MINFORD, Ohio — The Wheelersburg Pirates rattled off 40 unanswered points Friday night to beat the Minford Falcons 47-6 to remain perfect on the season.
Wheelersburg (8-0, 2-0) was led by Xander Carmichael and Chasen Burk. Carmichael scored two touchdowns in the first half — a 3-yard rush to open the scoring and a 4-yard plunge just before halftime.
Burk also scored two touchdowns on the night, both coming in the third quarter. Burk took the second half kickoff 98-yards to the house and later scored from a yard away. Burk finished with 172 all-purpose yards for the Pirates.
“Big players make big plays in big games, we always talk about that cliché and Chasen (Burk) did that, Kyle (Davis), Jordan (Howard), Xander Carmichael was a beast for us tonight,” Pirates coach Rob Woodward said. “And the offensive line, wow, they went up against some big defensive lineman and linebackers from Minford.
“I’m just really pleased with our kids performance and how they responded to a hostile environment.”
The game started off uncharacteristically for Wheelersburg as the Pirates turned the ball over twice in the first quarter, — once on an interception to end the opening drive and later on a muffed punt.
“Yes there were mistakes, but what I loved and what I addressed at halftime was how the kids responded,” Woodward said. ” … I was really happy with how our kids responded to the adversity.”
Even with the two early miscues, the Falcons were only able to capitalize by putting three points on the board off the two turnovers. Despite moving the ball in the first half, kicker Jacob Perry was the Minford offense — connecting on a 20-yarder and a 34-yard field goal, both coming in the second quarter as the Falcons trailed 14-6 at the break. .
“Defense was outstanding tonight,” Woodward said. ” … The players do a good job of recognizing things on the field. A lot of times we talk about Mojo in a game and momentum, and wow they’ve got a great kicker, but to step up and keep them out of the end zone — outstanding. I was very pleased with the defensive play throughout the entire ball game.”
Falcons coach Brent Daniels was pleased with his team’s performance afterward but he knew his squad gave away too many chances.
“We couldn’t convert those field goals to touchdowns in the first half to keep the momentum going, but our first half was lights out,” Daniels said. “We played extremely well on both sides of the football.
“The second half, the kickoff return kind of popped our bubble real quick and got us in a bad spot. We had a couple of turnovers in the second half but for the most part, I thought our kids gave effort all night long.”
The Pirates will travel to Valley next Friday to decided the SOC II championship. Minford travels to Waverly. Both games are scheduled to get underway at 7:00 p.m.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.
Wheelersburg — Carmichael 3 yd. run (Lewis kick), 3;12
Minford — Perry 20 yd. field goal, 9:46
Minford — Perry 34 yd. field goal, 3:22
Wheelersburg — Carmichael 4 yd. run (Lewis kick), :10.6
Wheelersburg — Burk 98 yd. kick return (Lewis kick), 11:45
Wheelersburg — Burk 1 yd. run (kick no good), 2:30
Wheelersburg — Davis 5 yd. run (Lewis kick), 9:16
Wheelersburg — Newsome 35 yd. run (Lewis kick), 4:00
Wheelersburg — Reyes 9 yd. run (conversion failed), 2:09
Rushing — Wheelersburg: Burk 8-72, Howard 9-68, Newsome 2-38, Davis 9-27, Carmichael 5-13, Reyes 2-9; Minford: Gaines 8-33, Compton 8-16, Kennedy 5-14, Gambill 7-9, Caudill 2-4, Spradlin 1-1, Brisker 1-1, Gray 6-(-8).
Passing — Wheelersburg: Davis 7-12-68; Minford: Gray 5-9-87.
Receiving — Wheelersburg: Howard 4-25, Bivens 1-23, Doerr 1-12, Burk 1-8; Minford: Stiltner 1-54, Gambill 2-18, Devore 2-15.
Wheelersburg 8-0 (2-0), Minford 4-4 (0-2).