TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Two teams needing a high school football win in the worst way squared off Friday evening at Eastern High School with visiting Wahama taking on the host Eagles.
When the smoke had cleared, it was the White Falcons who prevailed behind a strong performance by the Bend Area team’s interior line and a three-touchdown presentation by Jared Nutter.
The contest was played before a moderate crowd at the Shade River campus with Wahama dominating the games’ final statistics en route to a 30-8 halftime edge during the 48-minute affair.
Nutter, a 5-11 senior, stood out on both sides of the ball, in leading coach Dave Barr’s crew to its third win against four defeats on the 2015 gridiron season.
Nutter led the Falcons with scoring runs of three, two and seven yards and three PAT conversion runs in addition to tossing a scoring pass and collecting 51 yards receiving.
Colton Arrington added a first period, 15 yard gallop into the end zone while Dalton Kearns grabbed a 10-yard touchdown pass in the Falcon victory.
The Tri Valley, Hocking Division triumph was the second win of the season in league play for the White Falcons with Eastern falling to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in conference action.
The Eagles Jett Facemyer also turned in an outstanding showing for Eastern despite not collecting impressive statistical numbers. Facemyer tallied 15 of the Eagles 19 rushing yards on the night while passing for 45 yards and the Meigs County team’s lone touchdown with a six-yard strike to Nate Durst.
Wahama jumped out to a 22-0 first quarter lead by taking advantage of three early Eastern mistakes. A 15-yard penalty allowed Wahama to set up shop at the Eagle 33-yard line following the opening kickoff which led to an early WHS score.
A fake punt enabled the White Falcons to gain possession at the Eastern 24-yard line to set up the Bend Area team’s second score with a 41-yard pass completion setting up the visitor’s third touchdown of the stanza.
Eastern came back to close the gap to 22-8 with a 65-yard, 10-play drive with Facemyer doing the majority of the damage for the host team with three completed passes and a 22-yard run.
Facemyer finished off the series with a six yard pass to Cameron Richmond who made a circus catch in the end zone for the touchdown. Facemyer also tossed a successful two-point conversion pass to Nate Durst but that would be the conclusion of the Eagles scoring on the night.
Wahama tallied 308 yards in total offense with 195 yards on the ground and another 113 yards through the air. Nutter ran for 76 yards in 18 carries with Philip Hoffman picking up 65 yards in 14 tries and Colton Arrington 44 yards in only eight attempts.
Hoffman connected on six of eight passes for 79 yards with Nutter completing three of five for 34 yards. Ricky Kearns caught one pass for 41 yards with Dalton Kearns grabbing three passes for 34 yards, Nuttter four for 29 yards and Nolan Pierce one reception for nine yards.
The Wahama defense limited Eastern to just 19 yards on the ground and 47 yards through the air for a net offensive total of a meager 66 yards. Billy Joe McDermitt enjoyed another outstanding effort for the WHS defense along with Braden Weaver and Critter Hesson.
In addition to Facemyer’s final statistics for Eastern Ross Keller added 12 yards on the ground with Cameron Richmond catching one pass for 19 yards, Blaise Facemyer two receptions for 14 yards, Chase Curtis one for eight yards and Nate Durst one for six yards.
Wahama, winners of two of its last three outings, will travel to South Gallia next week for the Bend Area team’s next TVC league encounter with Eastern visiting conference leader Trimble.
Gary Clark is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.