By DAVE MORRISON
WHEELING - Wheeling Park's Geremy Paige still looked as if he were about to spit nails, even though the Patriots had finished off their impressive 42-22 victory against Steubenville, the first in school history, some 20 minutes prior.
"I feel like I could play four more quarters," Paige said, still breathing fire after the monumental victory against an old nemesis.
He might have done it, too.
It was a history-making night, erasing the sting of 12 straight losses to Big Red, a span that saw Steubenville limit Park to just 30 points total in those 12 games. It was the first time since 1963 that Steubenville lost to a West Virginia team and the first time in over a century (1910) that Big Red fell to a Wheeling-based public school (Wheeling Wildcats).
No wonder Paige was still fired up.
"I feel like we won a championship," the senior said, after his 14 tackle, one sack performance. "We beat them when we were freshmen, so we knew we could play with them. To come out and play like we did, it was just an incredible night.
"We know we still have a lot of work to do. We think we can compete with anybody on our schedule. This is going to give us a lot of confidence and momentum right now."
It was certainly an impressive night for senior signalcaller Zach Phillips, who completed 10 of 14 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 80 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
Phillips has been a key component all season, but has really taken off since the second half of the Patriots 41-38 loss to Morgantown. In eight quarters (he didn't play in the second half against Elkins) Phillips is 21 of 29 passing for 384 yards and four touchdowns.
He has not been picked off in that span and has thrown just two on the season against 12 touchdowns.
"It's huge and I think we showed we can play with anyone," the quarterback said. "It sure is a big win for us. There are guys (in the lockerroom) crying. It was an emotional win."
Sophomore Savion Johnson, who scored four touchdowns (two rushing, two receiving) and rushed for 156 yards ,had his jersey torn during the first half Friday night.
He went to the sideline and emerged with the number 25, worn by teammate Bryce Ingram, who was hurt against Morgantown and is out for the rest of the season.
It was a fitting tribute, from a player who is coming up big in place of a returning second-team all-state player.
"I feel like he's out there with me, and whatever I do, I'm doing the best I can because of him," Johnson said. "I want to do my best, because I know if he were here, he'd be out there doing everything he could for this team."
Offensive Player of the Week
Defensive Player of the Week
Good Hands Team
Brooke's Chad Harper had 15 tackles, including two for a loss of yardage, and teammate Todd Clark had 12 tackles in a 55-28 victory against Weir.
Versatile Monroe Central quarterback Curtis Nixon had 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns and also completed 6 of 9 passing for 203 yards in the Seminoles' 63-6 victory against Frontier.