WHEELERSBURG — Once again, the annual Scioto County Halloween Bowl was one-sided —with Wheelersburg’s Pirates picking up, and raking in, all the treats.
That’s because the Pirates pitched a 38-0 shutout of the West Senators on Friday night —and in the process captured another Southern Ohio Conference Division II outright football championship, while also locking up a Division V Region 19 first-round home playoff game.
And, get this, that first-round playoff game will once again be against these same Senators —right back at Ed Miller Stadium in Wheelersburg on Saturday night.
For the SOC II, Wheelersburg won its seventh championship in eight seasons —losing only last year’s title to Waverly, with a 36-35 overtime loss on a Tigers’ two-point conversion pass.
The Pirates’ latest SOC crown is the tradition-rich and proud program’s 35th all-time.
Wheelersburg wrapped up its regular season at 7-3 and a perfect 5-0 in the division, while West —which aided the Pirates’ plans in the form of three turnovers —ended the regular campaign at an even 5-5 (2-3 SOC II).
The Pirates scored 24 first-half points, including their 14 within 34 seconds of each other in the opening quarter —and their 10 in the second stanza seven minutes apart.
The Pirates got on the board in the first period with a pair of short scoring runs by Ethan Glover, from eight and four yards —and only three minutes and 42 seconds into the contest.
In between, Wheelersburg recovered an onsides kick at the Senator 42, as Braxton Sammons —who made all five of his extra-point attempts —booted a 42-yard field goal for the 17-0 advantage only three-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter.
From there, Eli Jones joined up with Eric Lattimore on a 63-yard touchdown pass —with a minute and 36 seconds left in the opening half.
That made it 24-0, as Derrick Lattimore’s 44-yard dash made it 31-0 with exactly four minutes remaining in the third frame.
Finally, Creed Warren —with 57 seconds left — made it the 38-0 final by returning a Mitchell Irwin interception 79 yards to the house.
Once again, in posting another shutout, the Pirates played well with all three phases.
Besides the onsides kick recovery, and the field goal and five extra points by Sammons, the senior standout punter also averaged 42 yards per punt on six attempts.
Defensively, the Pirates forced three turnovers, limited West to only 178 total yards, and forced eight punts.
Offensively, Wheelersburg rushed for 212 yards on 39 tries, completed five passes on a dozen attempts, and doubled up the Senators in first downs 15-8.
Glover gained 60 yards on 11 carries, while Derrick Lattimore muscled for an 11-yards-per-carry average (88 yards) on eight totes.
Jones, bolstered by that 63-yard connection with Eric Lattimore, threw for 109 yards on 3-of-5 —while Lattimore made three receptions for 80 yards.
For the Senators, Ryan Sissel carried 17 times for 107 yards, while Irwin was 8-of-19 for 78 with the one interception.
Jeffery Bishop (47 yards) and Ashton Klaiber (24 yards) caught three passes apiece.
Now, just like last season and in 2018 when it advanced all the way to the Division V state semifinals, Wheelersburg’s regular-season finale AND its opening playoff game are indeed against West.
The Pirates are the fifth-seeded squad in Region 19, while the Senators are the 12th seed.
With the expansion of the OHSAA state playoffs to 16 teams per region this year, and no bye weeks with that, the top eight squads secure first-round home games.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. —only this time it’s a Saturday night (Oct. 30) encounter at Ed Miller Stadium.
Wheelersburg and West will meet for the 73rd time all time —and actually the seventh meeting in four seasons —with the Pirates leading by a count of 44-27-2.
* * *
West 0 0 0 0 — 0
Burg 14 10 7 7 —38
B — Ethan Glover, 8-yard run (Braxton Sammons kick), 8:52, 1st (7-0 B)
B — Ethan Glover, 4-yard run (Braxton Sammons kick), 8:18, 1st (14-0 B)
B — Braxton Sammons, 42-yard field goal, 8:33, 2nd (17-0 B)
B— Eric Lattimore, 63-yard pass from Eli Jones (Braxton Sammons kick), 1:36,2nd (24-0 B)
B — Derrick Lattimore, 44-yard run (Braxton Sammons kick), 4:00, 3rd (31-0 B)
B — Creed Warren, 79-yard interception return (Braxton Sammons kick), :57, 4th (38-0 B)
First downs 8 15
Scrimmage plays 47 51
Rushes-yards 28-101 39-212
Passing yards 78 126
Total yards 179 338
Cmp-Att-Int. 8-19-1 5-12-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 3-19 7-65
Punts-Ave 8-31.6 6-42.2
RUSHING —West: Ryan Sissel 17-107, Mitchell Irwin 6-(-18), Ashton Klaiber 1-12, Jeffery Bishop 3-2, Team 1-(-2); Wheelersburg: Derrick Lattimore 8-88 TD, Ethan Glover 11-60 2TD, Eli Jones 5-33, Jake Darling 4-13, Eric Lattimore 3-13, Creed Warren 3-7, Eli Swords 1-3, Josh Clark 1-3, Team 1-(-3), Bryson Stamper 2-(-5)
PASSING —West: Mitchell Irwin 8-19-1-78; Wheelersburg: Eli Jones 3-5-0-109 TD, Bryson Stamper 2-7-0-17
RECEIVING— West: Jeffery Bishop 3-47, Ashton Klaiber 3-24, Cole Tipton 1-5, Brandon Anderson 1-2; Wheelersburg: Eric Lattimore 3-80 TD, Josh Clark 1-38, Ethan Glover 1-8
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