Published Fri, Nov 9, 2012 11:50 pm
Updated Sat, Nov 10, 2012 1:35 am
It took the Magnolia Blue Eagles only 15 seconds to light up the scoreboard and take a lead at Alumni Field in a first round Class A West Virginia playoff game against the visiting Williamstown Yellow Jackets. The Blue Eagles wouldn’t give it up the rest of the night, defeating the Yellow Jackets 34-7.
The game started off with a bang as Blue Eagles senior wide receiver Stephen Rogalski returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The extra point conversion by Clemens Raitmayr was successful and just like that, Magnolia had a very early 7-0 lead.
The offenses had a tough time getting going in the first quarter, as neither offense was able to record a point in the quarter.
The beginning of the second quarter featured a 79-yard drive by the Blue Eagles, which was highlighted by a 34-yard run by Drew Keller to get into Yellow Jacket territory. A 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tanner Hanna to Rogalski capped off the drive. The Raitmayr extra point failed and Magnolia snagged a 13-0 lead over the Yellow Jackets just a few minutes into the second quarter.
The Williamstown offense did their best to get something started on their side of the ball, but defensive back Gage Deem had other ideas for his Blue Eagle defense. He intercepted a pass from Williamstown junior quarterback Jake Tracewell inside Yellow Jacket territory. Three plays later, Deem turned his defensive effort into points for the Blue Eagle offense. Hanna dropped a pass to Deem, who then reversed the field, picked up a block, and found his way into the end zone from 22 yards out. Magnolia held a 20-0 lead with 8:25 remaining in the first half.
The Blue Eagles finished their first half offensive onslaught with one final Hanna touchdown pass, bringing his first half touchdown total to three. This time he scrambled out of the pocket to find receiver Todd Lemasters in the back corner of the end zone with 1:41 left in the half. Magnolia took a 27-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half slowed down considerably for the Magnolia offense. Their only score came on a 1-yard touchdown run by Keller early in the fourth quarter. Williamstown was also able to avoid a shut out with 8:57 left in the game courtesy of a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jake Tracewell to Dakota Watson. The extra point by Garret Butler made the score 34-7 in favor of the hometown Blue Eagles and that is how the score would stay as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The Magnolia defense came up huge tonight, holding the Williamstown offense to only 25 total pass yards and 190 total yards for the night. The Magnolia offense ruled the ground game with 245 total rush yards, 201 of them coming from the bruising running style of Drew Keller. Rogalski added 140 all-purpose yards to help propel the Blue Eagles to a first round playoff victory.
With their victory tonight, Magnolia qualified for the Class A quarterfinals to be played either next Friday or Saturday. The Blue Eagles will host the winner of the Wheeling Central-East Hardy matchup to be played tomorrow night. The date and time of the quarterfinal game will be announced this Sunday.