BLACKSVILLE — Clay-Battelle entered the Nov. 3 match-up with Madonna needing a win to stay alive in the hunt for a berth in the WVSSAC state tournament.
Unfortunately, the Dons had other plans, as they rolled off four-straight scoring drives in the first half on their way to a 40-6 win on C-B’s senior night.
“We had a lot of injuries,” Clay-Battelle head coach Ryan Wilson said. “That certainly goes into it. Our kids played hard and that’s all I can ask of them.”
Following a half-hour delay because Madonna ran into traffic en route to the game, it took both teams a little time to find their groove on offense. Once the Dons did, though, they were too much for the Cee-Bees to slow down.
Late in the first quarter, Vince Pulice broke loose on a counter for Madonna, bursting down the sideline 59 yards for the opening score of the night.
It wouldn’t take long for C-B to respond. On the next play from scrimmage, sophomore Levi Carrico found Gunner Brummage on a slant route, setting the senior up for a 59 yard sprint to the end zone.
A failed two-point try left the score at 7-6, in favor of the Dons.
From there, Madonna took control of the game. Behind a stout offensive line, Donavan Kirby totaled 216 yards rushing and racked up three scores — all in the first half. His first came in the closing seconds of the first quarter, a 2-yard run to increase the Dons’ lead to 13-6.
Early in the second quarter, Kirby turned a third-and-5 play into a 35-yard touchdown scamper. The junior added a 3-yard run into the end zone on the following Madonna drive, putting the Dons up 26-6, heading into halftime.
Madonna added two more insurance scores in the second half — the first a 36-yard touchdown pass from Gavin Dietrich to Pulice and the other a 51-yard run from Chayce Lemley, early in the fourth quarter.
Clay-Battelle finishes the regular season with a 6-4 record. The loss almost certainly eliminates any possibility of the Cee-Bees making it back to the playoffs. C-B sat three spots out of the final playoff spot in Class A heading into the final week of the season.
That being said, coach Wilson is still proud of the effort of this year’s Cee-Bees team.
“The seniors have done a great job,” he said. “They didn’t make the playoffs, but they did have a winning season. That means a lot. They really did give it their all.”