MARIETTA, Ohio — Just like in Cleveland on Friday night, it was also a record-setting night right down Interstate 77.
And, the Southern Tornado trio which competed contributed quite well to those marks being broke.
That’s because Southern’s triumvirate of Blake Johnson, Trey Pickens and Jaylen Blanks were all involved in the Ohio team’s 50-33 victory over its West Virginia counterparts in the 24th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis all-star football classic — held inside sparkling Don Drumm Stadium in Marietta.
With the Buckeye State’s win, which featured the Ohio all-stars erasing a 12-0 first-quarter deficit by outscoring the Mountaineers 50-13 in the final 38 minutes and 21 seconds, Ohio snapped a two-game losing streak in the series —which is now at 15-9 in favor of West Virginia.
Ohio reversed a 12-0 deficit in the opening nine minutes and 12 seconds, scoring 22 unanswered points— before West Virginia sliced the deficit to 22-20 at halftime.
Both clubs exchanged a pair of third-quarter touchdowns to make it 36-33 in favor of Ohio, but Johnson —who quarterbacked the Tornadoes to last season’s state playoffs —delivered the dagger when he found Marietta receiver Travis Moore for a 15-yard touchdown toss with two minutes and 10 seconds remaining.
The score capped the longest scoring drive of the night — a 10-play, 54-yard march that spanned four minutes and 20 seconds and which made it 43-33 after the first of two extra-point kicks by Marietta’s Tyler Devol.
Devol then made his second extra point only a minute and seven seconds later, when —after West Virginia turned the ball over on downs at its own 19-yard line —Dalton Ivey of Caldwell officially put the contest into the record-books with his 19-yard touchdown dart.
Two records were reached on Friday night, as the two offenses combined for 678 yards on 114 plays from scrimmage.
The combined 83 points are the most in series history, surpassing the 81 combined in the 2003 tilt.
Ohio’s 50 points are the most by one team in a single game —breaking Ohio’s old mark of 48 from five years ago, which West Virginia first established in that 2003 bout.
While Pickens played primarily offensive line, and seeing some second-half snaps on the defensive front, Johnson and Marietta’s Trent Dawson interchanged as the only Ohio quarterbacks.
Johnson completed five passes on seven attempts for 59 yards, but two of those completions resulted in touchdowns — the more important being his jump-ball corner-pylon strike to Moore.
The clinching drive was set up by a turnover — when Wyatt Smitley of Frontier intercepted a desperation pass by West Virginia quarterback Will Billeter.
Taking over at his own 46 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining, Johnson first went for the home-run bomb to a diving Blanks, but Blanks couldn’t quite make the grab.
Nine plays later, however, and facing 4th-down-and-11 from the West Virginia 15, Johnson lobbed to the six-foot, two-inch Moore —who outjumped a West Virginia defender and made the catch for the now nine-point lead at 42-33.
Johnson’s first touchdown pass gave Ohio the lead for good, when he hooked up with Fort Frye’s Brady Carpenter from 18 yards out — with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Blanks, who later caught an eight-yard pass from Dawson on Ohio’s opening drive of the third frame that resulted in a touchdown, ran in the two-point conversion to make it 16-12.
Blanks either lined up as a wide receiver for the Ohio squad, coached by Marietta’s Jason Schob, or was the deep man on kickoff returns.
West Virginia never kicked deep though, and only attempted one extra-point kick.
Point Pleasant kicker Jason Schultz was listed on the original West Virginia roster announced earlier in the week, but did not play.
The Mountain State squad was coached by Mike Eddy, who is the current head coach at Parkersburg South — after guiding Gallia Academy for four years through 2012.
All players in the BACF game are graduated seniors, as Fort Frye’s Casey Lewis led the Ohio team with 105 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
He was named Ohio’s Most Valuable Player, as was Billeter for West Virginia — who completed a dozen passes on 22 attempts for 128 yards and four scores.
Billeter, of St. Marys, is a preferred walk-on this upcoming season at West Virginia University.
He also rushed for a team-high 73 yards on 15 carries, as three of his completions went to St. Marys teammate Braden Barnhart for 66 yards.
Barnhart’s 16-yard touchdown reception, with 16 seconds left in the third quarter to convert 4th-and-10, got the Mountaineers to within 36-33 with their only extra-point kick.
