries to get off a block during a high school football game Thursday in Williamstown. Wheeling Central won, 33-0.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Defending Class A state champion Wheeling Central and head coach Mike Young opened its season in stride here Thursday night as the Maroon Knights blanked host Williamstown, 33-0.

The Yellowjackets missed a couple of big-play opportunities in the first half and the two-headed monster of Curtis McGhee III and Bray Price had a hand in all five of Central’s touchdowns as WHS head coach Terry Smith suffered just his second career shutout — the last coming during a 35-0 setback to Wirt County on Oct. 12 of 2012 also at Yellowjacket Field.

“We couldn’t run the ball. That was the thing,” Smith said. “We’re disappointed. I don’t know if we could ever beat that team, but we had five motion penalties. I know there is going to be a few penalties, but five, come on.

“You have drive killers right away and you don’t have a chance and that team obviously doesn’t need any help. They beat us off the ball and when we got off the ball we didn’t move anybody. We just couldn’t run the ball.”

A missed tackle in the hole on Central’s first drive resulted in a Price 62-yard run to paydirt and it was 7-0 visitors with 10:58 left following Jacob Rine’s PAT.

The ‘Jackets picked up a first down on their initial drive thanks to a roughing the punter penalty. However, a missed opportunity between WHS quarterback Carter Haynes and tailback Donathan Taylor on a wide open flat pass with no one around resulted in a punt.

Ryan Brown’s sack of McGhee helped the hosts get a three-and-out and WHS had the ball at the Central 48 before a false start. On third-and-11 at the Central 49, Taylor was wide open down the sideline, but couldn’t quite haul in the pass from Haynes as he just managed to get one hand on the ball.

Central’s Nick Sherman proceeded to block the ‘Jacket punt on fourth down and Anthony Robbins grabbed it out of the air. Five plays later it was 14-0 with 4:01 left in the first following a Price 5-yard TD run.

Eric Brown’s 33-yard kickoff return had the hosts in Central territory to open their next series, but another false start came on first down. Despite getting a person foul penalty and having a first-and-10 at the Central 27, WHS was eventually forced to punt.

Another sack by Ryan Brown ended Central’s next drive, but the ‘Jackets couldn’t muster much offense as Central pushed ahead 20-0 following a McGhee 62-yard TD burst with 3:15 remaining in the half.

Williamstown, which returns to action at 7 p.m. next Friday at Alumni Field versus Magnolia, fumbled on its opening possession of the second half, which quickly led to a 27-0 deficit as McGhee dropped back to pass and then ran untouched to the end zone at the 9:24 mark and then ran 34 yards.

Yellowjacket upman Kyle Barker then grabbed a Central onside kick and coach Smith’s squad put together quite the non-scoring drive. In total, WHS went 48 yards on 18 plays and consumed 7:59 of the clock, but Haynes’ pass on third-and-7 at the Central 8 was intercepted by Jalen Creighton when the ‘Jacket receiver slipped.

Central, which welcomes in Madonna at 7 p.m. Thursday, tacked on its final six-pointer on the next drive — a 21-yard TD strike from McGhee to Price. The extra point attempt was blocked by Eric Brown.

“I don’t think that would’ve mattered,” coach Smith added of starting center Brady Ankrom leaving the game on defense before the ‘Jackets even had the ball. “But again, with no depth at all our center goes down so we have to mix and match and that’s the way it goes.

“I don’t think anyone is feeling sorry for us, but that’s life. What happens is if you are on the sideline it’s your opportunity and you’ve got to take advantage.”

McGhee toted 12 times for 122 yards and hit on 9 of 16 passes for 134 stripes. Price rushed five times for 69 yards and had five receptions for 83 yards.

Haynes led the hosts with 20 rushes for 76 stripes while Taylor had 19 totes and 46 yards. Central held a 399-158 advantage in total yards.

Wheeling Central 33, Williamstown 0

Central 14 6 7 6 — 33

Wtown 0 0 0 0 — 0

WC: Bray Price 62 run (Jacob Rine kick) 10:58, 1st

WC: Price 5 run (Rine kick) 4:01, 1st

WC: Curtis McGhee III 62 run (kick blocked) 3:15, 2nd

WC: McGhee 34 run (Rine kick) 9:24, 3rd

WC: Price 21 pass from McGhee (kick blocked) 9:56, 4th

Team stats

W. Central: First downs: 15; Rushes-yards: 32-252; Passing yards: 147; Total yards: 399; Passing: 10-17-0; Punts-average: 4-36.0; Fumbles-lost: 0-0; Penalties-yards: 9-102

WHS: First downs: 12; Rushes-yards: 44-135; Passing yards: 23; Total yards: 158; Passing: 7-21-1; Punts-average: 6-24.2; Fumbles-lost: 2-1; Penalties-yards: 9-85

Individual stats

W. Central: Rushing: Jacob Rine 2-8, Payton Marling 1-1, Bray Price 5-69, Curtis McGhee III 12-122, Vinnie Mangino 6-40, Jordan Waterhouse 3-15, Andrew Johnson 1-8, Team 2-(-11); Passing: Rine 1-1-0, 13 yards; McGhee 9-16-0, 134 yards; Receiving: Marling 1-3, Price 5-83, Jalen Creighton 2-26, Anthony Robbins 1-22, Vinnie High 1-13

WHS: Rushing: Carter Haynes 20-76, Donathan Taylor 19-46, Ty Moore 5-13; Passing: Taylor 0-1-0, 0 yards; Haynes 7-20-1, 23 yards; Receiving: Eric Brown 3-19, Nick Bondi 2-3, Moore 2-1

Next games: Williamstown at Magnolia 7 p.m. next Friday; Madonna at Wheeling Central 7 p.m. Thursday.