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Rylan Molihan Wellston
Rylan Molihan fields a punt in his Golden Rockets game against the Buckeyes. Photo: Ethan Sands

Golden Rockets Emerge As Victor Despite Key Injury

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WELLSTON, Ohio- The Wellston Golden Rockets blasted off to defeat the Meigs Marauders on senior night with a 42-34 victory in the eighth game of the season. While the Golden Rockets struggled to take off in the first half of the game, they soon caught up and thrusted their engines toward victory.

Meigs Quarterback Coulter Cleland gave the Marauders an early lead with a 2-yard touchdown on a 55-yard drive with 8:00 left in the first quarter. The extra point attempt was no good, making the score 6-0. Cleland made a lasting impression on the game with 372 passing yards.

Golden Rocket running back Ryan Molihan started the game strong, especially since he converted on a big fourth down after the touchdown by the Marauders. The Golden Rockets senior night was spoiled in the first half as they found themselves stuck in a hole and struggled hard to climb back. To the anxious audiences’ dismay, Molihan suffered an ankle injury in his right leg, benching him for the rest of the game, which left the Golden Rockets vulnerable in the first half.

The Marauders kept their momentum in the second quarter too as Wyatt Hoover intercepted the ball from the Golden Rockets with 11:12 left in the second. This strengthened the Marauders game and allowed Logan Eskew to score a 14-yard touchdown on a 19-yard drive with 9:02 left in the first half. The two-point conversion was good and extended the Marauders lead to 14.

Although the Meigs Marauders led the game in the first half with two touchdowns, they found  their raids halted and the Golden Rockets seized that opportunity and took over.

Down on their luck, the Golden Rockets marched down the field and scored a much-needed touchdown. RJ Kemp connected with Hunter Smith for a 17-yard touchdown pass on a 60-yard drive. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score 14-6. Overall in the game, RJ Kemp was very efficient with 139 passing yards and three touchdowns, as well as 96 yards with his feet. Wellston as a team outscored the Marauders 36-14 in the second half.

Meigs fought back in the fourth seeking to force overtime when Cleland found Hoover for a 60-yard touchdown, but a turnover on downs later in the quarter gave Wellston the win, sinking any hopes of a Marauders upset.

This victory puts the Golden Rockets at 7-2 overall and 4-1 in conference. Next week, they will continue to seek the TVC-Ohio Championship against Vinton County High School. After the Meigs Marauders lost, they find themselves at 1-8 overall and will return to their home field to compete with the Alexander Spartans for their last home game.