Pioneers Win Another Class AA Title

WHEELING – In a bit of foreshadowing, a sign in the Wayne stands Friday night read, ”We’ll take the wind out of your tornado.”

It turned out the sign was pretty accurate.

Brandon Spurlock rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns as the Pioneers won their second straight West Virginia Class AA football championship and capped a perfect 14-0 campaign by blanking Keyser 28-0 at Wheeling Island Stadium.

It was the 500th victory in Wayne’s storied history and gave the school it’s third state championship in the past seven years. It was he Pioneers’ fourth victory against the Golden Tornado in four seasons.

The victory was also the Pioneers’ third consecutive shutout and fourth of the season.

”I can’t think of a better tribute to the the program than the way the defense played,” Wayne coach Tom Harmon said. ”They played inspired.

”There were kids that were a little banged up and they fought through adversity. But the other kids picked up their game, especially up front.

”My hat’s off to Keyser. They have a good football team. They just ran into a bit of a buzzsaw.”

Spurlock – Wayne’s Samuel A. Mumley Player of the Game – missed last week’s semifinal victory against R.C. Byrd. But he looked fine against the Golden Tornado (12-2), scoring on runs of 4, 4 and 13 yards. He finished the season with 2,003 rushing yards.

Wayne’s offense was a juggernaut, outgaining Keyser 430-97, with 389 of it coming on the ground.

Spurlock led the way, but others had a big hand in the effort. Quarterback Grant Ferguson ran for 61 yards, while Nathan Spurlock (60 yards), James Egnor (57 yards) and Mason Hodge (55 yards) also made important contributions.

Hodge’s 22-yard reception from Ferguson on 4th-and-17 at the 7:56 mark of the first quarter gave the Pioneers the early lead they would never relinquish.

”It’s a beautiful thing,” Harmon said. ”These kids sacrificed for each other and the program. They did what they wanted to do.”

Ferguson connected with Zack Cassidy for a 9-yard touchdown during the second quarter for Wayne’s other score of the night.

”We didn’t tackle well and Brandon Spurlock had a good game,” said Keyser coach Sean Biser, who guided the Golden Tornado to its first championship game since 1969.

”I know he was hurting, but he had a big game.”

Wayne held Keyser’s Blake Ravenscroft to 57 yards on the ground. Danny Rife had 17.

The Golden Tornado drove to the Wayne 5 with about five minutes left in the game. But quarterback Cody Eversole’s pass fell incomplete.

”We faced adversity all season,” Biser said. ”I think we did better in the second half. But we we just didn’t do things well enough in the first half.”