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Man killed in Lincoln County crash

SPURLOCKVILLE, W.Va. — A man died in a Sunday morning truck wreck in Lincoln County.

State police said Trevor Atkins, 18, of Sumerco, lost control of the truck at around 4 a.m. on Bulger Road near Spurlockville. The truck overturned, Atkins was thrown from the vehicle and killed.

Troopers said a passenger suffered minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Smithers looks to hire engineering firm to fix flood damaged sewer lines

SMITHERS, W.Va. — Smithers Mayor Anne Cavalier says her city is moving forward with infrastructure projects following the Aug. 15 flood in Fayette County.

Anne Cavalier

Cavalier told MetroNews repairing damaged sewer lines in the Cannelton Hollow Road area is one of her top priorities with money now flowing in from the federal government.

“Those things that were broken and swept away, such as sewer lines, roads, bridges, those are the very first things we’re addressing,” she said.

Last week, Fayette County was granted public disaster assistance from the Biden administration. Kanawha County, which also experienced flood damage from the same storm, was denied assistance.

The damage to Fayette County’s sewer system in the Smithers area alone far exceeded the county’s threshold, Cavalier said.

“In parts of our city, we still can see the flood damage. We have families that can’t return to house. We have roads that are crippled. We have a creek that is still full of cars, trucks and trees,” she said.

The mayor said the city wants to hire an engineering firm to fix the sewer lines first.

“As soon as that engineer is on board, then their first role will be to assess what the damage is,” she said.

Cavalier said the selected engineering firm will need be approved by City Council at their next meeting set for Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.

Being approved for federal assistance meant a lot to Cavalier because she said it will help her city’s residents recover and prepare for future flooding events.

“It really hit me right in the heart that we can now start addressing all of these problems and find ways to help our community rebuild, regroup and even prepare for the future,” she said.

Kanawha County had originally submitted $974,000 in damages for public infrastructure damage including stream damage on Campbells Creek and Hughes Creek.

Both Fayette and Kanawha were denied individual assistance for homeowners.

The flood in Fayette County also impacted the Scrabble Creek area of Gauley Bridge. In total, more than 100 homes along with roads and bridges north of U.S. Route 60 in Kanawha and Fayette counties were damaged. There was no loss of life.

Cavalier said a temporary bridge has been installed at Carbondale Road and Smithers Creek.

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Marsh: Flu hospitalizations “worst we’ve seen in 10 years”

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There are new variants of COVID-19 that are circulating in West Virginia, on top of a rise in flu cases and continued concerns about RSV among children, according to state health officials.

Clay Marsh

State coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said there’s been a 30 percent increase in flu hospitalizations in the last week.

“The influenza outbreak is the worst that we’ve seen in 10 years related to hospitalizations,” Marsh said on a recent MetroNews “Talkline” appearance.

West Virginia is starting to see subvariants of the Omicron BA.5 virus that Marsh said are “more infectious.”

“These variants are uniquely able to infect people even who have been vaccinated and even who have had COVID before and have recovered from it,” he said.

Marsh said the best way to protect yourself this holiday season is to stay up to date on vaccinations.

“If you compare people that have gotten the Omicron booster shot versus people who haven’t been vaccinated, then we’ve see a 14 times an improvement in the reduced risk of death and hospitalizations,” Marsh explained.

Marsh also said RSV cases in West Virginia are on the decline.

“We are starting to see a bit of a plateauing, but that is still a very dangerous virus for young West Virginians,” he said.

State InterAgency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer, also a recent guest on “Talkline,” said the state needs to do a better job of vaccinating older residents, not just for COVID-19.

James Hoyer

“In a state that is very vulnerable health wise, but more importantly has one of the highest percentages of grandparents raising children in any state in the country, if a young person gets RSV, they’re more likely to pass it to a grandparent,” Hoyer said.

About 74 percent of residents over the age of 18 have had at least one COVID-19 dose. About 84 percent of residents over the age of 65 are considered “full vaccinated,” but only 27 percent of that age group have received their Omicron booster shot.

“We’ve got to do a better job of getting that message out,” Hoyer said.

The state has a vaccine calculator to see when they need their next shot. Residents can also call the vaccine hotline at 1-833-734-0965.

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Air ambulance provider reports EMS worker shortage, seeks legislative help

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The shortage of trained EMS workers in the state is a crisis that now includes air ambulances.

