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Patriots stop Bruins

September 22, 2012
By RICK THORP - Special to the Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - Wheeling Park used big plays offensively, huge hits defensively, and a gigantic effort on special teams to put away Brooke, 52-25, Friday night at Brooke Memorial Stadium.

Zach Phillips threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns, four Park runners jaunted for scores, and the Patriots defense held the Bruins to 176 yards of offense, half of which came during the second half.

''The effort was really good,'' Park coach Chris Daugherty said. ''We haven't played four good quarters of football yet, but when that day comes I think we're a pretty good football team.

Article Photos

GETTING TACKLED — Brooke’s Justin Loughrie is tackled by a Wheeling Park defender during Friday’s Homecoming game in Wellsburg. The Bruins fell to 0-5 after the Patriots’ 52-25 victory.
-- Courtesy Action Images

''On the whole, I thought our intensity was good.''

Was it ever.

Zach Phillips hit Eric Banks for a 59-yard touchdown strike on the Patriots' first play from scrimmage and they never looked back.

Fact Box

Wheeling Park 52, Brooke 25

Wheeling Park 21 0 21 10 - 52

Brooke 0 3 6 16 - 25

W: Banks 59 pass from Phillips (Casey kick), 9:34

W: Phillips 20 run (Casey kick), 5:27

W: Pugh 77 punt return (Casey kick), 2:19

B: Moore FG 35, :10

B: Loughrie 1 run (pass failed), 11:51

W: Ingram 16 run (Casey kick), 7:39

W: Myers 1 run (Casey kick), 4:38

W: Dent 20 pass from Phillips (Casey kick), 2:31

W: Casey FG 20, 11:52

B: Walker 80 kickoff return (Moore kick), 11:37

W: Blackston 69 run (Casey kick), 10:04

B: Hildreth 24 pass from Buchmelter (Moore kick), 6:27

B - Safety, Park kicked bad snap out of end zone, 4:20

Rushing: Wheeling Park 30-156-4td (Blackston 4-74-td, Phillips 5-18-td, Myers 3-1-td, Dent 4-9, Paige 2-17, Ingram 9-36-td, Wolfe 1-0, Luff 1-5); Brooke 37-60-td (Loughrie 11-20-td, Buchmelter 13-33, Walker 1-(-5), Hartman 8-26, Lazear 1-(-2), Sole 1-(-12).

Passing: 9-15-196-2td (Phillips 8-14-195-2td, Coyne 1-1-1); Brooke 13-22-116-td-x (Buchmelter 11-20-100-td-x, Sole 1-2-16).

Receiving: Wheeling Park (Banks 4-145-td, Pugh 1-17, Ingram 1-10, Dent 2-25-td, West 1-1); Brooke (Wallace 4-32, Cole 3-18, Loughrie 2-14, Staffileno 2-12, Hildreth 1-24-td, Bowman 1-16).

First Downs: Wheeling Park 9; Brooke 11.

Penalties: Wheeling Park 5-45; Brooke 5-45.

Fumbles-Lost: Wheeling Park 0-0; Brooke 2-1.

Phillips scored on a 20-yard run on Park's next possession. And when Quashad Pugh returned a Brooke punt 77 yards to paydirt moments later, Park had a 21-0 lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Brooke's offense struggled early for the Homecoming crowd, picking up only two first downs during the first 12 minutes.

That changed somewhat during the second quarter when the Bruins used 11 plays to march inside the Park 20. Bobby Moore's 35-yard field goal capped the drive and cut the deficit to 21-3.

Then, on the second half kickoff, the Bruins caught another break.

Park (3-2) failed to gain control of Moore's boot and Brooke got the ball on the Park 1. Justin Loughrie scored on the next play. The conversion failed making the score 21-9.

But Park rebounded with four straight scores, capped by Liam Casey's 20-yard field goal that made it 45-9. Casey was also 7 of 7 on extra points on the night.

Aaron Walker returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to make it a 45-16 game. But, three plays later, Theo Blackston, on a third-and-9 play, shot down the field for a 69-yard touchdown to up Park's lead to 52-16.

''I thought our kids did a great job rebounding from last week,'' Daugherty said. ''And it's been a tough week to be a Wheeling Park Patriot. These guys have battled through a lot and I'm just really proud of them.''

Wheeling Park student Kurt Myers died Sunday. His brother, Greg, scored on a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Daugherty presented the game ball to Greg, a senior, after the game.

''We definitely had heavy hearts for his family and him,'' Daugherty said. ''We wanted to come out and play well for the Myers' and Greg. It was a hard week for our team because our kids care so much about each other and care so much for Greg.''

Alec Buchmelter finished with 100 yards passing for the Bruins, the TD strike going to Heath Hildreth in the fourth quarter.

''We're a lot younger than people realize,'' first-year Brooke coach Sean Blumette said. ''The way the season has unfolded due to injuries, etc., we've been forced to play younger than we are.''

Blumette pointed out two freshman are starting and, due to injuries, other players are being thrown into the fire earlier than expected.

''In a perfect world we'd like to develop them a little more slowly,'' he said.

However, considering the circumstances, Blumette is seeing positives despite the 0-5 start.

''Even though the results haven't bee there we are seeing some good things,'' he said. ''We've taken some lumps and given up some big plays, but when you play younger kids that happens.

''But we've also seen some bright spots where we've really battled and brought it.''