Local Sports, Sports, University

University High secures 47-10 victory over Preston Knights

Friday’s football game between Preston High and University High certainly wasn’t going to win any beauty contests.

The two teams combined for nine turnovers in the game and missed several more opportunities for game-changing plays.

In the end, the Hawks earned a 47-10 victory over the Knights.
“We played our (butts) off in the first half,” Preston coach Mark Deep said. “I’m proud of what we did, especially in the first half. We prepared for their passing game, and I thought we did the best we could do on that. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids how they played tonight. I mean, there’s no quit and hopefully we showed that tonight. Maybe the score didn’t show it, but I think (UHS) knows we came to play tonight.”

Melique Lewis scored the first of his four touchdowns with just over two minutes left in the first half as the Hawks (6-2) finally scored after fumbling on their first drive and being forced to punt on their second drive.

Preston (1-7) tied the game at 7-7 when quarterback Dillon Taylor scored on a 5-yard run. That touchdown was set up on a nice 61-yard screen pass from Taylor to Ethan Likens.
University grabbed a 14-7 lead when Noah Braham scored on a seven-yard run but the Knights closed the game to 14-10 when Cole Turner kicked a 30-yard field goal. UHS added a three-yard run from Lewis to take a 20-10 lead into the locker room.

“Preston came to play,” UHS head coach John Kelley said. “I have a great deal of respect for coach Deep and his kids. I mean, he’s doing a really good job with them. He’s got a lot of young kids, but they brought it to us.”

In the second half, the Hawks finally found their offense with a heavy dose of Lewis on the ground. The
6-foot-0, 260-pound tailback did a nice job of being patient behind the UHS line and weaved his way for a pair of touchdown runs in the third quarter.

“I thought we should have ran the ball probably a bit more tonight,” Kelley said. “But then again, the passing game was pretty effective. It depends on what the defense gives us, but I think we got it now where people just can’t say we are going to throw the ball 40-45 times a game. We can line up and run the football.”

Lewis, who said he has lost weight since the beginning of the season and only outweighs one of his offensive linemen now, admits he isn’t a traditional running back.

“Our O-line sets up great blocks and I am just following them,” Lewis said of his knack for finding the end zone. “I’ve played running back my entire career and when I get closer to the end zone, I want to score.”
Braham added another touchdown on the ground with a two-yard score and then Ethan Jackson finished off the scoring when he grabbed the fifth interception of the night for UHS and returned it for a score.
Luke Hudson finished with 258 yards on 18-of-28 passing while John Coleman led the receivers with 109 yards on six catches.

“(Coleman) isn’t flash and he’s not the fastest guy in the world, but he’s a good route runner and Luke has a lot of confidence in him,” Kelley said. “He’s not a guy that is going to jump off the board, but he’s pretty darn good and you better know he’s out there.”

University travels to cross-town rival Morgantown on Friday, Oct. 28 for the annual Mohawk Bowl. Preston hosts Buckhannon-Upshur at 7 p.m. on the same night.


Box score
Preston 0 10 0 0–10
University 7 13 13 14—47

UHS–Melique Lewis 7 run (John Coleman kick)
PHS–Dillon Taylor 5 run (Cole Turner kick)
UHS–Noah Braham 7 run (Coleman kick)
PHS–Turner 30 field goal
UHS–Lewis 3 run (kick failed)
UHS–Lewis 1 run (pass failed)
UHS–Lewis 13 run (Coleman kick)
UHS–Braham 2 run (Coleman kick)
UHS–Ethan Jackson 60-plus interception return (Coleman kick)
RUSHING: Preston—Ethan Harper 6-19, Taylor 9-(-8), Shelden Miller 1-5, Riley Land 1-(-5), Ethan Likens 2-(-4). University—Lewis 16-71, Sebastian Dalton 3-(-10), Jaeden Hammack 1-8, Luke Hudson 1-7, Braham 2-9.
PASSING: Preston—Taylor 11-30-4 147, Slaton Manko 0-1 0, Kaden Hayes 2-4-1 12. University—Hudson 18-28-1 258.
RECEIVING: Preston—Miller 3-36, Likens 1-61, Levi Lowdermilk 1-2, Harper 2-24, Land 1-8, Rugg 1-2, Manko 4-28, Turner 1-3. University— Braham 5-50, Jackson 4-60, Coleman 6-109, Hammack 4-52, Dalton 3-43.