Wheelersburg Upsets Undefeated Waverly, Jumps to First Place in Southern Ohio Conference< < Back to
WHEELERSBURG, Ohio (WOUB) — Waverly’s plans for an undefeated season were quickly spoiled on Friday night, as the Wheelersburg Pirates pulled off an upset in Gridiron Glory’s game of the week. The Tigers traveled down to Ed Miller Stadium and found themselves against a ferocious Pirates defense and an overwhelmingly loud home crowd. This was a highly anticipated matchup, after last year’s OT thriller allowed Waverly steal the conference title and handed Wheelersburg their first conference loss in 7 years.
The first half saw little offense on both sides. Wheelersburg QB Eli Jones and RB Ethan Glover took a majority of the snaps on the first possession, driving into the Tigers red zone. After three failed rushing attempts, the Pirates would settle for a field goal to lead 3-0.
The rest of the half saw no points scored, as the Wheelersburg defense smothered Waverly’s up-tempo offense. The Pirates read the Tiger’s passing schemes by playing tight man to man coverage and limited the effectiveness of Waverly’s run game. On the flip side, Wheelersburg’s offense kept a simple gameplan; run the ball and bleed the clock. The Pirates running corps did an effective job of leading the Pirates to the endzone on back-to-back drives in the second. However, the Tigers would prevent Wheelersburg from capitalizing on these drives, forcing a turnover on downs and a missed field goal respectively.
After Waverly went three and & out to start the third quarter, Erik Lattimore took the ball 64 yards to the house on the punt return to make it 10-0. The Pirates would continue to execute their gameplan for the rest of the half, running the ball and snuffing out the Waverly offense. Wheelersburg would only score three more points this quarter off a completed 39-yard field goal attempt by Braxton Simmons to make it 13-0.
The Tigers offense would wake up on the following drive and go the length of the field to score their first touchdown of the night to start the fourth. Waverly’s quick offensive game finally showed up as it only took three minutes for the Tigers to get back in the game. On the subsequent Waverly drive, the Tigers would turn to Running back Jase Hurd to handle the majority of the carries. Hurd’s explosive speed would be too much for the Pirates defense to handle as his 16-yard touchdown would give Waverly the 14-13 lead.
Wheelersburg would respond on their next offensive drive to take the Pirates to the Waverly 38-yard line. Then, after dropping the ball, quarterback Eli Jones connected with wide receiver Erik Lattimore in the endzone. This would be the only passing attempt made by the Pirates in the second half. Wheelersburg would elect to go for two and convert off an Eli Jones run. The Pirates wouldn’t look back after this score and win the game 21-14.
Wheelersburg would end the night with 272 rushing yards and prime position to win the Southern Ohio Conference with an undefeated conference record. The Pirates now sit at 6-3 and look to continue their momentum next against Valley. Waverly would record their first loss of the season and now sit at second in the Southern Ohio Conference behind Wheelersburg. The Tigers fall to 6-1 and will host Minford next week.