HealthNet Aeromedical Services President and CEO Clinton Burley said just like their ground counterparts, if they have no staff they cannot provide services to the community.

Clinton Burley

“It has reached a point where every day in West Virginia there are ambulances parked because there is no staffing,” Burley said.

For HealthNet, the problem is solved by shuffling assets to maintain coverage but Burley contends the deepening worker shortage will make those efforts less effective and eventually ineffective if a solution is not developed.

“If we have an aircraft that is out of service in one location, the one that is next closest would be moved half-way in between those locations to balance out the coverage,” Burley said.

Gov. Jim Justice earmarked $10 million earlier this year to help work on the problem and as a result the state has five mobile ambulance training vehicles that can conduct education.

“The education is available at no cost and it is available in every local community across West Virginia,” Burley said. “You can make a difference for your neighbors and now is the time to help.”

Burley hopes lawmakers will continue pumping more money into the ailing state EMS system.

“We have the attention of the legislature and the executive of the state as to the needs of EMS,” Burley said. “These leaders are listening and they’re responding.”

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Mercer County crash claims 2 lives

BRAMWELL, W.Va. — Two people are dead following a single-vehicle crash in Mercer County.

Deputies said it happened just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the area of Simmons River Road and Suit Road in Bramwell.

The vehicle ran off the road and into a river. Two people had to be removed from the vehicle and transported to Princeton Community Hospital where they died from their injuries.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the Bramwell Police Department, Mercer County Emergency Management, Bluefield Rescue Squad, Princeton Rescue Squad, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and other local fire departments all responded to the scene.

The investigation is being handled by Mercer County deputies.

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Caputo reflects on the Jeffries defection, decline of Dems in statehouse

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – After the defection of state Senator Glenn Jeffries to the Republican party Senator Mike Caputo is one of one three remaining Democrats in the state senate.

Sen. Mike Caputo

“I don’t agree with what he (Jeffries) did because I think you have to be honest with your constituents and you have to be honest with yourself and I don’t think Glenn has done that,” Caputo said Friday on MetroNews “Talkline.” “I mean, he was elected as a Democrat and he served as a Democrat.”

Jeffries, R-Putnam, said his change of party affiliation won’t change who he is as a lawmaker.

“I have the greatest respect for the many friends and supporters I have been blessed with during my time in public office,” Jeffries said in his announcement last week. “I hope to continue and strengthen those relationships going forward.”

He added, “Our politics have gotten so personal and difficult. I want to make sure that I serve constituents and our state in a respectful, thoughtful way that leads to a better life for all West Virginians.”

Caputo, D-Marion, said he believes the decline of the Democratic Party in the state began during the Obama administration. Caputo said Republicans were able to take national issues and make them stick on statewide candidates.

“They made us look like we’re anti-coal and anti-job and it worked quite frankly,” Caputo said. “The people of West Virginia unfortunately have believed that and, I think it’s hogwash.”

Senator Glenn Jeffries

Caputo has been in the legislature since 1998 and said campaigns have changed vastly. Jeffries was first elected to the state Senate in 2016 with a win over incumbent Republican Chris Walters. Caputo rejected the idea that Jefferies will be able to accomplish more by crossing parties to be a part of the majority.

“One of 34, a newcomer on the back bench and you’re going to have that much influence, no you won’t,” Caputo said. “They’re going to throw you a couple bones and say thank you because you switched, but at the end of the day it’s all about getting reelected and nobody will convince me otherwise.”

Caputo has watched the once dominant Democrat party wilt over time, but he compared his situations to the Republican Party years ago. He cited the convictions of Charlie Trump, Craig Blair and Mitch Carmichael who remained Republicans while the Democrats maintained political control.

“But, you know what they never did when they were in super minorities? They never left they stood there and fought for their beliefs,” Caputo said. “That’s why I respect them so much. They stood there and fought for their beliefs even when they knew they were outnumbered.”

Caputo speculated Jeffries made the move to preserve his reelection chances in 2024. Senator Richard Lindsay, D-Kanawha, was defeated last month in the same district by former Democrat, now Republican, Mark Hunt.

“I think it’s matter of self-preservation,” Caputo said. “How bad do you want to win an election? Do you want to sell your soul and everything you believe in to switch parties just so you can be reelected? That’s not me.”

