Williamsburg wins, still hopes for playoff spot
MORRISDALE – Williamsburg football coach Bob Hearn knew his team needed help to make it into the field of eight of the District 6 Class A playoffs.
Even though the Blue Pirates probably won’t get the necessary assistance to make it to the postseason, that didn’t stop Hearn’s bunch from celebrating by taking pictures with friends and family after a 49-7 win over West Branch on Friday.
Williamsburg’s defense forced six Warrior turnovers – including a 99-yard interception return by Bryce Young – and needed just 33 plays of offense to send West Branch to an 0-10 season.
The win gave the Blue Pirates cause for celebration, as it ended their regular season with a 6-4 mark – the school’s first winning season since 1990.
The Pirayes could sneak in to the playoffs as the eighth seed if Westmont upsets Bishop Carroll tonight.
“It’s a big deal for us,” Hearn said. “Maybe for a lot of schools it would be a disappointing year, but for us and our community and our fans and our players, it’s a big deal. There are 50-some boys in the top three grades, and to have a group like this I’m so proud of this group of guys.”
Hearn didn’t want his Blue Pirates to underestimate the Warriors.
“I challenged them to come out, play well and to get out to a good start. We haven’t done that a lot this year, but they did come out quick tonight and really played well,” he said.
Williamsburg set the tone for the game after the Warriors marched inside the Pirate 30 on the opening series as quarterback Austin McMonagle hit Mike Biddle for a 58-yard completion.
McMonagle capped the drive with a run from 6 yards out and followed with the first of his seven PATs.
Caleb Morrissey also had a big night for Williamsburg, as he scored on all three of his first-half touches. Morrissey scored on runs of 10 and 1, respectively, and also hauled in an 8-yard strike from McMonagle.
McMonagle also found Young on a 30-yard score, as the Pirates held a 35-0 lead late in the first half.
With West Branch marching toward the end zone, Young made his presence felt defensively. The Williamsburg junior jumped an out route at the goal line, caught his balance and raced 99 yards untouched for a 42-0 halftime lead.
“It might have been the best job the guys have done all year,” Hearn said of his defense, which forced five turnovers in the first half. “That’s one of the things we’ve been challenged with – being able to stop teams. We’ve been able to score pretty much all year, but it’s been pretty much a matter of being able to stop teams.”
Hearn knew the Warriors’ ability to run the ball could factor in the game.
“We did challenge them coming here because West Branch is a good team at running the ball and controlling the clock. We challenged them to come out, get stops and get the ball to our offense so we could put some points up. I couldn’t have asked any more from the defense. It was just a great effort.”
The Warriors ran 26 more plays and gained one less yard than the Blue Pirates in the contest. West Branch running back Kris Smeal toted the ball 28 times for 162 yards and scored his team’s only touchdown with a 15-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
Biddle added to his team’s lead on the first play of the third quarter, as he darted through the Warrior defense for a 58-yard score.
“People have made plays on us out in space when we haven’t been able to make tackles,” West Branch coach Lester Smeal said. “We missed three or four open field tackles. We were there and we missed them. We made contact, but we didn’t wrap up and that’s the theme that has happened to us all year.”
Score By Quarters
Williamsburg14 28 7 0 – 49
West Branch0 0 0 7 – 7
W-McMonagle 6 run, (McMonagle kick), 4:15.
W-Young 30 pass from McMonagle, (McMonagle kick), 1:41.
W-Morrissey 1 run, (McMonagle kick), 9:16.
W-Morrissey 8 pass from McMonagle, (McMonagle kick), 3:50.
W-Morrissey 10 run, (McMonagle kick), 2:07.
W-Young 99 interception return, (McMonagle kick), :29.
W-Biddle 58 run, (McMonagle kick), 11:22.
WB-K. Smeal 15 run, (Kerlin kick), 9:00.
Rushing: Williamsburg – Biddle 7-94, McMonagle 4-21, Morrissey 3-13, Lower 1-1, Ross 2-0, Shaw 2-(-8). West Branch – K. Smeal 28-162, L.G. Smeal 9-26, Williams 7-17, Rougeux 3-5, Brown 1-(-5).
Passing: Williamsburg – McMonagle 6-11-0-138; Shaw 1-3-0-5. West Branch -Williams 3-10-3-58; Kerlin 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: Williamsburg – Young 4-81, Biddle 2-54, Morrissey 1-8. West Branch – Kerlin 3-58.
Interceptions: Williamsburg- Young 2, Biddle.
TEAM STATISTICS W WB
Passing (c-a-i)7-14-0 3-11-3
Passing yards143 58
Punts-Avg 3-35.0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-34 1-10