Over the course of the 2017 season, the West Senators have proven to be a second-half team.
On Friday evening, that point was represented once again as West used another efficient passing game from Dylan Bradford, a 72-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance from Garrett Hurd, and a stingy defense that collected four interceptions on the evening to collect a 28-6 victory over the Coal Grove Hornets in Coal Grove while moving to 3-0 on the year in the process.
Initially, Coal Grove was able to strike with the opening salvo as a two-yard pass from Nate Harmon to Kyle Sites on the Hornets’ opening drive allowed Coal Grove to take a 6-0 advantage early on in the contest.
However, after struggling to get its offensive attack going in the initial frame, West began to come alive in the second frame, as evidenced by Hurd’s performance. The 5-7, 150-pound bull — who collected his 72 tallies on 18 carries for exactly four yards per touch — ran for the first of his two touchdowns, a three-yard tote, to give West a 7-6 lead that the Senators would carry into halftime.
With the defense — behind a massive 16-tackle performance from Josh Berry — continuing to hold up its end of the bargain, the offense was able to gap Coal Grove as Berry used the energy from his fantastic defensive performance to vault into the end zone for a nine-yard run with 6:08 to play in the third quarter of play.
Then Bradford — who went 11-of-16 through the air for 105 yards — added his lone touchdown of the evening on a 19-yard throw to Cody Staggs, which allowed the Senators to open the contest up with 55.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Hurd’s final touchdown tote — a two-yarder with 7:48 to play — rounded out the scoring.
As a whole, the West defense proved to be the star of the show as the Senators bent, but never broke in forcing Coal Grove into four turnovers — all interceptions — and limiting the Hornets to 104 rushing yards on 32 carries. Brandon Weaver joined Berry in the double-digit tackle column with 10 stops while Ryan Spriggs and Gabe Skaggs each collected nine stops to lead West. Berry and Spriggs, along with Kane Lewis and Cody Staggs, each collected a pick for the Senators.
Offensively, Berry was equally impressive as the junior collected 24 yards and his lone score on just four carries for a six-yard average. Staggs led the receiving core with 31 yards and a touchdown on two catches, while L.T. Maynard (two catches, 20 yards) and Caleb Journey (three catches, 18 yards) rounded out another strong performance for West. Bradford also spread the ball around to Berry, Hurd, Skaggs, and Isaiah Norman, who each had a catch for at least five yards or more on the evening.
For the season, Bradford has completed 27 of his 41 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns to just one interception while Hurd has collected 324 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 59 carries. Berry has 241 all-purpose yards as the three-headed monster has continued to produce in 2017.
Defensively, Berry leads the team with 31 tackles while Skaggs (28), Jakeb Guilkey (27), and Weaver (24) are just behind. Spriggs (22), Cody Staggs (22), and Drew Cassidy (21) also hold over 20 tackles through the Senators’ first three games in 2017.
With the victory, West moved to 3-0 on the year. The Senators will make the trip to Wellston as West will look to start the season with a 4-0 mark with a win over the Golden Rockets.