But West Virginia, which allowed five Ohio scoring drives of six plays or less, couldn’t take advantage of Ohio’s second punt —only a 13-yard boot that went out of bounds at the West Virginia 44.
With 10:46 remaining, Billeter and Roane County’s Tyler May —who rushed for 56 yards on 15 totes — moved the visitors to the Ohio 27, which was aided by a 15-yard personal-foul penalty.
But Billeter, before being sacked, was intercepted by Smitley on 4th-down-and-2.
Dawson completed 10 passes on 16 attempts for 146 yards, as Moore made two touchdown receptions —including getting Ohio on the board when Dawson’s deep ball to him went for 47 yards at the 2:21 mark of the first.
Lewis added the two-point conversion run, as Ohio then took over on downs at the West Virginia 33 — following four plays and only 10 seconds gone by in the second stanza.
Ohio, with Johnson’s touchdown to Carpenter, took the lead for good four plays later —and led for the final 33:34.
Moore finished with eight receptions for 129 yards, as the Buckeye quarterbacks combined to go 15-of-23 for 205.
Carpenter caught three passes for 39 yards, while Ivey added 10 carries and 65 yards on the ground — part of a team 170 and 375 total.
Johnson did record one carry for no yards.
Ty McGraw of Waterford was a member of the Ohio team, as his father played in the inaugural BACF game in 1994.
Ohio 50, West Virginia 33
WV 12-8-13-0 — 33
OH 8-14-14-14 — 50
WV: Drew Adams, 15 pass from Will Billeter (pass failed) 8:28
WV: Christian Tallman, 7 pass from Will Billeter (pass failed) 2:48
OH: Travis Moore, 47 pass from Trent Dawson (Casey Lewis run) 2:21
OH: Brady Carpenter, 18 pass from Blake Johnson (Jaylen Blanks run) 9:34
OH: Casey Lewis, 5 run (pass failed) 2:13
WV: Drew Adams, 8 pass from Will Billeter (Will Billeter run) :02
OH: Casey Lewis, 2 run (pass failed) 8:34
WV: Braden Barnhart, 6 run (pass failed) 4:35
OH: Casey Lewis, 27 run (Bailey Wright pass from Blake Johnson) 2:22
WV: Braden Barnhart, 16 pass from Will Billeter (Brant Freeland kick) :16
OH: Travis Moore, 15 pass from Blake Johnson (Tyler Devol kick) 2:10
OH: Dalton Ivey, 19 run (Tyler Devol kick) 1:03
Team Statistics/Individual leaders
First Downs: WV 21, OH 22;
Rushes-Yds: WV 37-160, OH 29-170;
Pass Yds: WV 143, OH 205;
Total Yds: WV 303, OH 375;
Comp-Att-Int: WV 13-25-2, OH 15-23-0;
Penalties-Yds: WV 3-35, OH 10-110;
Fumbles-Lost: WV 4-0, OH 1-0
Punts-Ave.: WV 1-36, OH 2-24.5
WV: Will Billeter (St. Marys) 15-73, Tyler May (Roane County) 15-56, Braden Barnhart (St. Marys) 4-15, Hunter Riffle (Doddridge County) 2-12, Brant Freeland (Parkersburg South) 1-4
OH: Casey Lewis (Fort Frye) 18-105, Dalton Ivey (Caldwell) 10-65, Blake Johnson (Southern) 1-0
WV: Will Billeter (St. Marys) 12-22-2-128, Braden Barnhart (St. Marys) 1-1-0-15, Hunter Riffle (Doddridge County) 0-1-0-0, Tyler May (Roane County) 0-1-0-0
OH: Trent Dawson (Marietta) 10-16-0-146, Blake Johnson (Southern) 5-7-0-59
WV: Braden Barnhart (St. Marys) 3-66, Hunter Riffle (Doddridge County) 3-30, Drew Adams (Wirt County) 2-23, Will Billeter (St. Marys) 1-15, Christian Tallman (Parkersburg Catholic) 2-10, Tyler May (Roane County) 2-(-1)
OH: Travis Moore (Marietta) 8-129, Brady Carpenter (Fort Frye) 3-39, Dalton Ivey (Caldwell) 1-12, Dalton Cowgill (Shenandoah) 1-12, Jaylen Blanks (Southern) 1-8, Bailey Wright (Marietta) 1-5
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106
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