MORGANTOWN — Wheeling Park’s journey through adversity may have come to an end Friday night at Pony Lewis Field, while Morgantown High’s continued.
Wheeling Park quarterback Brett Phillips threw for 284 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Patriots to a 41-6 victory over the 20th-ranked Mohigans.
Wheeling Park’s performance came after dealing with its second bout of COVID-19 which forced cancellations the past two weeks after having another game canceled back in September.
“It’s really been rough on all of us,” said Phillips, who also added 53 yards rushing, including two second-half scrambles that kept drives alive. “We’ve really had to stay focused and stay together as a team, which wasn’t always easy when you have guys in and out. We have pulled together and bonded through it all.”
The Patriots (2-2) rolled to a 20-0 halftime lead behind Phillips’ arm. Three of his scoring passes came in the first two quarters and all three went for more than 30 yards.
“He’s a really nice athlete, but he’s also got a lot of nice athletes around him,” MHS head coach Sean Biser said. “He can run and throw, which makes him tough to defend and he made some big plays for them tonight.”
MHS (2-4), meanwhile played again without running backs Davon Eldridge and Brodrick Washington and the Mohigans’ offense was sluggish.
Morgantown was held to just 80 yards of offense at the half and 171 for the game.
Jarrett Lawrence started at quarterback for the second week for MHS. He completed 8 of 11 passing for 49 yards and also rushed for 87 yards on 20 attempts and scored on a 21-yard run late in the third quarter.
“We obviously didn’t play well and we left some points out there on the field,” Biser said. “We had our chances, but didn’t cash them in and get to the goal line. We’ve obviously got some things to fix and that’s what we plan to do.”
By the time Lawrence got into the end zone, the Patriots had already sealed the game.
Phillips’ five touchdowns went to four different receivers with sophomore Jerrae Hawkins catching six passes for 138 yards and two scores, including a 44-yarder that came on a simple swing pass that Hawkins took down the right sideline while barely being touched.
Will James also caught six passes for 94 yards and scored on a 32-yard reception in the second quarter.
In all, Wheeling Park racked up 382 yards of offense.
“I love all of my receivers, I don’t really have a favorite one,” Phillips said. “We have a lot of different guys who can step up in different moments and make big plays for us and that’s kind of what happened tonight. I feel very comfortable going to all of them at any time.”
The Patriots have a favorable schedule the rest of the way with games against Musselman, Brooke, Parkersburg South and John Marshall, meaning they have a shot for a good seed in the playoffs after not knowing at one time just how many games they would even play this season.
“This team can definitely make a run for the playoffs,” Phillips said. “We’ve got everyone back healthy now, so we’re just getting into a good rhythm right now.”
The Mohigans, too, have a favorable schedule, minus their Mohawk Bowl game against No. 4 University, but have a lot of ground to make up to get back into the playoff picture.
“We’ve got to find where we can put guys in the best position to help us,” Biser said. “We definitely didn’t play well tonight.”
Wheeling Park 7 13 7 14—41
Morgantown 0 0 6 0—6
WP—Jerrae Hawkins 43 pass from Brett Phillips (Adan Forget kick)
WP—Will James 32 pass from Phillips (kick failed)
WP—Hawkins 44 pass from Phillips (Forget kick)
WP—Keohn Stephens 19 pass from Phillips (Forget kick)
MHS—Jarrett Lawrence 21 run (kick failed)
WP—Nathan Shelek 6 pass from Phillips (Forget kick)
WP—Brandon Mundy 22 run (Forget kick)
RUSHING: Morgantown—Lawrence 20-87 TD, Braedon Brooks 7-30, Peyton Johnson 2-7, James Hoskins 1-2, Caleb Nutter 5-(-2), Team 2-(-2). Wheeling Park—Phillips 9-53, Mundy11-48 TD, Max Wiley 6-15, Zac Lydick 3-11, Team 4-(25).
PASSING: Morgantown—Lawrence 8-11 49. Wheeling Park— 16-27 284 5 TD.
RECEIVING: Morgantown—James Hoskins 3-20, Brooks 2-16, Riley Felton 1-10, Johnson 2-3. Wheeling Park—Hawkins 6-138 2 TD, James 6-94 TD, Stephens 2-37 TD, Shelek 1-6 TD, Mundy 1-9.