PARKERSBURG — No. 2 Williamstown scored on its first seven possessions Saturday afternoon at Stadium Field en route to a 49-6 victory against No. 15 Clay-Battelle in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.
After falling behind 21-0, the Cee Bees (7-3) of head coach Ryan Wilson put together a 14-play drive to reach the red zone. However, Maxwell Molessa forced a fumble at the 1 and Rickie Allen pounced on it in the end zone to thwart the threat.
On the very next play, Molessa used a block by left tackle Aiden Corbett to help spring him down the WHS sideline for an 80-yard untouched score as the ‘Jackets improved to 9-1 with No. 10 East Hardy set to invade next week.
Allen went for 115 ground yards on 14 attempts and put head coach Chris Beck’s program ahead for good when he scored a 29-yard touchdown on Williamstown’s first possession. Cee Bees defensive lineman Jacob Kassay had the last chance to stop Allen just inside the 20, but the tailback broke free.
“It was definitely a different feeling,” admitted Corbett since the Yellowjackets had last week off. “It was good to get back into it and have a nice first round like that.”
Kent Wigal’s quarterback sack forced the Cee Bees to punt on their second drive.
Mason Chisler nearly had an interception once WHS took over, but the ‘Jackets finished the 56-yard drive with a Molessa 34-yard touchdown pass to Colt Hesson. Harbor Haught, who only kicked, once again booted the extra point for a 14-0 lead at 4:30 of the first.
A 7-yard tackle for loss by ‘Jacket Dannon Hooper helped put an end to the next Clay-Battelle series. Hesson had a 10-yard completion to Allen, who eventually scored from the 4 to make it 21-0 early in the second. Louis Goodnow had a 17-yard reverse on the drive.
Down 28-0, disaster struck for the Cee Bees late in the half. Carson Shriver, who rushed 20 times for 94 yards and scored on a 16-yard keeper at 11:03 of the fourth, watched Molessa tip his pass and then grab it out of the air. After Molessa hit Hesson for an 18-yard gain to the 1, fullback Rex Anderson bulled in from there.
“I saw the quarterback come up. I saw an opportunity to make a play,” admitted Molessa, who not only hit 7 of 10 passes for 112 yards but rushed eight times for a game-high 134 stripes. “That was a broken up play and then I wasn’t going to get to my drop so I just tried to make a play and it worked out luckily for me.
“I knew it was either going to be up or in the back, but I saw it after I tipped it. We’re pretty solid. A lot to improve on. We’re going to get that done this week and then meet up with East Hardy. Just keep pounding, keep getting better and progress as the weeks go on and eliminate the penalties. We should be good.”
Lynken Joy’s 9-yard reception from Molessa gave WHS its initial first down of the second half. Molessa finished off the 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Wigal.
After reaching the red zone on their next drive, the Yellowjackets started making substitutions. Cooper Billingsley’s 6-yard TD run and Peter Martinsen’s extra point made it 49-0 at 4:50 of the third.
“I was pretty happy. I thought they came out and played hard. The week off didn’t seem to impact them. Took care of business and came out healthy. That was the name of the game. Come out, play hard and move on,” admitted coach Beck, who noted the fullback/defensive end Haught only kicked “out of an abundance of caution. Minor injury. We expect him to be back to 100 percent next week.”
The sophomore Hooper, who made his 7-yard TFL on Zac Hall to help kill Clay-Battelle’s final drive of the opening quarter, made his first career start filling in for Haught.
“He had a knee injury earlier in the year, but he’s getting a lot better every week,” coach Beck said. “He and Kent would typically rotate at the other defensive end, but with Harbor out it was just those two to start off with.”
Hall had 34 yards rushing on 11 attempts as well as three catches for 27 stripes. Max Shriver finished with 26 rush yards on 10 totes.
“Williamstown is tough,” said coach Wilson. “We came out and made a couple first downs and were moving the ball and doing what we wanted to do. We put together a really nice drive when it was 21-0. Everything was clicking and we got down there and it was just unfortunate we fumbled. Then they go score again.
“At least we would’ve knocked that in and it would’ve been a little closer. I give my kids a ton of credit. They gave us 100 percent today. We did punch one in there at the end and I’m glad of that for the team. They gave everything they had. You can’t ask for more than that. We had a great season. Williamstown’s a great club and we wish them luck.”
By JAY W. BENNETT
C-B (7-3) 0 0 0 6 — 6
WHS (9-1) 14 21 14 0 — 49
W: Rickie Allen 29 run (Harbor Haught kick) 8:09, 1st
W: Colt Hesson 34 pass from Maxwell Molessa (Haught kick) 4:30, 1st
W: Allen 4 run (Haught kick) 10:49, 2nd
W: Molessa 80 run (Haught kick) 3:05, 2nd
W: Rex Anderson 1 run (Haught kick) 2:40, 2nd
W: Kent Wigal 16 pass from Molessa (Haught kick) 9:13, 3rd
W: Cooper Billingsley 6 run (Peter Martinsen kick) 4:50, 3rd
C: Carson Shriver 16 run (pass failed) 11:03, 4th
C-B: First downs: 14; Rushes-yards: 46-164; Passing yards: 36; Total yards: 200; Passing: 4-11-1; Punts-average: 4-29.0; Fumbles-lost: 2-1; Penalties-yards: 0-0
WHS: First downs: 20; Rushes-yards: 38-349; Passing yards: 131; Total yards: 480; Passing: 9-12-0; Punts-average: 0-0; Fumbles-lost: 1-0; Penalties-yards: 3-35
C-B: Rushing: Carson Shriver 20-94, Zac Hall 11-34, Max Shriver 10-26, Brenden Baker 2-6, Landon Savage 1-0, Maverick Gum 2-4; Passing: JC Spears 0-1-0, 0 yards; C. Shriver 4-10-1, 36 yards; Receiving: Hall 3-27, Matt Gadd 1-9
WHS: Rushing: Rickie Allen 14-115, Maxwell Molessa 8-134, Lynken Joy 4-20, Jackson Kerr 3-50, Cooper Billingsley 2-9, Louis Goodnow 1-17, Rex Anderson 3-7, Carson Brundige 3-(-3); Passing: Colt Hesson 2-2-0, 19 yards; Molessa 7-10-0, 112 yards; Receiving: Goodnow 1-9, Kent Wigal 1-16, Allen 1-10, Joy 3-27, Hesson 3-69