Job Swords made his presence known Friday night as the senior led the Senators on offense, made the game-saving play on defense and as a result, West (2-1) picked up its first victory of the season with an 8-6 win over Coal Grove.
With under three minutes to play in the game, Hornet quarterback Daniel Rutherford broke through the Senator defense and appeared to be poised to score the go ahead and potential game-winning touchdown when Swords displayed his speed, chasing down Rutherford at the West 5-yard line.
However, it wasn’t just enough that Swords was able to make the tackle, he also stripped the ball out of Rutherford’s hands. The ball went out of the back of the endzone, which signaled a touchback, giving the ball back to West — essentially sealing the victory for the Senators.
“(Swords) really stepped up and made some plays for us,” Senators head coach Ben Johnson said. “We were down several guys with injuries and we just needed somebody to step up. That was just one of the most incredible plays I’ve ever seen at the end of the game to chase that guy down and make that play. That’s something I’ll remember the rest of my life.”
Swords also starred on an offense that only found the endzone once. The senior playmaker rushed for 119 yards on 29 carries while also hauling in four pass for 78 yards; including a 27-yard pass from Brady Douthat at the end of the second quarter.
Defensively, the Senators returned to form, allowing 146 yards on the ground and 86 through the air.
“It really was great to see, that’s the way we want to win,” Johnson said. “It’s good if we can get our offense going a little bit more but the defense and special teams finally came together for us. It all came together on one night.
Our special teams was outstanding. We were able to make plays on defense.”
West will attempt to get back to .500 next week when the Senators travel to Wellston.
“Hopefully this gives our guys confidence and we can build on that, and keep the momentum rolling,” Johnson said.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.
West 0 8 0 0 — 8
Coal Grove 6 0 0 0 — 6
Coal Grove — McKnight 50 yd pass from Rutherford (kick blocked), :15.2
West — Swords 27 yd pass from Douthat (conversion good), :42.5
Rushing — West: Swords 29-118, Berry 6-25, Kegley 3-7, Staggs 1-4, Carver 1-3, Dputhat 1-(-6); Coal Grove: Rutherford 13-70.
Passing — West: Douthat 4-9-98, Berry 2-5-7, Swords 0-1; Coal Grove: Rutherford 2-7-86.
Receiving — West: Swords 4-78, Braedon Oliver 1-24, Reed 1-4; Coal Grove: McKnight 1-50.
Records — West 1-2; Coal Grove 0-3.