Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Wheeling Park knocks off No. 1 Morgantown, 26-16, on homecoming

MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown High School homecoming celebrations were halted briefly on Friday night as the Wheeling Park Patriots marched into Pony Lewis Field and left with an impressive victory over the Mohigans, 26-16, under the lights.

Despite holding just a 6-0 lead at halftime, the Patriots (3-2) never trailed in the game and outscored the Mohigans 20-16 in the second half to hold on for an important victory against a very strong MHS squad.

The Mohigans struggled with penalties and execution on offense while allowing the passing attack of the Patriots to explode for a few big plays that helped seal the deal.

“We didn’t execute tonight and that goes on me, I didn’t have us prepared to play,” MHS head coach Sean Biser said. “The offense didn’t execute at all, I thought the defense played well but you can’t ask them to be on the field too long and in those kind of positions they were in. We had mistakes and let some things slip through our fingers tonight.”

The first half was a defensive battle, with neither team allowing the other too much room to operate in the open field. Multiple punts for both sides came early on in the game, and it wasn’t until the second frame that the ice was broken.

After ending the first quarter positively, the Patriots drove the field and punched in from three yards out with sophomore tailback Amare Johnson, who rushed for 115 yards and two scores in the game, to take a 6-0 lead into the half.

“We said the next score was going to be big at halftime,” Wheeling Park head coach Chris Daugherty said. “It was either going to be 13-0 or 7-6, and we needed to understand how big that score is and I thought our team really responded well to everything thrown at them tonight.”

The next score would go the way of WP as Johnson added his second touchdown of the night to extend the lead to 13-0 with 4:44 to play in the third quarter. The MHS offense didn’t respond well, going three-and-out in just 90 seconds of game time.

The visitors capitalized once again, this time on a 16-yard pass from quarterback Aiden Davis to wideout Mykel Davis for another touchdown and a 19-0 lead.

The Mohigans would finally get on the board with under a minute left in the third frame when Maddox Bowers found Bobby Powell for a 49-yard catch and run to cut the lead to 19-8 after three quarters.

After the big touchdown, the Patriots’ offense responded once again as the Davis-to-Davis connection reappeared with a 65-yard touchdown pass with 9:53 left to play.

The Mohigans scored quickly on a 17-yard run by AJ Thomas but still trailed 26-14 with 7:52 left to play in the game.

A big stop on defense and a decent punt return by Powell inside Park territory saw the door cracked open for MHS to keep the game interesting.

The Patriots intercepted a pass from Bowers on the one-yard line but gave up a safety on the very next play. MHS earned the two points and the ball back on offense trailing 26-16 with 4:48 left in the game.

Once again, the Park defense stepped up and forced MHS into a 3rd and 15 in which Bowers gave up his second interception of the game.

The Patriots would run out the clock and head back home with a much-needed win after dropping two straight.

For MHS, the schedule doesn’t get any easier as they will travel to East-West Stadium next week for a game against Fairmont Senior, before returning home to face Parkersburg South a week later.

“We better get ready to play next week, that’s it,” Biser said. “There’s nothing else to it.”

Wheeling Park 26, Morgantown 16
WP 0 6 13 7 – 26
MHS 0 0 8 8 – 16

WP – Johnson run 3 (kick no good)
WP – Johnson run 3 (Seals kick)
WP – M. Davis 16 pass from A. Davis (2pt no good)
MHS – Powell pass 49 from Bowers (2pt good)
WP – M. Davis 65 pass from A. Davis (Seals kick)
MHS – Thomas run 17 (2pt no good)
MHS – Safety

Individual statistics
RUSHING – Wheeling Park: Johnson 28-115-2TD. Morgantown: Nutter 12-50; Thomas 4-24-TD; Ullom 2-(-1); Powell 1-1.
PASSING – Wheeling Park: A. Davis 12-17 188-2TD. Morgantown: Bowers 17-25 252-TD-2INT
RECEIVING – Wheeling Park: Wack 1-4; M. Davis 5-142-2TD; Johnson 2-12; Stephens Jr. 2-21; Maynard 2-9