CINCINNATI — Simply put, the Cincinnati McNicholas Rockets couldn’t keep up with the Jones —or for that matter the entire band of Wheelersburg Pirates on Friday night.
Wheelersburg senior quarterback Eli Jones that is.
That’s because Jones rushed for 134 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries, including a one-yard sneak in overtime —as the Pirates pulled off a monster non-league football win, stunning the host Rockets 42-35 in an epic affair.
Both teams are now 1-1, with Wheelersburg bouncing back in a monumental way —following its 12-3 hard-fought loss against Ironton in its opener.
It was a back-and-forth, and duke-it-out, encounter against the Rockets —as the game featured five ties (7-7, 14-14, 21-21, 28-28 and 35-35) before going to overtime.
The Pirates held first-half advantages of 7-0 and 14-7, before the Rockets raced back with the final 14 points of the opening half —over the final eight-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter.
An Ethan Gardner 16-yard pass reception from Braden Bobo with 15 tics before halftime gave the Rockets their only lead, as Jones —who scored his first touchdown on a nine-yard run only seven seconds into the second stanza —scored twice on second-half runs to push the Pirates back in front 28-21.
Just two minutes and 41 seconds into the third frame, Jones’ 27-yard dash —combined with Connor Estep’s extra-point kick — tied the game again at 21-21.
The Pirates then retook the lead with eight minutes and 50 seconds showing —on Jones’ first of his two one-yard drives.
The second of course came in overtime —as the Pirates had the ball first and got the TD to go up 42-35.
Wheelersburg then denied McNicholas on its extra-session possession, posting the gigantic road win —all the way over in Cincinnati.
Creed Warren, with runs of 33 and 27 yards including the latter with only a minute and 52 seconds showing in regulation, accounted for the other two Pirate paydirt trips.
In addition to Jones’ 15 for 134 and four TD, Warren went off for 92 yards on only six carries —as Eric Lattimore muscled for 91 yards on nine attempts.
Derrick Lattimore chipped in 60 yards on 11 tries, and Ethan Glover gained 50 yards on nine touches, as the run-oriented Pirates punished the Rockets on the ground —erupting for 439 yards on 52 rushes, compared to 28 for 104 for McNicholas.
Wheelersburg outgained the Rockets by an even 100 yards (472-372) —as Jones completed half of six passes for 33, including two to tight end Caleb Arthur for 28.
Gardner caught two touchdowns from Bobo, who completed all but 10 of his 35 passes for 268 yards —with Ty Snyder catching seven (47 yards), Tyler Haynes hauling in six (61 yards), and Bobo boasting five (69 yards).
Snyder scored twice and was the Rockets’ rushing leader with 69 yards on 15 carries — as his 15-yard burst with 15 seconds left, combined with Rollie Gabriel’s fifth of five successful extra-point kicks, forced overtime tied at 35-all.
Although, Estep outdid Gabriel by one PAT kick —thanks to Jones keeping up, and getting in the end zone, in overtime en route to the dramatic victory.
The Pirates return to the road, and return to non-league action, on Friday night at Russell (Ky.).
* * *
Wheelersburg 7 7 7 14 7—42
McNicholas 7 14 0 14 0 —35
W — Creed Warren, 33-yard run (Connor Estep kick), 5:50, 1st (7-0 W)
M — Ty Snyder, 7-yard run (Rollie Gabriel kick), 4:24, 1st (7-7 tie)
W — Eli Jones, 9-yard run (Connor Estep kick), 11:53, 2nd (14-7 W)
M — Ben Bobo, 12-yard run (Rollie Gabriel kick), 8:30, 2nd (14-14 tie)
M — Ethan Gardner, 16-yard pass from Braden Bobo (Rollie Gabriel kick), :15, 2nd (21-14 M)
W — Eli Jones, 27-yard run (Connor Estep kick), 9:19, 3rd (21-21 W)
W — Eli Jones, 1-yard run (Connor Estep kick), 8:50, 4th (28-21 W)
M — Ethan Gardner, 15-yard pass from Braden Bobo (Rollie Gabriel kick), 5:29, 4th (28-28 tie)
W — Creed Warren, 27-yard run (Connor Estep kick), 1:52, 4th (35-28 W)
M — Ty Snyder, 15-yard run (Rollie Gabriel kick), :15, 4th (35-35 tie)
W — Eli Jones, 1-yard run (Connor Estep kick), OT (42-35 W)
First downs 24 25
Scrimmage plays 58 64
Rushes-yards 52-439 28-104
Passing yards 33 268
Total yards 472 372
Cmp-Att-Int. 3-6-0 25-36-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 10-100 8-65
Punts-Ave. 3-39.7 3-32.3
Time of possession 23:00 25:00
RUSHING —Wheelersburg: Eli Jones 15-134 4TD, Creed Warren 6-92 2TD, Eric Lattimore 9-91, Derrick Lattimore 11-60, Ethan Glover 9-50, Xavier Mowery 1-7, Kenyon Evans 1-5; McNicholas: Ty Snyder 15-69 2TD, Ben Bobo 4-17 TD, Braiden Bobo 7-10, Tyler Haynes 1-8, Carson Young 1-0
PASSING — Wheelersburg: Eli Jones 3-6-0-33; McNicholas: Braden Bobo 25-35-0-268 2TD, Team 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING —Wheelersburg: Caleb Arthur 2-28, Eric Lattimore 1-5; McNicholas: Ben Bobo 5-69, Tyler Haynes 6-61, Ty Snyder 7-47, Jay Dietz 3-34, Ethan Gardner 2-31 2TD, Matthew Mitchell 1-19, Carson Young 1-7
© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved