WILLISTON-ELKO 55, RS-M 14
MONETTA — Heath Corley knew better than anyone else dressed out in powder blue on Friday the tall order facing his Ridge Spring-Monetta Trojans in Williston-Elko.
The Blue Devils are big, tough and fast – and that's just on offense.
Corley was the defensive coordinator for Williston-Elko last season before taking over as the head coach of the Trojans, so he had seen that offense up close. The view became more uncomfortable after the visiting Blue Devils offered up a 55-14 buzz-cut of the Trojans in the teams' Region 4-A meeting at Walter J. Davis Field as Williston-Elko dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
“That's a high-quality team and we knew coming in what we had ahead of us,” said Corley. “We were very realistic about that (with the players), but I was very proud of these guys because they knew what they were up against and they came out here and fought hard. That's one thing you don't have to worry about with these kids, they have a lot of pride and they will fight (hard).”
Defensively, the Trojans started off in fine fashion, forcing a turnover from stellar Williston-Elko sophomore running back Jarius Jenkins on the opening drive of the game. But after Ridge Spring-Monetta turned the ball over on downs, the Blue Devils' offense went to work in their Wishbone attack, driving 60 yards in five plays to take an 8-0 lead with 6:19 left in the opening quarter on a run in from the 2-yard line by Jenkins, followed by a Jenkins run on the conversion.
“We had some trouble at times tonight, but overall we played well and really got after them defensively kind of like we did last week (against H-K-T),” said W-E head coach Dwayne Garrick. “All of the backs did a good job, as well as the guys up front on both sides (of the ball). I'm proud of the kids. At one point we were sitting at 1-2 and now we're at 7-2 with a chance to win the region (against Blackville-Hilda) in a couple of weeks.”
Williston-Elko moves to 7-2 overall (4-0 in region play) and will have a bye week next Friday, while Ridge Spring-Monetta falls to 3-5 and will play host to North in their home finale.
The Blue Devils' defense forced RS-M to punt on its next possession and then handed the ball back to the offense for more ground work. This time Williston-Elko drove 56 yards in six plays before David Owens plunged in from 4 yards out for a 14-0 lead (the run failed) with :56 left in the first quarter of play. And the trend continued into the second quarter, with the Blue Devils adding two more scores on the ground (from Josh Jenkins and Jarius Jenkins) before going to the aerial attack – a planned move on the part of Garrick and the coaching staff.
“You don't want to be throwing the ball late in the game with too big a lead so we wanted to work on some things there in the second quarter because we still have some work to do there,” Garrick said.
Trailing 34-0 with less than three minutes before the half, the Trojans' Travious Wigfall gave his team and the home crowd a big boost with a 65-yard kickoff return to the Blue Devils' 15 that made the score 34-8 after quarterback Reggie Preston connected with O.B. Gilliam two plays later on a 15-yard scoring play and again on the conversion play. Still, Williston-Elko responded before the half after a Trojan's fumble led to a Dalton Mundy touchdown pass to Faheem Richburg for the 41-8 margin at halftime.
Ridge Spring-Monetta would add another score in the fourth quarter, but the Blue Devils scored two more times themselves (an 8-yard run and a 75-yard kickoff return for touchdowns by Jarius Jenkins) to collect the game's final margin. Jarius Jenkins finished the game with three touchdowns and rushed for 148 yards, taking his season total to 1,208 yards and 21 total touchdowns.
Gilliam caught both of the touchdown passes thrown by the Trojans, while Raheem Caldwell led RS-M on the ground with 53 yards.
WE 14 27 7 7 – 55
RSM 0 8 0 6 – 14
WE – Jarius Jenkins 2 run (Jenkins run), 6:19.
WE – David Owens 4 run (run failed), :56.
WE – Josh Jenkins 25 run (pass failed), 10:54.
WE – Jarius Jenkins 3 run (Josh Jenkins run), 6:47.
WE – David Owens 43 pass from Dalton Mundy (pass failed), 2:48.
RSM – OB Gilliam 15 pass from Reginald Preston (Gilliam pass from Preston), 2:30.
WE – Faheem Richburg 3 pass from Mundy (Taylor Hearn kick), :3.4.
WE – Josh Jenkins 8 run (Hearn kick), 6:06.
RSM – OB Gilliam 18 pass from Bra'Quon Preston (pass failed), 8:37.
WE – Jarius Jenkins 75 kickoff return (Hearn kick), 8:26.