Weekend Wrap: Bishops, Blue Eagles Coming on Strongly

WHEELING – Bishop Donahue, Wheeling Central and Magnolia are making themselves late invitees to the postseason, but invitees nonetheless.

After each got through brutal early-season schedules, the three area schools are each a victory away from a postseason berth.

“We’re in a lot better position than we were three weeks ago,” Bishop Donahue coach John Durdines said. “We knew we were going to face three good teams, Beallsville, which is in the Ohio playoffs, Wheeling Central and now Tyler Consolidated (7 p.m. Thursday in Moundsville), which has been lights out the last five games (winning all five). We told the kids at that point our playoffs were starting.”

With a victory against Tyler, which doesn’t look like it will be able to make the playoffs even with a win, Bishop could finish as high as 13th, meaning a road date with No. 4 team.

Wheeling Central is in the same boat.

Win and the Maroon Knights are in.

They will travel to the Eastern Panhandle – they will leave Friday, practice at Morgantown High School and then stay all night before the Saturday afternoon game – to face Spring Mills, a new school.

The AAA Cardinals have no seniors, but will, Central coach Mike Young said, be a tough matchup for the injury-riddled Knights.

“Halfway through the season, we tell our kids there are no freshmen, sophomores or juniors, they are all sophomore, juniors and seniors,” Young said. “They have a good team. And they have played a tough schedule, facing Martinsburg and Jefferson and a lot of big school powers.”

A Central victory would put the Maroon Knights at a likely 14 or 15 seed, meaning they would likely face undefeated St. Mary’s or Valley-Fayette.

Magnolia is also a victory against Oak Glen from making the final 16 in one of the better stories of the season.

It’s probably the most deserved spot, as the Blue Eagles have lost to some of the state’s top Class A teams, including No. 2 St. Mary’s (11-9) and Williamstown (15-14) on last-second field goals. They also lost to 8-2 Linsly (14-7) and Wheeling Central (27-20), although in that game Magnolia was setting up for a game-winning field goal down 21-20 but it was blocked and returned for a touchdown as time expired.

All Magnolia did was beat 8-1 Steubenville 24-0 last Saturday.

Magnolia can secure a 14-15 seed as well with a victory.

Offensive Player of the Week

Drew Keller


  • Keller was a work-horse with 38 carries for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the Blue Eagles postseason-saving 24-0 victory against Steubenville Catholic.

Defensive Player of the Week

Reno Colaianni


  • The Cadets’ Colaianni had seven tackles for a loss of yards and 1.5 sacks in a 43-14 victory against Landmark Christian.

Ground Gainers

  • Cameron’s Clayton Ward rushed for 219 yards on 14 carries and a pair of touchdowns in a 55-35 victory against Bridgeport.
  • St. Clairsville’s Jaylon Brown rushed for 201 yards on six carries and three touchdowns in the Red Devils’ 41-7 victory against Union Local.
  • Brooke’s Nic Ossman carried 15 times for 164 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-27 loss against John Marshall.
  • Linsly’s Chimechi Oparanozie completed his career at Linsly with 12 carries for 147 yards and two touchdowns against Landmark Christian.
  • Wheeling Central’s C.J. Burch rushed for 132 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-32 loss against Bishop Donahue.
  • Tyler Consolidated’s Jacob Highley had 17 carries for 116 yards and three touchdowns as the Sliver Knights kept their postseason hopes alive with a 33-14 victory against Valley.
  • Wheeling Park’s Savion Johnson had 11 carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns in Wheeling Park’s 62-0 blowout of Parkersburg South.
  • John Marshall’s Chase Gump carried 21 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns against Brooke.

Aerial Attack

  • Bishop Donahue’s Jesse Padlow completed 19 of 29 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns against Wheeling Central.
  • Linsly’s Jameson Murray completed his career by connecting on13 of 22 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns against Landmark Christian.
  • In less than one half of action, Wheeling Park’s Zach Phillips completed 9 of 11 passes for 232 yards against Parkersburg South.
  • Madonna’s Ross Comis completed 18 of 24 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-20 victory against Toronto.
  • Paden City’s Zach Heasley completed 10 of 22 passes for 202 yards with three TDs in a 26-25 victory against South Harrison.
  • Bridgeport’s Bailey McGrath completed 14 of 29 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-35 loss against Cameron.
  • John Marshall’s Noah Martin completed 7 of 11 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown against Brooke.
  • Brooke’s Aaron Walker was good on 8 of 13 passes for 106 yards in a 28-27 loss against John Marshall.

Good Hands Team

  • Bridgeport’s Colt Charlton had 11 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns against Cameron.
  • Wheeling Park’s Eric Banks started quick and finished with four catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns in under one half of action against Parkersburg South.
  • Linsly’s Eric Dodd had three grabs for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Landmark Christian.
  • John Marshall’s Alex Horton caught two passes for 97 yards, including the game-winning, 76-yard touchdown against Brooke.
  • Monroe Central’s Brian Duffy caught six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in a 30-14 victory against Buckeye Local.
  • Madonna’s Marcello Biondillo caught five passes for 92 yards and a touchdown against Toronto.
  • Bishop Donahue’s Jared Yates caught two passes for 92 yards and a touchdown against Wheeling Central.

Wrecking Crew

  • Brooke’s Shawn Ashbrook was one of six Bruins in double figures in tackles with 15 and a forced fumble against John Marshall. Todd Clark had 13.
  • Wheeling Park’s Chris Freeborough had 11 tackles and three sacks against Parkersburg South.
  • John Marshall’s Trevor Hardesty had 12 tackles, including two for a loss of yardage against Brooke.
  • Madonna’s Josh Martin and Elliot Nero had eight tackles each against Toronto.
  • Weir’s C.J. Reed had eight tackles, a tackle for a loss of yardage, a fumble recovery and an interception in a 49-33 loss against East Liverpool.
  • Wheeling Central’s Dillon Baker had 11 tackles and a fumble recovery against Bishop Donahue.
  • Monroe Central’s Mike Jones had 10 tackles and a tackle for a loss in the Seminoles 34-12 victory against Buckeye Trail.

Mr. Everything

  • Weir’s William Larch ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 183 and another touchdown against East Liverpool.
  • Wheeling Central freshman quarterback Isaac Rine ran for 107 yards and threw for 118 and a touchdown against Bishop Donahue.
  • Paden City’s Brandon Cross caught eight passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns and had 69 yards rushing against South Harrison.
  • Martins Ferry’s Brian Styles rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown and threw for 106 yards and a touchdown in a 22-17 victory against Bellaire.
  • Monroe Central’s Curtis Nixon flashed his versatility again with 196 yards passing and two touchdowns, 59 yards rushing and a TD and an interception on defense.
  • Indian Creek’s Jonathan Woodberry had 143 yards rushing and a touchdown and threw for 112 yards in a 36-22 victory against Edison.
  • Cameron’s Logan Routt threw for 123 yards and rushed for 61 and three touchdowns in the Dragons’ victory against Bridgeport.