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Lawmakers gather to set policy priorities and begin selecting their leaders

West Virginia legislators have gathered this weekend to assess their policy priorities for the regular session that’s straight ahead while also taking votes on who their leaders will be.

Republicans came out of last month’s General Election with even more dominant majorities in the state Senate and House of Delegates.

The Senate now has 31 Republicans out of the 34 members after the election and then the switch of Senator Glenn Jeffries from Democrat to Republican. That’s way up from the prior 23-Republican majority.

The House will go into the next session with 88 Republican members out of the 100. That’s up from 78 Republicans.

The newly-shaped caucuses will meet behind closed doors for votes on who their leaders will be, a process that occurs every time there’s a new legislature.

Although each party in each chamber will decide their own nominees for leadership, nothing will be official until formal floor votes are taken at the start of the next session. Nevertheless, whoever comes out of the Republican caucuses as the leadership nominees will be the ones eventually selected

No major leadership shakeup seems likely in the Senate, where a challenge to President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, has already been withdrawn.

Senator Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, in late August had announced a challenge for the president’s role. But last month, Rucker said that although frustrations continue over some key issues, she would withdraw. 

“At the time of my announcement to run, I believed that I had the votes needed to win,” she said in her withdrawal announcement. “Today, November 22nd, I no longer believe that to be true.”

There is still competition for the top leadership role on the House side, along with the likelihood of other leadership changes.

House Government Organization Committee Chairman Brandon Steele, R-Raleigh, announced a challenge to the current House Speaker, Roger Hanshaw, months ago and it is still on.

Hanshaw, R-Clay, has been speaker since 2018 and has said he intends to continue in that role.

If Steele were to win, it’s likely there would be a whole new set of leaders in the House, including committee chairs.

Meanwhile, Steele has continued to serve as House Government Organization chairman, which is part of Hanshaw’s leadership team, even while mounting the challenge. If Steele loses, it’s hard to see how he would retain that role.

Even if Hanshaw retains the speaker’s gavel, there could be other leadership changes. In particular, Majority Leader Amy Summers, R-Taylor, could depart that role and focus on other policy priorities, including expected legislation to reform the Department of Health and Human Resources. Summers has been majority leader alongside Hanshaw since 2018.

Possibilities for the new majority leader, according to delegates, include current Finance Chairman Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, and current Health Chairman Matthew Rohrbach, R-Cabell. But all of that remains fluid until the full caucus gets together to start sorting everything out.

Any of that shifting could cause a domino effect of other positions being filled.

Steele, speaking on “Radio Roundtable” on WJLS AM, addressed the many personnel changes at the Legislature, starting with sheer numbers.

“In the House we have 30 members coming in as brand new, and that is astonishing,” Steele said. “I think there’s an appetite on the part of those new members to see some legislation progress that maybe we’ve not had an opportunity to progress before.”

He noted that a general desire to cut taxes in West Virginia has not resulted in actual cuts over the past few years. “I think you’re going to see a boldness to try to pursue some of that,” Steele said. “There’s still a $1.8 billion surplus out there that begs the question, when are we going to return some of this to the taxpayer?

“I think if you look at the platform that a lot of people ran on, they’re not going to tolerate a disagreement between the House, the Senate and the governor — they’re going to expect a result. And I think that’s what the voters said by sending even larger majorities than were there before.”

Steele said he hopes policy goals can wind up uniting the caucus.

“It’s not just different views; it’s different personalities and different leadership styles that are clashing at the moment,” he said. “The last thing you want to see is your own caucus divided. What you’re hoping is you can have a leadership style that’s going to unify that and avoid those divisions.

“We’ve seen them in the past back in the ’90s and early 2000s with the Democratic supermajorities. Often the eight to 10 Republicans in the room would wind up being the votes that swayed legislation, where there was a split. People have prognosticated that the same thing is going to happen to us.”

With unity, Steele said, “there’s some great things we can achieve in terms of energy diversity, tax reform, budget reform, education reform, that I think by and large most Republicans agree on. And if we can get past disagreements, there’s a great opportunity to pass bold policy that the people expect from us.”

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Marshall comfortably defeats Ohio, 83-69

— By David Walsh

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall held a 6-5 lead over Ohio and nearly 7 minutes had gone off the first-half clock.

Not to worry Thundering Herd fans. Kamdyn Curfman nailed a 3-pointer with 13:04 left in the first half that triggered a 9-0 run for a 15-5 lead that Marshall built on until late when the the victory margin shrunk to 83-69 over the Bobcats in front of a season-high home crowd of 5,180 on the White Out promotion.

