Williamstown holds off rival Catholic

PARKERSBURG – Far from a thing of beauty here Saturday night at Stadium Field, visiting Williamstown held on for a 16-13 Little Kanawha Conference victory against fellow Class A rival Parkersburg Catholic.

The No. 15 Crusaders (6-3) made things interesting late in the fourth quarter, but No. 6 Williamstown managed to run out the clock to improve to 7-1 for head coach Terry Smith.

Parkersburg Catholic trailed 10-6 late in the fourth before Williamstown tailback Trace Hart gave the ‘Jackets some breathing room. Hart took a handoff from quarterback Jake Tracewell and started to the right. He then stopped on a dime, made a defender miss and cut it all the way back across the grain for a 23-yard touchdown. The extra point failed, but WHS led 16-6 with just 4:19 remaining.

However, the Crusaders had no intention of giving up and head man Jeff Campbell’s squad didn’t. Keyed by a pair of Payton Sturm 17-yard scampers, the hosts moved the pigskin to the ‘Jacket 29. A swing pass from Sturm ended up being a lateral, but it one-hopped into the hands of Nick Roedersheimer, who broke a tackle inside the 10 and managed to score with 2:53 to play. Peter Keiser’s extra point set the final score.

PCHS tried an onside kick, but was whistled for being offside. Instead of doing it again, Keiser drilled a line drive deep and Williamstown gained possession at its own 4. Tracewell, though, had runs of 12 yards for a first down and then converted a third-and-9 from the WHS 18. That’s when the senior signal-caller had trips left to the wide side of the field and then did a spin move and ran the opposite way. Although it looked like he was going to get tackled a yard short, he fought for the extra yard to get the first down to seal the game.

Williamstown, which plays host to Ritchie County on Friday, scored at 3:25 of the first when Dakota Watson caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tracewell. The drive started when Tracewell picked off Kyle Bronski and returned it 14 yards after the hosts tried a fake punt from their own 37.

Late in the second quarter, ‘Jacket kicker Trace Elder missed a 32-yard field goal, but WHS got the ball back when Cody Huggins recovered a Jake Boice fumble. Elder made it 10-0 when he converted a 22-yard field goal on the ensuing drive.

Despite Tracewell’s second interception of the game from his safety position on the next Crusader series which he returned 57 yards, Boice picked off Tracewell in the end zone to keep it a 10-0 deficit at intermission.

Sturm, who had a game-high 96 yards rushing, made it 10-6 at 7:02 of the third when he broke a tackle at the ‘Jacket 39, raced to the wide side of the field and used a stiff arm to help break a tackle before ending his 44-yard scoring jaunt.

Parkersburg Catholic, which will entertain Gilmer County next Saturday, watched Tracewell run 20 times for 87 yards. Hart added 59 stripes and Watson had five receptions for 51 yards. Roedersheimer had 59 yards rushing and added 32 yards on three catches.