Prep football: Jackets whip Wirt

ELIZABETH, W.Va. – Whether it was Cody Smith registering a sack, Noah Bellew making a tackle for a loss or Brandon Root hauling in a big catch, visiting Williamstown made plays all evening long here Friday at Wilson-Eismon Field as the fifth-ranked Class A Yellowjackets cruised past host Wirt County, 20-7.

Jake Tracewell made sure the Tigers’ senior night wasn’t a good one as the Yellowjacket signal-caller had a hand in all three touchdowns. He hit 6 of 9 first-half passes for 77 yards and rushed 12 times for 71 stripes to help WHS (6-1) take a 14-0 lead at intermission.

Tracewell found Hunter Neely all alone in the back of the end zone with 6:22 left in the third quarter for their second touchdown connection. That capped the WHS scoring as the senior quarterback lofted a pass above the closest orange and black defender.

Wirt County, which trailed the battle of total yards 93-14 after the opening stanza, grinded out a 15-play, 77-yard drive which consumed 6:49 of the fourth before denting the scoreboard on a Damian Rhodes 3-yard touchdown run with 3:53 to play.

The Tigers had no answer for Tracewell, who finished with 111 yards rushing on 15 attempts while throwing for another 81 yards.

After trading a first down apiece and a punt on the respective opening possessions of the game, Williamstown marched 75 yards to take the lead for good on its second series. Neely had an 18-yard slant and Dakota Watson took a shovel pass 14 yards as Tracewell scored from the 1 at the 2:21 mark. The first of two Trace Elder extra points made it 7-0.

Williamstown, set to face rival Parkersburg Catholic at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday at Stadium Field, turned the ball over on downs during its next possession at the Tiger 20. Although the hosts drove into the red zone, David Hastings had a key stop on Jake Linville, tackling him for a 1-yard loss on third-and-2 at the ‘Jacket 14. After Wirt County failed to convert on fourth down, the ‘Jackets took control. Tracewell engineered an 80-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 17-yard slant pass to Neely for six with just 24 ticks remaining in the half.

The Yellowjackets held a 13-5 edge in first down at halftime and won the final total yards battle 250-199.

Wes Valentine led the Tigers, who dropped to 2-5 and return to action next week at Calhoun County, with 79 rushing yards on a dozen attempts.