Ohio, a former Mid-American Conference rival of the Herd, likes to get physical, but failed to do so on this afternoon. Before Saturday, Ohio foes averaged 69 points per game.

“They’re very physical. Our speed kept them from being physical,” Herd coach Dan D’Antoni said. “We play at a hard pace to stay up with.”

Micah Handlogten, Marshall’s 7-foot-1 big man, tracked down a loose ball on the Herd end of the floor with just seconds left in the half, raced the length of the court and scored on a layup in the paint just before the buzzer went off. The officials checked the replay, saw the freshman had beat the clock and ruled count the two for a 43-22 lead at halftime.

“Defense, we build off on offense,” the Herd’s Taevion Kinsey said. “We have a lot of people who can score. We help each other on defense. That’s what coach Dan hones in on.

“Start fast, we knew we could. We’re hard to stop on offense. Thank the crowd. We feed off their energy. We kept our foot on the pedal.”

Marshall (7-1) extended its win streak to seven. The Bobcats fall to 4-4.

A year ago, Ohio beat the Herd in Athens and that started Marshall on a 10-game losing streak en route to a 12-21 overall record.

“Feels great,” Kinsey said of the current win streak. “We don’t dwell on it. We remember the slide. We use it as motivation. Everybody questioned themselves, took a good look in the mirror. Get in shape, stay in shape and block out the noise. So far good.”

D’Antoni agreed, adding Kinsey and fellow guard Andrew Taylor served and continue to serve as sparks.

“Started over the summer,” D’Antoni said. “They hated what happened last year. They came back ready to play. More focused. I’m proud of them.

“We go 1-of-11 and still are up two. You can tell the difference from past teams to this team. Hold in there until you get it going and forget to play defense. This one comes back tougher on defense.”

Obinna Anochili-Killen had 16 points and six rebounds. Taylor had a team-high 19 points and Kinsey added 18 and team-high nine rebounds. Curfman finished with 11 and Jacob Conner 10.

D’Antoni was happy to see Anochili-Killen’s numbers rise.

“He picked up his game a little,” D’Antoni said. “Still not satisfied. There’s more that he can offer this team.”

Anochili-Killen enjoys being paired up down low with Handlogten.

“We’ve got guys who can shoot,” Anochili-Killen said. “Me and Micah are on both sides of the boards. It’s been pretty fun so far.”

“Ball movement,” Kinsey added. “When we come to the locker room it’s athletic ball. Go with it. We have a lot of weapons on the bench. Last year we had a lot of 1-on-1 one and teams stopped us. It’s easy to share the ball knowing my guys are hitting shots.”

Curfman, transfer from VMI, is the Herd’s three-point specialist and let a few go from deep Saturday. Didn’t bother anyone in a Herd uniform.

“We expect that,” Kinsey said. “It doesn’t affect us. Fans probably ask why? It’s part of our offense.”\

Marshall, first-year Sun Belt Conference member, returns to action Thursday at Duquesne. The Herd visits Robert Morris next Saturday and travel to UNC Greensboro on Dec. 13.

Dwight Wilson III led the Bobcats with 16 points and six rebounds. Gabe Wiznitzer netted a career-high 15 points and AJ Brown 11.

The final margin is as close as Ohio would get in the second half.

“We’ve got four new guys,” D’Antoni said of Curfman, Handlogten, Conner and Wyatt Fricks. “We solid. We’re long. Give credit to my staff. Long, athletic and skilled. They fit my style.”

Ohio leads the overall series 57-50. The two teams are now 7-7 in the last 14 meetings.

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WVU comes undone late, falls to Xavier, 84-74

CINCINNATI — After shooting 54 percent in the first half of Saturday’s matchup with Xavier, West Virginia went cold in the second half and failed to hit a field goal over the final 4-plus minutes of the game.

As a result, Xavier outscored the Mountaineers by 17 points after halftime and 19-6 over the final 6:46 to come away with an 84-74 victory as part of the Big East-Big 12 battle before a sellout crowd at The Cintas Center.

“They made shots and we did not,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said in his return to Cincinnati to face a team he did annually during his storied career with the Bobcats. “They got open shots and made those. They also made their free throws. We missed our open shots and free throws.”

Huggins preached the importance of taking care of the ball and the Mountaineers finished with 12 turnovers, including seven in the second half.

“We did a good job, didn’t we,” Huggins said rhetorically. “We spend an enormous amount of time trying to fix it. Maybe we should always do dribble handoffs so they can hand it off and not have to pass it. It is hard for me to imagine.”

West Virginia (6-2) had three double-figure scorers, including Erik Stevenson, who led the way with 16 points. Fourteen of Stevenson’s 16 points came in the first half as did all three of his 3-pointers.

Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Jimmy Bell each scored 12 points in defeat.

West Virginia had three separate 8-0 spurts in the first half, including one to extend its lead to 41-30 late in the first haf.

Xavier (6-3) countered with a 6-0 run, before Stevenson knocked down a jumper with four seconds left to send WVU into the break leading 43-36.

The Mountaineers went into the break ahead 43-36.

Bell contributed half of WVU’s first 12 points after the break, including a driving layup with 15:25 left that gave the Mountaineers a 55-50 advantage.

“I learned to be patient,” Bell said. “I do not need to rush anything. I am a big body and can get to any spot. I took my time today, and I was able to score.”

WVU then made only 3-of-10 shots over the next 7 minutes.

While the Mountaineers’ offensive woes lingered throughout the second half, Xavier’s offense became effective through a high pick-and-roll. 

Time and time again, the Musketeers’ guards got downhill and found a driving lane or open teammate.

“You have to veer them off one way or another,” Huggins said. “You have to take something away and we do not take anything away. When you stand on the side, you say, ‘Go ahead.’

“We spent three days on the pick-and-roll and I thought we were doing a better job. We didn’t do a good job.”

Huggins believes forwards can help redirect the opposition, but noted that aspect needs improvement in the future.

“I have a hard time understanding why you do not stand in front of someone,” Huggins stated. “Why do you start on the side? It makes no sense to me. I told them I was slow and 6-foot-4, but I stayed in front of the guys. Was I stealing the ball from them and shifting them everywhere? No. I was in front of them, and they had to shoot it over me.”

Seven-footer Jack Nunge took advantage of the scrambling West Virginia defense as he connected on a triple with 4:40 left that put Xavier in front to stay at 73-70.

WVU’s final four points all came from Iowa transfer Joe Toussaint. He finished with nine points.

The Mountaineers missed 11 of their last 12 field-goal attempts.

Xavier was led by Souley Boum’s 23 points. Nunge added 17 to go with 14 rebounds, keying a 34-28 rebounding edge for the Musketeers.

Colby Jones and Adam Kunkel added 14 and 11 points, respectively, in the victory.

Tre Mitchell was limited to nine points in 17 minutes as the forward was plagued by four fouls.

The Mountaineers shot 27 of 59 for the game, while the Musketeers were near 54 percent by making 28-of-52 shots. Xavier also outscored West Virginia by 12 points a the free-throw line.

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Mission accomplished: Williamstown finishes job, handles James Monroe 52-20 in Class A title game

WHEELING, W.Va. — Williamstown head coach Chris Beck and James Monroe head coach John Mustain were in agreement Saturday’s Class A title game at Wheeling Island Stadium would largely be decided in the trenches.

Unfortunately for the Mavericks, that worked out well for the Yellowjackets.

No. 2 Williamstown consistently won at the point of attack to rush for 416 yards, 272 of which came from quarterback Maxwell Molessa, who added five rushing scores to pave the way in a resounding 52-20 victory over the top seed Mavericks.

“Our guys just play so hard. They have a lot of size up front, but you can’t measure heart,” Beck said. “We have a bunch of guys that just play like maniacs. We always talk about alignment, assignment and effort. We feel like if we know who to block and we go 100 miles per hour as hard as we can, good things will happen and we were fortunate that happened tonight.”

The win gives WHS (12-1) its third state championship and first since 2014 and also helps the Yellowjackets avenge a loss to Ritchie County in last year’s Class A final.

Williamstown followed in the footsteps of Class AA champion Independence and Class AAA champion Huntington, both of which also claimed state championships this season after runner-up finishes a year ago.

“It’s always great to win a championship, but after what happened last year, being able to make it all the way back and finish it, that’s something special,” WHS tailback Rickie Allen said. “It’s something else.”

Playing on a new stage, it was a nightmare start for JMHS (13-1). The Mavericks turned it over on their first play from scrimmage when Logan White forced a Chaz Boggs fumble that Harbor Haught pounced on at the Mavericks’ 31 and returned 6 yards.

