(09/26/2009)
By Gaylen Duskey

realfang@citlink.net

Williamstown won the 2008 West Virginia Class A football title.

Friday night it showed why and it showed that it may be even better this year as it hammered Calhoun County 65-22 in a game that will, at least temporarily, knock the Red Devils out of the top 16 (playoff) spots.

The game was never really close as Williamstown jumped to a 14-0 first quarter lead and a 35-7 halftime lead en route to the lopsided win.

The win was not quite as lopsided -- still convincing, but not as lopsided -- as the score would indicate since the Red Devils allowed two 80-plus-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns on back-to-back kicks. Those scores negated what was a bit of a Red Devils surge that would have made the final score a 20-something-point loss a 40-something-point loss.

But all was not bad for the Red Devils.

Some positives:

-- They found out they could pass the ball hitting on nine of 22 passes for 114 yards and one interception. But often on pass attempts quarterbacks Zach Moore and Ben Laughlin no more than got the snap before the had to run for their lives.

-- They found out they could move the ball on the ground against a very good defense, especially when they went to the power-I formation. They scored their only first half touchdown on a sustained drive that saw sophomore Cory Metz go in from a yard out.

-- They found they could score on defense as Aaron Yoak gobbled up a Williamstown fumble and rambled 49 yards for the score.

-- They found out that backup running backs (although playing against Williamstown backups, could move too as Daniel Sims with 18 yards rushing and a touchdown.

-- They found out that they are not quitters as they kept coming at the bigger Yellowjackets time and again even as the score mounted against the.

There were some negatives too.

They included:

-- Real poor tackling on kickoff returns. Calhoun kicked of four times and two resulted in touchdowns for Williamstown.

-- Nobody seemed to be able to tackle Joe Palm who had 163 yards rushing and three touchdowns before being pulled out of the game in the third quarter.

-- They are still susceptible to the quick-hitter passes which Williamstown favored over the long bomb.

For Calhoun leading the way offensively was Randy Fluharty with 49 yards rushing on 14 carries and 46 yards receiving on three catches before being pulled (along with the rest of the starting offensive backfield) in the third quarter. No other back had more than 25 yards rushing.

This is exactly the situation Calhoun found itself in at the midway mark of the 2008 season last year. The Red Devils were 3-2 and out of the top 16.

But that's when Calhoun beat South Harrison to start a four-game winning streak that propelled it into the playoffs.

This year's team faces the same challenge this coming Friday night when it travels to Lost Creek to meet 4-1 South Harrison.


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