MASON, W.Va. — Jared Nutter scored four second half rushing touchdowns while the Wahama White Falcons did a complete second half turnaround to secure a come-from-behind, 31-15 high school homecoming football win over visiting Federal Hocking.
The White Falcons trailed the winless Lancers 15-0 at the halftime break before executing an about-face to score 31 unanswered points over the final two quarters.
WHS allowed the Lancers to accumulate 166 yards in total offense and a two touchdown advantage during the contests first 24 minutes. The second half proved to be an entirely different story as Federal Hocking was limited to a mere 26 yards offensively during second half action.
“We were very flat the entire first half,” Falcon coach Dave Barr said following the win. “We talked at halftime and said we weren’t going to let Federal Hocking come into our place and take the game away from us and the kids responded very well in the second half.”
The Tri-Valley Conference, Hocking Division win snapped the Falcons three game losing skid as Wahama moved to 2-3 overall and 1-3 in league play. Federal Hocking dropped its fifth consecutive decision and fell to 0-4 inside the conference.
Wahama, after netting just 19 total yards in the opening half, erupted for 121 yards on the ground and another 121 yards through the air to pull off the victory.
Nutter scored on a 20 yard run in the third period before adding touchdown scampers of five, four and three yards in the final 12 minutes for the White Falcons. The senior running back picked up 60 yards on the ground in 10 carries while catching five Philip Hoffman passes for 56 yards on the night.
Colton Arrington gathered 52 yards rushing in 11 tries while Dalton Kearns netted 35 yards in just five attempts. Hoffman connected on eight of 14 aerials for 121 yards with Ricky Kearns catching one for 35 yards and Ryan Thomas one for 32 yards in addition to Nutter’s receptions.
The Lancers gained an early lead after driving 61 yards in 10 plays on its first possession. Quarterback AJ Cobb did all of the damage in the drive with eight rushes and two pass completions with an eight yard scoring toss to Ryan Harvey capping the series. Carter Russell booted the point after kick to stake Federal Hocking to a 7-0 edge with 7:20 to play in the first quarter.
The visitors increased its lead to 15-0 midway through the second canto when Cobb completed an 80 yard eight play drive with a 19 yard run. Cobb also ran the point after to give Federal Hocking a two touchdown advantage with 6:03 left in the half.
Wahama failed miserably throughout the first half to generate any kind of offensive success. The White Falcons had only two first downs, a net minus 13 yards rushing and 32 yards passing but that would quickly change once the halftime festivities were over.
The Bend Area team took the second half kickoff and went 52 yards in six plays with Nutter going the final 20 yards. Hoffman found Nolan Pierce with the first of three consecutive two point conversions to pull Wahama to within seven at 15-8 with 9:34remaining in the third quarter.
What could be considered as the Falcons best drive of the season began just before the third period concluded. Wahama began the drive at its own seven yard line and 15 plays later Nutter capped the series off with a five yard run. Hoffman’s pass to Pierce gave the locals its first lead of the night at 16-15 with 8:05 left in the contest.
WHS would go on to add two more scores before time expired with Nutter going four yards at the 4:27 mark to make it 24-15 before capping the night with a three yard, game clinching touchdown with 1:15 remaining. Christopher Hesson added the point after kick to make the final tally 31-15.
Federal Hocking was led offensively by Cobb with 118 yards on the ground in 33 carries while also completing seven of 18 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Dillon Wilfong caught two passes for 25 yards, Devon Robinson one for 33, Ryan Zweisler two for 22 and Ryan Harvey two receptions for 14 yards and a score.
Wahama will try and continue its recent success when the White Falcons host league leader Trimble next week while Federal Hocking meets up with conference foe Southern in search of its first win of the 2015 season.
Gary Clark is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.