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No. 2 Magnolia beats Williamstown a second time

November 9, 2012
By JOSH STROPE ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NEW MARTINSVILLE - Williamstown coach Terry Smith said earlier in the week that he wanted to try and slow Magnolia down by limiting the big plays.

It didn't take long for that plan to fail.

Magnolia standout Stephen Rogalski took the opening kickoff 99 yards to the end zone and the Blue Eagles won their first playoff game in Class A, topping the Yellowjackets, 34-7, on Friday at Alumni Field.

Article Photos

Magnolia’s Stephen Rogalski leaps for a touchdown reception against Williamstown Friday night.

''He caught it clear in the corner. I didn't want to kick it to him," Smith said. "But he caught the ball and right down the sideline. He's fast.''

On the other side of the field, it was all smiles.

''Did these kids come out ready to play or what?'' Magnolia coach Mark Batton asked. ''They came out so fast. I'm so proud of these players and these coaches. That is a big-time win. It's tough to beat a team twice, especially one the quality of Williamstown.

''It's nice to look up and see (15) seconds off the clock and you have a lead. You will take that every week. It was a total team effort.''

Magnolia (10-1) took total control in the second quarter, scoring three touchdowns, all on passes from quarterback Tanner Hanna.

Hanna, who finished with 82 passing yards, found Rogalski on a post pattern behind three Yellowjackets defenders to put the Blue Eagles up 13-0.

On Williamstown's next play from scrimmage, quarterback Jake Tracewell was picked off by Gage Deem. The 5-foot-11 senior made Williamstown pay for the turnover, catching a pass from Hanna near the sideline, breaking tackles and running across the field and into the end zone for a 20-0 lead.

On the next Magnolia possession, Hanna found freshman Todd Lemasters in the corner of the end zone for a four-touchdown lead 1:41 before halftime.

''They are just too fast, too big, and we couldn't slow them down,'' Smith said. ''They got off the ball quicker and just outplayed us. They have No. 5 (Rogalski), Keller, the quarterback. These guys are good.''

Williamstown (6-5) opened the third quarter with a long drive, but Garret Butler missed a 29-yard field goal. Magnolia responded by handing the ball to Drew Keller.

The junior was tough to bring down all night, breaking tackles and gaining tough yards for first downs. He completed the Blue Eagles scoring with a 1-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Keller finished with 178 yards, his second highest rushing total of the season.

''It takes a couple guys to bring him down,'' Batton said. ''The thing with Drew is that he gets tougher as the game goes on. And a lot of that was the offensive line opening up some holes. Tanner had a nice game and Drew took care of the rest.

''Drew has that great balance and that great vision.''

Dakota Watson caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tracewell for the lone Williamstown score.

Magnolia plays host next weekend to the winner of today's Wheeling Central-East Hardy game.

''We'll see how (today) plays out,'' Batton said. ''You play the game, you survive and go on. It's 16 teams now and goes to eight next week. We will prepare hard for whoever it may be and hopefully these kids come out with that same fire.''

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