Football: Magnolia Stays the Course

NEW MARTINSVILLE – Weir coach Tony Filberto said earlier in the week Magnolia’s offense would give his Red Riders ‘about a million things’ to deal with.

Turns out, it was true Friday night at Alumni Field as the Blue Eagles rolled to a 39-6 victory.

”We all clicked,” Magnolia quarterback Jacob Brill said. ”All around good team job.”

It all started with Brill, who went 12 of 16 for 141 yards and added another 115 on eight carries, the most he’s run for in a game.

”It’s a new thing this year,” Brill said. ”I like it, though. Whenever the safety would come up, I’d throw it deep. Sometimes he’d just stay back and I take it around the outside.”

When Brill did look to go deep, Eric Smith usually was on the receiving end as he finished with seven catches for 114 yards and three scores.

If that duo wasn’t enough to give Filberto fits, Drew Keller’s 160 yards on 18 carries and score certainly did.

”They’re a good football team,” Filberto said. ”We came out here and we battled with them. I’m proud of our kids. I’m actually proud of their kids. They battled hard, too.”

In the first quarter, a battle is exactly what the game looked like it would turn in to.

Brill and Keller marched the Blue Eagles (4-3) down the field on their first possession, which was capped by a Brill-to-Smith 17-yard touchdown pass.

The Red Riders (3-4) looked up to the challenge, though, as William Larch, who started his first game since suffering a knee injury two weeks ago, helped guide the offense, as Weir converted on three third down conversions, the last being a Larch-to-Jonathan Rice 16-yard pass and catch to tie the game at 6-6.

Magnolia looked as if it would answer right back, but Keller fumbled the ball at the Weir 1.

The Red Riders, however, didn’t do much to capitalize on the Blue Eagles turnover as they punted on the ball away on a fourth-and-14.

Keller’s fumble served as the only Magnolia turnover of the night as Brill threw back-to-back touchdown passes (a 30-yarder to Smith and a 7-yarder to Kyle Ritz) on the Blue Eagles’ next two possession to put them ahead 20-6, which Filberto says took the Red Riders out of their game plan.

”Once they got a couple touchdown separation, our approach had to be a little bit different,” he said.

Oscar Celedon connected on a 20-yard field goal right before Lauren Cline was named queen of the Blue Eagles Homecoming court as Magnolia went into halftime with a 23-6 lead.

”We talked about coming out fast and I thought we did,” Magnolia coach Mark Batton said. ”We were kinda concerned about the third quarter because we’ve had some not real productive third quarters, but they changed that.”

It’s true.

Keller got into the end zone on a 4-yard run after he ripped off a 62-yard run as Weir couldn’t get much going in the second half.

”We had some opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize on them,” Filberto said. ”And we didn’t make some stops when we had to. Magnolia was the better football team (Friday) and I congratulate them.”