BLACKSVILLE - Clay-Battelle ended the regular season with a bang, taking out 10th-ranked Weirton Madonna, 33-6, Friday night.
The seventh-ranked Cee-Bees (9-1) set the tone on the opening possession of the game, driving 67 yards in three plays to go up, 7-0. Sophomore quarterback Tristan Haught connected with Derek Hinkle on a slant for an 89-yard touchdown pass on their next possession and the rout was on.
Hinkle finished with 230 all-purpose yards and all five Cee-Bees touchdowns. A dominant offensive line that routinely pushed piles 4 or 5 yards, on what should have been minimal gains, helped Hinkle along.
"It was pretty great," Hinkle said. "My line was just getting behind me and pushing. They were dominating, I love this line they're great."
The Blue Dons (6-4) were decimated by injuries. Coach Doug Taylor said nearly 2,000 yards of offense was sitting on the sidelines, and it showed early on as Madonna struggled to get anything going against a swarming C-B defense, which benefited from four turnovers in the first half.
"Our problem right now is, we're so beat up," Taylor said. "That really hurt us and it showed tonight, but I thought these guys played gutsy. It's just one of those games."
Clay-Battelle 33, Weirton Madonna 6
Weirton Madonna 0 0 6 0 - 6
Clay-Battelle 13 14 6 0 - 33
C: Hinkle 7 run (Spears kick)
C: Haught 89 pass to Hinkle (Kick blocked)
C: Hinkle 8 run (Hinkle run)
C: Hinkle 1 yard run (Conversion failed)
W: Hypes 10-yard pass to Nero (Conversion failed)
C: Hinkle 11-yard run (Conversion failed)
Rushing: Madonna 23-95 (Nero 13-52, Hypes 10-43); Clay-Battelle 37-195-4TD (Hinkle 18-103-4TD, Jacoby Steele 9-42, Tre Swaniger 6-35, Haught 4-15).
Passing: Madonna 9-23-91-1TD-2INT (Hypes 9-21-91-1TD, Ryan Mozingo 0-2); Clay-Battelle 7-17-208-1TD (all by Haught).
Receiving: Madonna 9-91-1TD (Will Bowser 4-58, Daniel Pietranton 2-34, Nero 1-10-1TD, Mozingo 1-1, Hype 1-(-12); Clay-Battelle 7-208-1TD (Hinkle 3-117-1TD, Logan Opyoke 2-60, Benjamin Wade 2-31).
Cee-Bees head coach Ryan Wilson said he was glad to get the win after hearing about their four-game losing streak to the Dons all week.
"Someone kept asking me about getting the monkey off our back. No monkey here tonight," Wilson said. "They've won nine ball games in a row. Everyone kept doubting this ball club, but they came up every week. Met every challenge. Every time they doubted us, it made us want it more and more."
If one thing went wrong for the Cee-Bees Friday night, it was penalties. The team had eight including two that negated interceptions by Jarrett Roush, although he finally did get a pick on his third try, with 2:51 left in the game.
Wilson said he's not worried about the penalties.
"We've not had a problem with that all year. We've been averaging maybe four penalties per ballgame, so I don't know what it was."
Wilson said he knew the game would come down to the play of the lines, and he made sure his lineman knew the game was on their shoulders.
"Our defense did excellent out there. Our offensive line did a super job tonight," he said. "We challenged our offensive line tonight because we said it was going to won in the trenches and it was."
Clay-Battelle has likely earned at least one home game in the West Virginia single-A playoffs, which begin next week.