Williamstown meets Tolsia in first round of W.Va. Class A football playoffs

Photo by Neal Smith Williamstown’s Rickie Allen (3) carries the ball during a high school football game against Tyler Consolidated earlier this season.

WILLIAMSTOWN — The No. 6 Williamstown Yellowjackets (5-2) welcome the No. 11 Tolsia Rebels (4-2), as a Sunday afternoon tilt between the two sends the winner to the quarterfinal round of the Class A football playoffs. Both teams are familiar with the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 map, as the teams have changed around their schedules multiple times. Still, Williamstown head coach Chris Beck wants his side to stay focused in the face of the possibility of this game not being played.

“The kids are resilient, and they have a good attitude,” he said of the team’s thought’s on playing amid the pandemic. “These young men have done everything we’ve asked them to. We have no positive cases on the team that we’re aware of. They’re at the mercy of a map they have no control over. They’ve done a great job blocking that out, and they’re getting better every week. They’re better than I would have been at that age.”

A balanced offense attack starts in the trenches, according to Beck. They focused on the fundamentals in practice with increased attention on blocking and tackling. Tolsia’s heavy hitters on offense include quarterback Jesse Muncy and wideout Zack Ball alongside running back John Wilson.

That trio gives the Yellowjackets their first big test in the playoffs, as the duo of converted running back Trevor Oates and quarterback Brayden Modesitt give WHS firepower needed to keep pace. Oates’s quick rise at running back is evident due to his stats. He managed 966 yards rushing and ten scores. His numbers in just seven games puts him right up there with runners like Ritchie’s Gus Morrison and St. Marys’ Tre Moss. The decision to put him at running back helped Modesitt and the rest of the offense settle in, as the offensive line is seeing increased production.

The nature of Class A throughout 2020 is such that multiple teams have an opportunity to take the next step. Beck knows his team can contend for the title in Wheeling, as his team prepares for the Rebels on Sunday.

“I do think we deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with other contenders as someone that could be competing for the title on the island, come December,” he said. “We’re in a situation where, typically, you have to be good, and you’re going to need a lot of luck. It’s my firm belief that championships should be decided on the field, not on a map. Unfortunately, with the situation the governor has created, our biggest opponent this week, and I mean no disrespect to Tolsia, is the map. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get our butts down to gold. Our opponent in to be able to play this game and beat this map.”

Lineman like Leewood Molessa and Brady Ankrom anchor both lines, as the dynamic Tolsia has with its guys upfront is going to be put to the test.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com


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