Keeping your word is always important in anything that is done in life.
And over the course of the 2017 season, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ football program has kept their word, while frustrating their opponents on a weekly basis.
On Friday evening, Wheelersburg frustrated another SOC II conference foe as the Pirates collected 475 yards of total offense — including 266 yards passing from Trent Salyers on 15-of-20 passing — while holding the Minford Falcons to 114 total yards of offense in defeating the Falcons by a 59-7 tally on Friday evening in Minford.
From the outset, Wheelersburg’s offensive display proved to be nothing less than dominant as the Pirates scored three touchdowns within the first 10 minutes of the affair as Salyers found three different receivers — Xander Carmichael, Tanner Holden, and Makya Matthews — for 22, 12, and eight-yard touchdown passes, respectively, to put Wheelersburg in front by a 21-0 tally with 2:56 still to go in the first quarter. Salyers and Cole Lowery then added rushing touchdowns of eight and four yards, respectively, with 10:35 and 6:50 to play in the opening half to start the running clock as the Pirates took a 35-0 lead into the halftime break.
After Salyers threw his fourth and final touchdown pass of the affair — a 15-yard strike to Mack Dyer — to put Wheelersburg ahead by a 42-0 tally, the Pirates substituted in mass numbers. However, that didn’t stop Wheelersburg from putting up 17 additional tallies on the scoreboard, as a 28-yard field goal from Jalen Miller with 4:08 to play in the third quarter, along with a 68-yard touchdown run by Hunter Ruby and a 35-yard interception return by Jeremiah Dempsey in the final frame of action, capped off the scoring. Minford scored its lone touchdown with six seconds remaining to cap off the scoring.
For the contest, Salyers, with his 266 yards and four touchdowns through the air on 15-of-18 passing, eclipsed the 2,000-yard passing mark for the season thanks to the splendid performance that the junior put together on Friday evening.
In the process of throwing for 266 yards, Salyers found seven different receivers on the evening in his 18 completions. Holden (five catches, 86 yards, TD), Lowery (three catches, 73 yards), Matthews (three catches, 43 yards, TD), Carmichael (one catch, 22 yards, TD), and Avery Donini (one catch, 26 yards) were the main recipients, while Dyer and Bryson Keeney added 18 yards between them to round out the overall effort. Wheelersburg also obtained an excellent effort from Ashton Clevenger, who gained 90 yards on 11 carries in an increased role.
Defensively, Nic Parsley and Evan Horsley led the way for the Pirates defensively as the pair collected four tackles apiece on Friday evening, with Parsley collecting three solo stops and a sack on his own to. Matthews and Brady Warner each added three solo tackles, and interceptions from Dempsey and Donini, along with an additional sack from Chris Bailey, rounded out yet another fantastic defensive effort that saw 28 different players collect tackles for Wheelersburg on the evening.
With the win behind them, the Pirates will turn their attention to a Week 9 affair against Valley, which will commence next Friday at 7 p.m. in a SOC II matchup. Minford, meanwhile, will make the trek to Waverly, where the Falcons will look to establish positive momentum against the Tigers in another SOC II bout.