WEIRTON - Even though Madonna coach Doug Taylor was confident his Blue Dons would do well in the 2014 football season, there always is some doubt when you graduate 15 seniors from a state championship team.
Taylor's doubts were dispelled Friday night when sophomore quarterback Joey Ewusiak ran for three touchdowns and passed for three more as the Blue Dons handed Beallsville a 47-13 licking in the season opener at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
"We're pleased," the fourth-year coach said. "It's a new chapter for a bunch of new kids. They got their feet wet and got a big win so we're happy for them - happy for the way they played."
Ewusiak led the Blue Dons offense with 185 rushing yards on 16 carries and passed for 134 more yards completing 6 of 13 including scoring tosses of 28, 24 and 47 yards.
Ewusiak was stepping into the quarterback shoes of all-stater Ross Comis, who accounted for nearly 3,000 yards last year and earned a Division-I scholarship to the University of Massachusetts.
"Joey is pretty athletic and in our offense the quarterback is who we want touching the ball most of the time," Taylor said. "He's an athletic guy that does a great job of running the offense.
"We'll probably start loosening things up for him before very long. He's still a little green, but he's just going to get better week in and week out. He did a great job."
The Blue Dons got on the scoreboard with their second possession of the game after junior Dillon Shaw returned a Blue Devils punt 10 years to the Madonna 31. Ewusiak ran for 10 yards and Shaw got loose on a 39-yard scamper to set up the score at the Beallsville 20.
Senior Levi Shreve bulled his way for a yard and Ewusiak hit senior tight end Grant Retton for 2 more. That put the ball at the Beallsville 17, from where Ewusiak found the field wide open on a keeper up the middle scoring at the 5:27 mark of the first period. Senior Matt Green booted the extra point.
Beallsville, which had only 21 players on the roster, answered on the next series going 74 yards in three plays for the matching touchdown. Junior quarterback Case Mercer, who pelted the Madonna defense with 26 passes, completing 13 of them for 232 yards, set up the score with a 71-yard strike to senior Mikey Palmer.
Palmer, who caught six passes in the game for 203 yards, dashed down the right sideline and was finally knocked out of bounds at the Blue Dons 4-yard line.
Mercer found Palmer open again with a flare pass to the left side of the end zone for the score. Tristan Palmer's kick failed, but the Blue Devils were back in the game with 4:18 left in the opening period.
However, the Blue Dons came right back to score another touchdown on their next possession and added a total of 40 points before Beallsville scored again.
That second score came on a 28-yard pass from Ewusiak to senior Marquise Jeter.