WEIRTON - Oak Glen blew open a close game in the third quarter Friday night to defeat Weir High 33-12 and get the first leg on a new Carl Hamill Trophy at the new Jimmy Carey Stadium.
Weir High, losers of six straight games, surprisingly hung around but were unable to capitalize on several opportunities. The Red Riders trailed by just 7-0 at the half, but yielded two third-quarter touchdowns before finally getting on the scoreboard.
The victory snapped a three-game Golden Bears losing streak and gave them four straight wins in the annual clash of the Hancock County rivals..
GETTING YARDS — Oak Glen’s Tyler Steed, who just misses being tackled by Weir's Jaquan Ware and is being chased by Weir’s Matthew Thompson, runs for a 38-yard touchdown in the first quarter of Friday’s 33-12 victory over the Red Riders at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
-- Mike Mathison
"This win was something we really needed," said first-year Oak Glen coach Ian Whittington. "We needed it to get our confidence back up and try to get on a roll."
Whittington noted that his Golden Bears kept shooting themselves in the foot in the first half.
"Every time we got something going, we committed a penalty and we've been doing that a lot this season," said Whittington, whose team was flagged eight times for 66 yards. "At halftime we adjusted our offense a little bit. We thought it was best to just line up in the I-formation and run at them, run some clock and take control of the game.
Oak Glen 33, Weir 12
Oak Glen 7 0 14 12 - 33
Weir 0 0 0 12 - 12
OG: Steed 38 run (Weltner kick)
OG: Haddox 15 run (Weltner kick)
OG: Haddox 1 run (Weltner kick)
W: Rice 69 pass from Larch (kick failed)
OG: Steed 5 run (kick failed)
W: Rice 82 pass from Larch (run failed)
OG: Haddox 2 run (pass failed)
RUSHING: Oak Glen 39-261-5td (Steed 17-157-2, Haddox 12-53-3, Smith 2-30, Flowers 4-14, Campbell 3-7, Staley 1-0). Weir: 34-minus-22 (Larch 14-(-20), DiGirolamo 11-14, D. Baldwin 3-6, Davis 6-(-22).
PASSING: Oak Glen (3-7-25-0-0, all by Haddox), Weir 6-16-2-2 (Larch 5-14-2-1x, Wypasek 1-2-14-0-1x).
RECEIVING: Oak Glen: Flowers 1-12, Campbell 1-9, Steed 1-4; Weir Rice 3-151-2, Davis 1-14, DiGirolamo 2-(-2).
FIRST DOWNS: Oak Glen 10, Weir 3.
PENALTIES: Oak Glen 8-66, Weir 6-30.
FUMMBLES: Oak Glen 1-0, Weir 2-1.
"This is a big rivalry game and no matter what the teams' records are they always end up being close games. We knew they would be coming out tough and wanting to win this game. We wanted to score early and we did that, but those penalties really hurt. But we did accomplish our goal when we came out in the second half and scored early."
Weir High kicked off to the Golden Bears to open the second half and senior Trey Smith ran the kickoff from his 17 to the 43. Then, senior Tyler Steed took over running the ball five straight times down to the Red Rider 10 yard-line.
After an illegal substitution penalty put the ball back to the Weir High 15, junior quarterback Bub Haddox threw an incomplete pass and then took the ball himself around right end on a keeper for a touchdown. Josh Weltner's kick made the score 14-0 to give the Golden Bears some breathing room.
The Golden Bears had also scored on its first possession of the first half with Steed going up the middle from 38 yards out. Weltner's kick was the last score of the first half.
Red Rider coach, Tony Filberto, said he was proud of his kids.
"I told you guys we had a lot of pride at Weir High," he said. "We turned the ball over a couple of times, but we started five freshmen on defense and hung in there."
In addition to playing the youngsters, three Red Rider upper classmen were injured in the second half and were unable to finish the contest.
"We also started three sophomores and I'll tell you this, if they continue to play like they did tonight they have to be the proudest bunch in the Ohio Valley," he continued. "If they had played like this previously, I think we would have some wins right now. I think this will give us some momentum for the remainder of our season."
Right before the first half ended, the Red Riders had an opportunity to score. The Weir High defense had Oak Glen's back to the wall and faced with a fourth and 15 at their own five, junior punter, Colton Speece, could only kick the ball out to his own 26.
On first down, Red Rider quarterback, William Larch, lofted a pass to the left corner near the end zone, but junior receiver, Jaquan Ware, dropped the football at the Oak Glen two yard line. On third down, Larch's pass was intercepted at the Golden Bear five by Cody Howell.
Larch, a sophomore, finished the game connecting on five of 13 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
The two touchdown passes came on spectacular plays and both times he found sophomore wide receiver, Jonathan Rice, open, hitting him in full stride down the right sideline. One went for a 69-yard touchdown, the other was for 82 yards.
However, by this time the Golden Bears were in command by 21-0 on a one-yard quarterback keeper by Haddox, who scored three rushing touchdowns in the game.
"We were playing a lot of man coverage and occasionally the receiver will get behind the defense," Whittington said of Rice's catches. "That kid is a heck of a ballplayer and really fast. He went over our kid's shoulder and caught it and that will happen when you play man coverage all game."
The Golden Bears quickly answered Rice's first touchdown catch with a six-play 47-yard scoring drive.
After a shanked kickoff, the Golden Bears recovered the ball at the Weir High 47 to set up the march, which ended with Steed blasting through the middle from five yards out for his second touchdown of the night.
Steed wound up with 17 carries and rushed for 148 yards to lead all ball cariers. Haddox added another 51 yards on the ground with 10 carries.
Rice's second touchdown narrowed the Oak Glen lead to 27-12.
The Riders gallantly marched to the Oak Glen 39 in seven plays, but freshman quarterback, Jake Wypasek, had his pass intercepted by Nathan Bebout.
Wypasek took over for Larch, who was injured during the drive.
Steed again was the workhorse carrying the ball four straight times to the Red Rider three from where Haddox swept left end for his third touchdown of the game.