The Wheelersburg Pirates will be going on to round two of the playoffs after beating the Ridgewood Generals 37-6.
Burg took every opportunity to build a large lead early the evening and held onto that lead all night. Pirate Mack Dyer was hot from the start of the game. Dyer came out big plays, giving Burg an early lead. Paired with the talented Tanner Holden, they taught Ridgewood how Pirates play ball. The two kept the scoreboard lit and the Jolly Roger flying. Keaton Newsome was a major player throughout the game, making major offensive plays and also stopping General advancements.
Less than four minutes into the game, Wheelersburg scored their first touchdown of the night. Ridgewood was quickly outmatched. General offense was unable to keep the ball, repeatedly losing the ball to the Pirates. Their defense didn’t perform much better unable to stop quick footed Pirates such as Tanner Bivens. After, the first Pirate score, Burg kept the touchdowns coming, finishing the first half with a 24 point lead. With only 16 seconds left in the second quarter, Burg attempted to punt the ball away when General Rayven Davidson blocked the punt and ran the ball for the first Ridgewood touchdown of the night, saving the Generals from entering the second half 30 points behind.
The game slowed some in the third quarter, as the Generals stepped in the field with a goal to close the gap. Still unable to score against the Pirates, the third quarter was a standoff that ended with neither team scoring. Ridgewood made a good effort to shake loose from the Pirates in the final seconds but fumbled the ball on a nearly victorious run. The fumble was recovered by Burg.
Ridgewood continued to slow the SOC champs in the fourth, but their effort was too little too late. Newsome closed the game with one final Pirate touchdown. A running clock started with just over two minutes in the game, running out the clock and bringing an end to the slaughter of the Generals.
Following the game, a very proud Pirate Coach Rob Woodward credited the effort of his guys for such a phenomenon win stating, “It was an outstanding game tonight. Our kids played outstanding tonight. You come in wanting to play well in the regular season and make it to the playoffs. Now, we want to win and advance in the playoffs.”
Woodward went on to say that the Pirates had hoped to exploit some the weaknesses of the Generals and did so well.
“We tried to come out and make some things happen early. I know they had a long drive. That’s rough on a team. We had some great guys come out and make a great effort, make some great plays, specifically Tanner Holden.
Pirate football will continue with round two of the playoffs next week against the Nelsonville York Buckeyes. Between now and then Woodward says the Pirates will be watching some Nelsonville footage to see where they can get the upper hand.
“We hope to come out with a strong defense, a good run-pass balance and to exploit holes in their defense,” Woodward commented.
The time and location of next week’s game will be available on Sunday.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1924
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