BUCKHANNON — Entering Friday’s contest against Buckhannon-Upshur, Morgantown High had allowed only 20 points to its opponents through the first three games, all victories. The trend continued at Freal Crites Memorial Stadium, as the top-ranked Mohigans defeated the Buccaneers, 59-3.
“We worked on some fundamental stuff and cleaning some things up during the off week and we are proud of the effort tonight,” MHS head coach Sean Biser said. “We had some penalties on defense but I’m glad we executed better. We have some things to work on going into next week and we have some good film to take home tonight.”
It didn’t take long at all for MHS to open the scoring as senior Bobby Powell fielded the opening kickoff and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown before either team had the chance to even run a play.
After a strong stand on defense, the MHS offense returned and drove the majority of the field for another score. This time senior fullback Caleb Nutter punched in from one-yard out with just over half of the first quarter played, giving his team a 15-0 lead after an extra point by Aidan Stire.
It didn’t take long for the Mohigans to get the ball back either, as a quick three-and-out was rewarded by a high snap on a fourth down that went over the head of the B-U punter and out of the back of the endzone for a safety. MHS received the two points and the ball back on offense leading 17-0.
“Our defense has been solid so far,” senior captain Caleb Nutter said. “We still have things to improve on a a ways to go to be where we want, we had a lot of penalties tonight we didn’t want, but we know what we are and we just need to continue to work hard.”
The MHS defense only allowed 74 total yards to the Buccaneers for the entire game.
Another touchdown awaited MHS but this time came through the air. Senior quarterback Maddox Bowers scrambled to his right before launching a high ball into the air toward the right side that AJ Thomas came down with before scampering into the end zone for a 55-yard strike to extend the lead to 24-0 after the opening quarter.
The Buccaneers opened the second quarter with a lengthy drive that covered most of the field, assisted by multiple penalties on the MHS defense that totaled the entirety of the yards they’d been penalized for all season so far through three games.
After a timeout was called by MHS, the defense responded with three straight sacks, totaling a loss of 16 yards after allowing B-U inside the redzone for the first time. A 35-yard field goal broke the ice for the Buccaneers with 7:38 left to play until halftime.
Unphased by the points allowed, the Mohigans turned around a drove the field for another touchdown. Bowers connected with Andrew Phares for a four-yard catch and run giving MHS a 31-3 lead. After the kickoff, MHS forced a fumble on the first play of the drive that Thomas would scoop off of the turf and run into the end zone for the second MHS touchdown in eight seconds of game time.
One more score would be added for MHS when AJ Thomas scampered in from three yards out to give us our halftime score of 45-3.
The Mohigans would add two more touchdowns in the second half for a final score of 59-3.
MHS will return home next Friday for homecoming as Wheeling Park visits Pony Lewis Field for a high-profile matchup that could have some important playoff implications.
“We have to emphasize tackling this week to get ready for next week,” Biser said. “They can move the ball and we will have to use a little bit of clock on offense.”
Morgantown 59, Buckhannon 3
MHS 24 21 7 7 – 59
BU 0 0 3 0 – 3
MHS Powell KO return (Stire 2pt run)
MHS Nutter 1 run (Stire kick)
MHS Thomas 55 pass from Bowers (Stire kick)
BU Mason FG
MHS Phares 4 pass from Bowers (Stire kick)
MHS Thomas fumble scoop and score (Stire kick)
MHS Thomas 3 run (Stire kick)
MHS Thompson 43 run (Bradley kick)
MHS Hawkins 35 run (Bradley kick)
RUSHING: MHS – Ullom 3-12, Powell 3-25, Nutter 3-23 TD, Bowers 2-10, Phares 1-23, Thomas 2-4 TD, Anderson 3-18, Thompson 3-61 TD, Lawhun 5-37, Andis 1-3, Hawkins 1-35 TD, Monroe 1-11; B-U – Morris 10-18, Yardley 4-3, Johnson 3-36, Hedrick 3-(-5) PASSING: MHS – Bowers 7-11 120 2TD; B-U – Tenney 3-11 22. RECEIVING: MHS – Thomas 3-71 TD, Phares 3-30 TD, Powell 1-19; B-U – Zuliani 3-22