WHEELERSBURG — Derrick Lattimore rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday to help guide Wheelersburg to a 47-13 win over Portsmouth West in the second round of the OHSAA Division V, Region 19 state playoffs at Ed Miller Stadium.
Lattimore’s effort was part of a 201-yard rushing performance by the Pirates’ offense, but Wheelersburg (6-1) won with defense, too.
The Pirates forced five West turnovers — each of which set up head coach Rob Woodward’s team with favorable field position.
Wheelersburg did not commit any turnover themselves.
“I thought defensively we played lights out,” Woodward said. “That’s been a huge emphasis for us is the turnover margin.”
Woodward added that his team played well in all three phases of the game, and praised his offensive line for opening up running lanes for Lattimore and his teammates.
The sophomore back scored on runs of 22, four and 28 yards by the midway point of the third quarter.
Lattimore also credited his offensive line for its work.
“My line helped me,” Lattimore said. “We worked on that during practice because we didn’t do well last time against West and we knew we had to change some things. We did that today.”
Pirates senior quarterback Jake Gregg had solid pocket protection, too, and accordingly turned that into a 143-yard passing performance with two touchdowns.
The first came on Wheelersburg’s first play from scrimmage when he connected with senior receiver Matthew Miller for a 60-yard score.
Lattimore scored his first touchdown on a 22-yard run on the Pirates’ next series, although a missed extra point left the lead at 13-0.
Eli Swords’ 1-yard run made it 19-0 when West finally mounted a scoring drive.
That possession started at West’s own 45-yard line after a short kickoff by the Pirates following Swords’ run.
If Wheelersburg struggled during the game, it was with penalties.
A late hit out-of-bounds handed the Senators a 15-yard penalty when they would have faced third-and-6 at midfield.
Instead, with a first and 10 at the Wheelersburg 34, West quarterback Mitchell Irwin hit Jeffery Bishop on a 26-yard pass to set the Senators up inside the Pirates’ 10-yard-line.
One play later, Irwin found Bishop again for the first of two touchdowns the pair would have in the game.
Wheelersburg blocked West’s extra point try to leave the score at 19-6.
On its next series, Wheelersburg marched 55 yards on six plays to get its three-possession lead back on a Case Dyer run.
Miller’s second touchdown catch and two more touchdowns by Lattimore would precede West’s next touchdown, the final score of the game.
“The biggest thing I’m proud about this season is the great effort our guys put in during the offseason getting ready for this year, even with all of the adversity and the protocols,” Senators coach Ben Johnson said, after the game.
West (4-4) has already picked up a Friday (Oct. 23) road game at Portsmouth that will serve as a regular season game and will be seeking to add one more contest for a 10-game schedule.
West’s win over Chesapeake in the first round of the playoffs was sandwiched between a pair of losses to Wheelersburg — one to end their original six-game regular season and another in defeat Saturday.
Wheelersburg was quick to pounce on West and the Senators never managed to recover.
“We wanted start fast, finish fast and out-hit our opponent,” Gregg said. “I think we did that.”
Wheelersburg will be home again on Saturday (Oct. 24) to meet No. 6-seed Bishop Ready at 7 p.m. in one of four Region 19 quarterfinal contests.
The Silver Knights (6-2) defeated Northwest 52-3 at Fortress Obetz to earn the chance at defeating the higher-seeded Pirates.
It will be the two teams’ first meeting since Wheelersburg’s opening game of their 2017 Division V state championship run — a game which saw the Pirates roll 34-0 at Ed Miller Stadium en route to the program’s second state title.
West – 6 0 0 7 – 13
Wheelersburg – 26 14 7 0 — 47
W – Matthew Miller, 60-yard pass from Jake Gregg (Braxton Sammons kick), 9:23 1Q (7-0 W)
W – Derrick Lattimore, 22-yard run (kick failed), 6:22 1Q (13-0 W)
W – Eli Swords, 1-yard run (pass failed), 4:39 1Q (19-0 W)
PW – Jeffery Bishop, 7-yard catch from Mitchell Irwin (kick blocked), 2:39 1Q (19-6 W)
W – Case Dyer, 13-yard run (Braxton Sammons kick), :35.1 1Q (26-6 W)
W – Matthew Miller, 7-yard pass from Jake Gregg (Braxton Sammons kick), 8:26 2Q (33-6 W)
W – Derrick Lattimore, 2-yard run (Braxton Sammons kick), 4:44 2Q (40-6 W)
W – Derrick Lattimore, 28-yard run (Braxton Sammons kick), 6:06 3Q (47-6 W)
PW – Jeffery Bishop, 45-yard catch from Mitchell Irwin (Caleb Hazelbaker kick), 4:47 4Q (47-13 W)
Teams | West Wheelersburg
First Downs | 7 10
Yards | (Rushing-Passing) 139 (26-113) 344 (201-143)
Plays | 30 43
Turnovers | 5 0
Time of Possession | 19:04 26:32
Penalties | 5 for 45 yards 7 for 80 yards
Rushing – West: Jeffery Bishop 3-(-10), Hunter Brown 1-2, Ryan Sissel 8-40, Mitchell Irwin 1-(-6); Wheelersburg: Jake Gregg 5-3, Derrick Lattimore 9-102 3TDs, Eric Lattimore 1-4, Eli Swords 4-15 TD, Case Dyer 2-32 TD, Josh Clark 1-6, Creed Warren 3-30, Kenny Sanderlin 1-1, Jake Darling 1-6, Landon Hutchinson 1-2
Passing – West: Mitchell Irwin 9-17-1 113 2TDs; Wheelersburg: Jake Gregg 9-13-0 143 yards 2 TDs, Kenny Sanderlin 0-1 0 yards, Bryson Stamper 0-1 0 yards
Receiving – West: Hunter Brown 1-1, Luke Bradford 2-14, Andrew Jones 1-2, Jeffery Bishop 4-92 2 TDs, Ryan Sissel 1-4; Wheelersburg: Matthew Miller 3-70 2 TDs, Eli Swords 2-19, Caleb Arthur 3-40, Case Dyer 1-14
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