To Patriots 35-3
Dylan Gump follows through with a punt during action in last Saturday's Class AAA first round playoff game at Wheeling Island Stadium. The Minutemen fell to the Patriots 35-3 to end their season with a 8-3 record. (Photo by Molly Burkhammer)
Senior Luke Pudder celebrates after sacking the quarterback from WPHS. (Photo by Melissa Riley)
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Lewis County Minutemen traveled to Wheeling Island Stadium for a first round Class AAA state playoff game against the Wheeling Park Patriots. The Minutemen and Patriots both came into the contest with 8-2 records with Wheeling Park ranked # 8 and Lewis County ranked # 9 in the 16 team playoff field. Lewis County won the opening toss and deferred the option to the second half. Riley Gunter then executed a perfect squib kick that was recovered at the Wheeling Park 34 yard line by Michael Pinkney.
The Minutemen offense could not get untracked as they would lose two yards and were forced to punt the ball to the Patriots.
Wheeling Park started its initial drive at their own 20 yard line and then went to work. Killian Coyne hit Mike Grove with a 41 yard pass play that took the ball to the Lewis County 24 yard line.
Theo Blackston then ran the final 24 yards in 3 carries to put the Patriots on the board with a 2 yard touchdown run. Grove kicked the extra point, and Wheeling Park had a 7-0 lead. Lewis County's next drive would get them into Patriot territory again but was ended when Ryan Carson was stopped on a fourth down run.
The Minutemen defense then held the Patriots to a three and out and forced them to punt the ball. Matt Norman broke through the line and blocked the punt that was recovered by Austin Hughes at the Wheeling Park 20 yard line.
Lewis County's offense was stopped once again and Riley Gunter came on to kick a 30 yard field goal to cut the Park lead to 7-3 with just 2:22 left to play in the opening period. The next Wheeling Park drive would start at the end of the first quarter and carry over into the second quarter when Grove missed a 24 yard field goal.
Lewis County's first drive of the second quarter was a short one as they were forced to punt after a three and out. The Patriots then went 41 yards in six plays and scored when Blackston scored on a 32 yard run and Grove added the PAT. Wheeling Park had a 14-3 lead with 5:58 left to play in the first half. Neither would put up any points for the rest of the first half and the Patriots had a 14-3 halftime lead.
The Minutemen would have the ball first to start the second half but were again forced to punt the ball back to the Patriots. The Lewis County defense would then force the Patriots to punt the ball back to the Minutemen.
Lewis County would then finally get its ground game untracked. Damien White, Ryan Carson. Isaac Kemper and Austin Hughes moved the ball to the Wheeling Park 15 yard line. The drive would come to a close as Brandon White attempted to pitch the ball to Brandon Moneypenny, but it hit the turf. Clay McDonald recovered it for the Patriots. The Patriots used big pass plays to move the ball into Minutemen territory. Blackston went in from 9 yards out to give Park a 21-3 lead with 2:37 left to play in the third quarter.
Wheeling would do the only scoring in the fourth quarter. They scored two more touchdowns. The first was Blackston's fourth score of the game a 15 yard run and the final one was when Chase Adams scored from 31 yards out to make the final score 35-3 in favor of the Patriots.
Wheeling Park with the win will face #1 Capital this weekend and moved to 9-2 on the season.
Lewis County saw its season come to a close and finished with an 8-3 record. The playoff trip for the Minutemen was their third straight and fifth in six seasons and sixth overall. The Minutemen are coached by Head Coach Eddie Vincent who is in his eighth season at Lewis County. The Minutemen are 50-36 during Vincent's eight seasons at LCHS. Vincent is assisted by Dustin Cogar, Bill Powers, Rick Reynolds, Charles Simms, Jimmy Hankins, Tyke Foster, Tom Rogers and Dave Gosa.
The Minutemen said good bye to 17 seniors as they played their last game at Lewis County. The senior class had a record of 28-16 during their four seasons for the Minutemen. The 17 seniors who ended their Lewis County careers were Brandon Moneypenny, Tyler Butcher, Brandon White, Matt Norman, Michael Pinkney, Ryan Watson, Isaac Kemper, Ryan Carson, Ross Harvey, Scott Goldsmith, Brenton Riffle, William Doss, Colton Jones, Austin Kessler, Jeremy Curtis, Luke Pudder and Cory Smarr. Congratulations to the Lewis County players and coaches on another successful season in 2014.
Score by Quarters
Lewis County 3 0 0 0 - 3
Wheeling Park 7 7 7 14 - 35
WP - Theo Blackston 2 yard run (Mike Grove kick)
LC - Riley Gunter 30 yard field goal
WP - Blackston 32 yard run(Grove kick)
WP - Blackston 9 yard run (Chase Gheen kick)
WP - Blackston 15 yard run (Gheen kick)
WP - Chase Adams 31 yard run (Gheen kick)
Team Statistics LC WP
First Downs 8 21
Rushing Yards 138 238
Passing Yards 3 238
Total Yards 141 476
Punts 4-34.5 1-31
Fumbles 3 2
Fumbles Lost 1 0
Penalty Yards 3-25 10-74
Rushing: Lewis County: Isaac Kemper 7-41; Ryan Carson 15-42; Damien White 4-7; Brandon White 1-(-8); Team 2-(-6); Totals 46-138
Wheeling Park: Theo Blackston 24-181; Mike Grove 6-29; Killian Coyne 2-(-17); Jaelan Bartlett 1-3; Team 1-(-17); Chase Adams 8-59; Totals 42-238
Passing: Lewis County: Brandon White 1 of 9 for 3 yards
Wheeling Park: Killian Coyne 13 of 19 for 238 yards
Receiving: Lewis County: Austin Hughes 1-3
Wheeling Park: Elijah Bell 7-103; Mike Grove 1-41; Theo Blackston 1-4; Isaac Turner 1-32; Spencer Wiley 2-32; Jacob Long 1-26
Yards 2-15 2-15
Rushing: Lewis County: Thomas Hogan 1-0; Jacob White 3-15; Jon Gum 1-(-3); Damien White 11-47; Austin Hughes 11-47; Ryan Carson 14-82; Brandon White 2-(-8); Isaac Kemper 5-58; Michael Pinkney 2-22; Jacob Moneypenny 2-8; Luke Dublin 4-8; Ryan Watson 1-19; Totals 50-294
Passing: Lewis County: Brandon White 4 of 6 for 62 yards with 1 touchdown; Thomas Hogan 1 of 1 for 59 yards and 1 touchdown
Receiving: Lewis County: Dylan Gump 4-114; Brandon Moneypenny 1-7
Win 1st Place
Lewis County Pee Wee Cheerleaders win First Place. The cheerleaders competed in the MYF Cheerleading Competition on Saturday Nov. 15, at East Fairmont High School where they claimed the first place victory.Pictured left to right, front row: Alexis Murphy, Kamryn Franklin, Brianna Pritt, Jenna Waugh, Karli Foster, Isabelle Roddy, Lacie Dever, Jaiden Jenkins, Hannah Strader and Maria Brown; second row: Katie Smith, Maryam Banyamin, Faith Heater, Brinleigh Turner, Malena Brown, Adrianna Blanco and Coach Paige Cross; third row: Sarah Smith, Taylor Conrad, Maia Daugherty, Jayleigh Berg and Mary Ellen Tracey; fourth row: Coach Linsey Lamb, Coach Heather Smith, April Messenger, Chantrice Smarr, Elleonna Stump, Brooklyn Hefner, Megan Arbogast and Head Coach Lisa Foster. (Photo contributed)