Big plays lift Linsly, hurt Weir High
WEIRTON — Linsly scored two quick touchdowns in the final 1:23 of the first half to blow open a close game and leave Weir High wondering what hit it Friday night at Jimmy Carey Stadium. The final score was 42-7.
The young Red Riders (0-3) were able to hang with the Cadets, who won their second game in three outings, and were behind, 14-7, with 3:42 left in the second period. Weir High junior Carson Yobaggy found sophomore Max Maley wide open on a razzle-dazzle play that covered 77 yards to cut the Cadet lead in half.
The Red Riders found the end zone one more time in the game, but that touchdown was called back by a penalty. Weir High had several other potential big plays, but senior quarterback Anthony DiMatteis and the receivers were unable to connect.
“I said earlier in the week I was concerned with our tackling in space against their athleticism in space, and that’s what haunted us tonight,” said first-year Red Rider coach Frank Sisinni. “For us, it is back to the drawing board and try to clean up some of the issues we’re having.
“I thought we were solid in the first and second quarters, but a couple plays there they got behind us, and then it kind of steamrolled.”
Coach B.J. Depew’s Cadets scored on the first possession of the game when senior quarterback Hunter Kelley found junior Felix Reitter running open down the right hash marks. The scoring strike covered 31 yards. The Cadets’ outstanding place kicker booted the first of his six extra points to give his team a 7-0 lead just 2:20 into the game. The scoring play culminated a 9-play drive.
“I thought Hunter Kelley played well tonight,” Depew said. “Nobody was perfect tonight, but I thought he looked sharper than he had in a couple of weeks. He played with more confidence than he has, so it is nice to see him do that.”
Linsly’s most spectacular play of the game came with 4:08 on the second-quarter clock when senior Spencer Knight dropped a handoff but picked up the loose ball and scampered down the left sideline 65 yards for the Cadets’ second touchdown.
“We practiced that play every day this week, and we finally got it right,” Depew said with a laugh. “Obviously some things happen on the football field, and Spencer really exploded, had some blocking but that was one that went our way tonight.”
Weir High senior Gage Ratter returned Lima’s kickoff from his own 5 to the 23. Two plays later, Weir High thrilled the crowd with it’s only scoring play of the game that counted. DiMatteis lateraled the ball to Yobaggy, who was streaking parallel to the line of scrimmage on a jet sweep. Suddenly, he stopped and lofted a pretty pass to Maley. The scoring play covered 77 yards, and when Reitter’s kick split the uprights, the Red Riders were back in the game, trailing 14-7.
Any Momentum the Red Riders gained quickly disappeared when the Cadets rolled 70 yards on just six plays with senior Zachai Simmons blasting into the end zone from 4-yards out.
Then, the Riders were forced to punt on fourth down from their own 43. The Cadets stuck again just two seconds before halftime when Kelley hit two straight passes, one a 48-yarder to sophomore Luca DiLorenzo followed by a 24-yard strike to senior Kobe Hill, who made a spectacular catch inside the front corner of the end zone, keeping his feet inbounds.
“Early on, they (Weir) had some success,” Depew said. “Our guys had to wake up a little bit because they found Weir came to play. But, once we settled in, we did have a better defense against their running game.
“We had a lot of success, but we made a ton of mistakes. We didn’t play a good, clean game. We didn’t play four quarters. But, we had a lot of success, as well, so it’s kind of a mix of emotions for our kids. I’m happy that we just got to play, but as a coach you want to see better with less penalties (Linsly was penalized 11 times for 90 yards), a cleaner performance. We had some big plays, but had some other big plays called back. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but I’m proud of our guys.”
Linsly: Travels to Dover on Friday.
Weir High: Travels to Marietta on Friday.
Linsly 42, Weir High 7
Linsly 7 21 14 0 — 42
Weir 0 7 0 0 — 7
L — Reitter 31 pass from Kelley (Lima kick)
L — Knight 65 run (Lima kick)
W — Maley 77 pass from Yobaggy (Reitter kick)
L — Simmons 4 run (Lima kick)
L — Hill 24 pass from Kelley (Lima kick)
L — Kelley 62 run (LIma kick)
L — Simmons 3 run (LIma kick
RUSHING: Linsly: 40-244-4 (Knight 9-107-1; Simmons 11-23-2; Kelley 5-66-1; Jones 1-5; Gerson 1-(-1); DiLorenzo 1-3; Stern 5-1; Dolata 4-21; Cowan 1-13; Paull 2-5); Weir High: 26-85 (Bass 6-19; Reitter 1-9; Stromile 2-(-11); Anderson 1-3; Yobaggy 2-18; Lyons 7-36; DiMatteis 7-0).
PASSING: Linsly 10-195-2 (Kelley 9-12-182-2; Paull 1-1-13); Weir High: 8-18-1 (DiMatteis 7-17-52; Yobaggy 1-1-77-1).
RECEIVING: Linsly (Hill 6-4-109; Reitter 1-31-1; Felton 1-6; DiLorenzo 2-48); Weir High: (Maley 4-94-1; Reitter 2-23; Yobaggy 2-6).
FIRST DOWNS: Linsly 13; Weir High 7.
FUMBLES-LOST: Linsly 3-0; Weir High 0-0.
PENALTIES: Linsly 11-90; Weir High 7-50.