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No. 8 Williamstown finishes strong for 20-8 win over No. 2 Magnolia

Magnolia quarterback Pat Mirandy is brought down by Williamstown’s Eric Brown during Friday’s game.


NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va. — If Williamstown is to have the type of season it aspires to, the Class A eighth-ranked Yellowjackets will likely look back on the second half of Friday’s 20-8 win at No. 2 Magnolia as a turning point.

One week after losing its opener to No. 1 Wheeling Central, 33-0, Williamstown bounced back in a big way, reeling off three unanswered touchdowns to defeat the Blue Eagles at Alumni Field at Bill Stewart Memorial Stadium.

“After that loss last week, we had to make a change. Everyone was talking about how we had to have more leaders on the team,” WHS senior quarterback Carter Haynes said. “We practiced hard this week. Everyone was doing everything right. If we didn’t have the coaching stuff we have, we wouldn’t be the team we are or been able to have won this game.”

Haynes rushed for his first of three touchdowns with 3:25 remaining in the first half, which combined with the point-after kick by Boston Caruthers, gave the Yellowjackets a 7-6 lead they’d never relinquish.

However, it wasn’t until the second half that WHS seized control of the contest.

Each team went three-and-out on its opening series of the third quarter, though the Yellowjackets started their second possession of the third quarter from their own 49-yard line.

Williamstown (1-1) picked up two first downs on six straight runs to start the drive, and benefited from a pass interference soon after that moved the ball to the Magnolia 10. Haynes finished the drive off with a 5-yard TD run, allowing his team to hold a 14-6 lead with 4:28 showing on the third quarter clock.

“He’s a senior captain. We have a couple other guys, but Carter is always there,” Yellowjackets coach Terry Smith said. “He’s a rock. He gets beat up and keeps ticking, so we just keep giving it to him.”

On the ensuing possession for the Blue Eagles, quarterback Pat Mirandy was picked off by Kole Sutton — one of Sutton’s two interceptions on the night — to give WHS the ball back.

The Yellowjackets then put together a 15 play, 67-yard drive to essentially seal the verdict, with Haynes crossing the goal line on a 5-yard touchdown run with 6:51 to play.

“I owe it all to the line. We have a young line this year and they’re working hard,” Haynes said. “If they see someone bigger in front of them, they don’t flinch. That’s how I’m able to get the ball down the field.”

Magnolia (1-1) added a safety with 5:18 remaining when Donathan Taylor was brought down in the end zone for a 2-yard loss.

But Magnolia turned the ball over on downs with 3:36 left, before Sutton came up with his second interception to seal the victory with 1:09 remaining.

“The coaches got on us at halftime,” Haynes said. “We weren’t being physical enough.”

The Blue Eagles took advantage of an early fumble recovery at their 21-yard line to claim a 6-0 lead when Jason Beisel got the edge for a 20-yard TD run that capped an eight play, 79-yard drive with 5:49 left in the first quarter.

However, Magnolia lost fumbles on each of its next two series, starting its trend of giveaways as the Blue Eagles finished with five turnovers in the loss.

“My hats off to the seniors. Everybody worked hard this week and they didn’t miss a beat,” Smith said. “I’m not surprised we won. We didn’t squeak it out here.”