Williamstown gets unexpected bye week

Photo by Jordan Holland Williamstown’s Trevor Oates (8) carries the ball during a high school football game against St. Marys earlier this season.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Chris Beck and his Williamstown football team hoped to get back on the field one week after suffering a 33-14 loss to Wheeling Central. Those odds fell from OK to not great after Wood County turned gold (4 to 4.9% positivity rate) in Saturday’s COVID-19 map metrics.

“We tried,” the Yellowjacket head man lamented on seeking a replacement for originally scheduled opponent Magnolia, but to no avail.

Instead, Williamstown stews on the practice field for the next two weeks over an opportunity lost against the Maroon Knights. In a game the Yellowjackets looked to be taking the reins of after a 21-play drive chewed up 9:28 and ended with a Brayden Modesitt 5-yard touchdown pass to Louis Goodnow right before halftime, miscues in the third period allowed Central to regain the upperhand. Two fumbles and a dropped third-down pass turned into three Knight touchdowns as they pulled away for the victory.

“I really think it snowballed in the third quarter. We have to be more mentally tough and sound in all phases of the game. Our ends need to get better if we want to win this thing,” he said.

Yet, there was a silver lining, too.

One positive his staff and he took away from the match up was their team’s ability to move the football against the Knights’ defense. Trevor Oates running for 116 yards and the Jackets picking up 292 yards of total offense along with 17 first downs against a defense that at times held PHS’ high-powered offense in check is good news with the approaching postseason.

“We are pleased where we are, but we aren’t satisfied,” Beck said, whose group likely is looking at a home playoff game in the first round.

He hopes they will get a little luck, as well.

If Wood County goes into the orange or red, the ‘Jackets easily could have played their last game. Though the state ruled recently ruled in favor of the Doddridge County cross country team in its bid to participate in the regional and state tournaments, despite being in a dire situation, the two sports are vastly different in terms of athlete to athlete contact.

Though it should be noted, orange would still allow the Yellowjackets to practice.

“I am really worried what the map is going to say next week,” Beck said. “5.5 puts you in the orange and if you have two really bad days things can change in a hurry. I don’t know what the state will do about the orange and red counties. Are they going to roll this thing out there with counties that can’t play? Or stick to their guns and say orange is not playing? Saturday is going to be a circus.”

Nevertheless, Beck likes where his kids are and says that the outside circumstances aren’t going to affect their preparation in any way for the postseason.

“I think they are excited,” Beck said.

“The kids have been remarkable through all of this and had great attitudes. We need to get to practice and get better and get ready for the playoffs. So far they have done everything we and the state have asked them to do. They will be good and we have a good group of seniors.

“Right now we just need to focus on working on the fundamentals.”


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