ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Sophomore speedster Keegan Wilburn had 244 yards on 15 carries and Colt Yinger added 136 in eight tries as the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes pulled away in the second half to defeat Meigs 49-14 before a large homecoming/alumni crowd at Holzer Field and Farmers Bank Stadium.
The Buckeyes went into the contest ranked sixth in the state and number one in their region, then showed they were worthy of the ranking. They outscored the Marauders 21-0 in the second half to pull away for the win.
Wilburn scored first at the 6:59 mark of the first period on an 84-yard scamper. Garrett Maiden added the extra points, two minutes and 59 seconds later Maiden hit Shakim Williams from 30 yards out. Maiden made it a 14-0 score.
The Marauders scored their first touchdown of the night, when Zach Helton, who was seeing his first action since a broken collarbone in the first five minutes of the season’s first game, hit Weston Baer from 33 yards out. Baer broke free at the line when the Buckeye defensive back stumbled at the line and Helton hit the sophomore in stride for the score.
Maiden made it a 21-6 Nelsonville-York advantage when he scored from 10 yards out, and then added the extra points with 5:12 left in the half.
But back came the Marauders as Cory Cox found Zach Bartrum with a pass, and Zach made a couple acrobatic moves inside the 10 to break tackles while completing the 43-yard scoring play.
Three plays later, Wilburn took it the distance from 68 yards out, Maiden added the extra points for a 28-14 Buckeye advantage heading into the locker room at the half.
The Buckeyes received a huge break at the 6:14 mark of the third period. A 40-yard punt by Landon Acree pinned the Buckeyes inside the five-yard line.
On first down, the Buckeyes fumbled and the ball popped up in the air. Colt Yinger picked it out of the air and raced 77 yards to the Marauder 19. Maiden scored from a yard out nine plays later.
The Buckeyes iced the in the fourth period when Ronnie Wend raced 56 yards with an intercepted pass and Brandon Phillips scored on a two-yard run with 6:05 left to make it 49-14.
Maiden was 6 of 16 with an interception for 67 yards. Yinger had two receptions for 24 yards.
Meigs had trouble moving the ball against the Buckeyes outstanding defense. Zach Bartrum carried seven times for 27, Lane Cullums added 21 in 10 tries.
Both Meigs quarterbacks were under pressure all night, Cox was one for 14 for 43 yards. Helton four of 13 with two interceptions for 53 yards. Baer caught three passes for 53 yards, Bartrum one for 43.
Meigs (2-4, 2-1 TVC Ohio) will travel to Athens next week, while Nelsonville-York (6-0, 2-0) hosts Wellston.
Dave Harris is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.