MINFORD – In a back-and-forth game with big plays on both sides of the ball made by both teams, it was the Minford Falcons who made enough big plays to escape a home battle with the Division III Wilmington Hurricanes 31-27 to improve to 4-0.
“We did some things pretty well tonight, but I also think we did some things that put us in bad spots,” Minford head coach Jesse Ruby said following narrow win. “It kind of kept Wilmington in the game early, they came out fired up and ready to play. It’s something we’ve got to work on, being able to execute like we did the first three weeks. But overall extremely happy with the win.”
Minford scored the first points of the game following a Wilmington fumble recovered by junior Drew Skaggs. Skaggs made big plays all night for the Falcons in the win.
After the fumble recovery, Minford went three and out and settled for a 28 yard Caleb Yuhas chip shot to take a 3-0 lead with 7:27 to go in the first quarter.
On the next drive, aided by great field position on the kickoff and a 29 yard catch and run by Isaiah Rigling, Wilmington senior quarterback Cam Coomer crossed the endzone on a five yard touchdown rush with 4:55 left in the first quarter to give the Hurricanes a 7-3 lead.
In the second quarter, Minford’s Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis hooked up with another familiar name in Matthew Risner for a 48 yard touchdown with 9:50 left in the half as the Falcons retook the lead 10-7.
With 4:49 left in the second quarter, Skaggs forced his second Hurricanes turnover of the game with a big interception at the Wilmington 36 yard line. However, no points would come off this drive.
After an excellent punt which was fielded at the Wilmington one yard line, Risner forced his first Hurricanes turnover of the game, this time a one yard interception for a touchdown to give Minford a 16-7 lead with 2:52 left in the half after the Yuhas extra point was no good.
Rory Bell hit a 33 yard field goal with one second left in the first half to bring Wilmington to within one score (16-10) at the halftime break. Three first half turnovers were the cause of the Hurricanes misfortunes at the midway point.
In the second half, both teams took to the ground attack.
Wilmington’s Kendal France made an excellent read on a Minford screen pass for a 45 yard interception returned for a touchdown to give the Hurricanes a 17-16 lead with 10:45 left in the third quarter.
Two drives later, Minford’s Ty Wiget showed off his wheels for a 62 yard breakaway touchdown to give Minford a 23-17 lead with 8:18 left in the third quarter.
On their next drive, it was Wilmington’s Coomer who showed his breakaway speed on a 42 yard touchdown rush by the senior quarterback to put the Hurricanes in front of Minford 24-23 with 4:55 left in the third.
Four plays later, Vogelsong-Lewis hooked up with Risner for a 34 yard touchdown reception. The Falcons converted their two point try thanks to Ty Wiget’s conversion rush to retake the lead over Wilmington 31-24 with 2:59 left in the 3rd quarter.
From here on out, it was a defensive showdown.
Rory Bell of Wilmington capped off a red-zone trip for his Hurricanes with a 34 yard field goal, his second make of the night, to shorten Minford’s lead to 31-27.
Minford attempted a 34 yard field goal to extend their lead to seven after a long drive which used over five minutes of game clock, but Yuhas couldn’t connect.
After a huge Wilmington turnover on downs aided by penalties and big stops by the Minford defense on the ensuing possession, Vogelsong-Lewis fumbled the ball on the Hurricanes 31 yard line to give Wilmington one more shot at the end zone with 1:48 left in the game.
Coomer connected on passes to Carter Huffman, Isaiah Rigling, and Chris Custis in their final drive of the game, but a game-sealing interception by Minford’s Risner allowed the Falcons to escape with a 31-27 homecoming night win over the visiting Hurricanes.
In total, Skaggs and Risner combined for four forced turnovers, one defensive touchdown, 194 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns.
“Those two guys show up and play every week, offensively and defensively, and they did a great job tonight,” Ruby said of Risner and Skaggs. “It was a whole team effort, so hopefully we can carry this into next week.”
With Friday’s win, Minford improved to 4-0 while Wilmington fell to 1-3.
Minford will prepare for a road trip to East Clinton next Friday as they hope to improve to 5-0 for the second consecutive season.
“I want to see us get better at what we do,” Ruby said. “Limiting penalties, limiting turnovers. If we can do those things, we should be in good shape.”
|Yards (Rushing-Passing)||342 (175-167)||400 (170-230)|
|Time of Possession||27:03||20:57|
|Penalties||9 for 100 yards||6 for 49 yards|
Wilmington: Cam Coomer 22-157- 2 TD, Connor Mitchell 4-10, Malik Scott 4-6, Zaine Cowin 3-2, Isaiah Rigling 1-0
Minford: Ty Wiget 16-130-TD, Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis 11-40
Wilmington: Cam Coomer: 15/33 167 yards, 0 TD, 3 INTs
Minford: Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis: 12/19, 230 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs
Wilmington: Isaiah Rigling 6-83, Carter Huffman 5-52, Chris Custis 4-33, Kendal France 1- -6
Minford: Matthew Risner 5-110 2TDs, Drew Skaggs 2-84, Ty Wiget 3-13, Bryson Ashley 1-16, Timmy Walk 1-7
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved