C-K 'Wonder'-ful in Turf Bowl
HUNTINGTON -- Ceredo-Kenova youth football fans laid on their horns Saturday afternoon as they departed Marshall's Joan C. Edwards Stadium west lot and parking spaces around the home of Thundering Herd football.
Their Wonders gave those people wearing green and white reason to be celebrate as they went 3-for-3 in the Tri-State Youth Football League Turf Bowl, winning each title in different fashion. C-K is the first program to depart with three championships in one day since Buffalo did the trick in 1990.
In the A Division finale, C-K's Jeremiah Milum scored on a 1-yard run in the second period and the defense came up with a fumble recovery with 54 seconds left to secure a 6-0 victory over Douglass/Cammack.
In the B Division finale, C-K sprinted to a 30-0 halftime lead over South Point, one TD coming on a 33-yard run by Graeson Malashevich on a trick play on fourth down, and went on to register a 36-0 victory.
In the C Division wrapup, C-K quarterback Clayton Sharp found Deuce Vance wide open behind the Chesapeake secondary for a 24-yard TD pass on a 4th-and-9 with 16 seconds left to tie the game 20-20. Sharp then ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Wonders a 22-20 victory.
In the D Division game, the first of the day, Corbin Page carried seven times for 204 yards and three scores to power Douglas/Cammack to an 18-0 win over Chesapeake.
C-K (10-0) took advantage of a short punt and good return to have first and 10 at the D/C 12 with 4:08 left in the second period. Four plays later, Milum went over from a yard out and from there the Wonders held the Express offense in check. It's the fourth straight title for Wonders coach Perry Morrone, who won the A title a year ago, the B crown two years ago and C title three years ago.
"We felt we'd have to score three times," Morrone said. "D/C's very athletic and can strike from anywhere. I'm surprised we held them. We played with discipline and carried out the assignments."
On D/C's final drive, Elijah Donley laid the hit on Express back Christopher Rogers after he caught a swing pass at the C-K 43, forced a fumble and teammate Cody Sharp made the recovery.
This was C-K's fifth straight shutout and seventh of the season. D/C finished 8-2.
C-K (9-1) made up for its 8-6 loss to South Point (8-2) in the season opener and did not yield a point in its ninth shutout of the year.
C-K's defense limited the Pointers to 16 total yards and piled up 288 on the ground. Malashevich led with 146 on 13 carries and two scores.
C-K coach Billy Malashevich said the behind-the-back handoff that led to the score is called 49 First. Akers faked a handoff to the up back, put the ball behind his back, Malashevich raced by, took it and sprinted in for the score.
"We practice it quite a bit," Malashevich said. "It was a good time and place for it. There's some misdirection and that sold it. We had great execution and the defense did a super job. We got physical and flew to the football."
C-K and Chesapeake went back and forth. Donald Richendollar scored on a 35-yard run in the third period and Gavin Hunt raced in from 52 yards out with 7:44 left to give Chesapeake a 20-14 lead. Then came "the drive."
C-K started at its 22 with 3:42 remaining and went the distance. The Wonders got to the Chesapeake 24 where they faced a 4th-and-9. C-K coach Mick Osburn switched Vance from the right side to the left before the snap and he worked his way free on a post pattern.
"It was there at the snap," Osburn said of Vance being open. "I knew he'd be behind them. I just prayed he'd catch it. We preach all year you play four quarters. Never give up. I told the kids before that drive it's your to take. The offensive line did a heck of a job all day."
In the regular season, the Panthers beat the Wonders, 26-6, in Week 4. "It shocked us a little bit," Osburn said. "They were ready for us."
Sharp led C-K with 197 yards on 26 carries. Hunt paced the Panthers with 126 on 13.
Page did the damage for D/C (11-0) against Chesapeake (4-6). He had scoring runs of 43, 75 and 48 yards.
The D/C Express finished with shutouts in five of its final six games.
The Panthers went 1-6 in the regular season, then beat Milton, Beverly Hills and Barboursville to make the championship game.
Turf Bowl game summaries