“That’s a backbreaker when something like that happens that quick,” Mustain said. “Would it have made a difference in the game? I don’t know. Maybe it would have and maybe not, but you hate to have that happen that quickly in a game like this. But hats off to them. They have a fantastic team.“

Four plays later, tailback Allen scored the first of Williamstown’s seven touchdowns on a 1-yard run. Molessa used his legs to convert the 2-point attempt, giving Williamstown an 8-0 lead.

The Mavericks settled in on their second series and Boggs atoned for the fumble with a 25-yard touchdown run. Layton Dowdy’s 2-point pass to Eli Allen enabled the Mavericks to pull even at 8 at the 8:40 mark of the opening quarter.

The game didn’t remain tied for long. 

Molessa’s 64-yard touchdown run on third-and-5 put the Yellowjackets back on top 2:26 later, and though he was stopped short on the conversion attempt, Williamstown was in front to stay.

“I knew I had a line that’s disciplined and would get me the holes I needed,” Molessa said. “I was just going to make the best of what I was given.”

After Jacob Hall recovered a Haught fumble that allowed the Mavericks to start at Williamstown’s 34, the Yellowjackets’ defense delivered a key stop when Cooper Ridgeway was stopped at the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-2 from the 26.

On the ensuing series, Molessa got into the open field and raced 55 yards to the end zone to make it 20-8. Molessa connected with Louis Goodnow on the 2-point play to up the Yellowjackets’ lead to 14 just 46 seconds into the second quarter.

“He’s a stud. He’s a gamer. The line dominated up front, but Max made a lot of guys miss on his own,” Allen said. “He was the best player on either team and that was clear tonight. I love having him as my QB and best friend.”

Ridgeway’s 2-yard TD run capped off a 69-yard drive and brought the Mavericks to within eight, but the 2-point attempt failed, leaving WHS with a 22-14 lead at the 5:35 mark of the second quarter.

The Yellowjackets responded with an 84-yard drive that featured a pair of third-down conversions, including Molessa’s 9-yard TD run on third-and-2.

Allen reached the end zone on the 2-point play, giving Williamstown a 30-14 lead 1:03 before halftime.

“I thought the beginning of the game was going to be critical with an inexperienced bunch like they have as far as this atmosphere and everything,” Beck said. “If things don’t go your way early, it can kind of set a tone. That got them behind the 8-ball and I really believe they wanted to slow the game down with a power run game to limit possessions. Once you get them behind and they’re chasing, that changes the complexion of what they want to do.”

That score stood until the opening series of the second half when Molessa accounted for his fourth rushing touchdown from 4 yards, which combined with his successful 2-point run, gave the Yellowjackets their biggest lead to that point at 38-14.

Molessa’s final touchdown came on a 17-yard run to start the fourth quarter and he again used his legs to run in the 2-point try and make it 46-14.

Dowdy found Boggs for a 48-yard touchdown pass on a crossing pattern to provide the Mavericks with their final points, before Allen answered with a 5-yard touchdown run for the final scoring play of the contest.

“It’s always easiest when your best players are your hardest workers,” Beck said. “Nobody works harder than those two. They deserve everything they get. They’re selfless and they know if a team is taking one weapon away, the other guy can have a big night.”

The 52 points allowed by the Mavericks were 30 more than they surrendered in any other game this season and more than the 41 they allowed in 10 regular season games.

Molessa needed only 19 carries to rush for his game-high total with an average of 14.3 yards per attempt.

“The only thing on my mind was to bring this trophy back. Whether the yards came with or they didn’t, that didn’t matter to me as long as the trophy came back,” Molessa said.

Allen was also key in the victory and rushed 21 times for 116 yards.

Molessa completed all five of his passes for 58 yards.

The Mavericks were out-gained 474-242.

JMHS rushed for 120 yards on 32 attempts and Dowdy completed 7-of-11 passes for 114 yards.

Boggs had a game-high 58 receiving yards and Eli Allen followed with 56. A

“That’s a heck of a team and I knew they would be,” Mustain said. “Hard running backs and a good line up front. We don’t have anything to hang our heads about as far as I’m concerned. Everybody always talks about they don’t remember who comes in second, well so what. I don’t give a crap about that. We’re here and a bunch of other teams weren’t here.”

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