PRINCETON, W.Va. — Getting above even ground.
The Wahama football team moved over the .500 mark for the first time since the first half of the 2019 campaign on Saturday afternoon with a wire-to-wire 40-16 decision over host PikeView in a non-conference matchup at the Ben G. Disibbio Sports Complex in Mercer County.
The White Falcons (5-4) — who started the year with three consecutive losses — have now won two straight and five of their last six decisions overall, with all five victories resulting in winning margins of at least three possessions.
It was also the first-ever meeting between WHS and the Panthers (1-7), who ended up dropping their sixth consecutive outcome.
The visiting White Falcons churned out 487 yards of total offense, which included 442 yards and all six touchdowns through the rushing attack. WHS also completed 3-of-6 passes for 45 yards.
Wahama built a quick 14-0 lead at the 3:07 mark of the opening frame after consecutive touchdown runs by Kase Stewart and Brennan Grate, but PikeView answered with a score 19 seconds later to close to within 14-8 after one quarter of play.
Sawyer VanMatre followed with a touchdown run with 10:18 remaining in the half, allowing the White Falcons to take a 20-8 edge into the break.
Aaron Henry and VanMatre provided respective rushing scores at the 6:04 and 3:36 marks to increase the lead out to 34-8 entering the fourth, then Stewart added a rushing touchdown with 9:49 left for Wahama’s largest lead of the night at 40-8.
The Panthers added a touchdown with 10 seconds left in regulation to wrap up the 24-point outcome.
Wahama had five running backs churn out at least 40 rushing yards, with VanMatre leading the way with 171 yards and two scores on 19 carries. VanMatre also completed 2-of-3 passes for 35 yards.
Stewart had 93 yards and two scores on 15 attempts, while Henry added 65 rushing yards on nine totes. Grate added 50 yards and a score on 11 carries as well. Andrew Roush also produced 40 yards on 16 rushes.
Stewart hauled in all three passes for 45 yards. Bryce Zuspan also completed 1-of-2 passes for 10 yards.
The White Falcons claimed a 23-7 advantage in first downs and were penalized seven times for 70 yards, while PikeView was flagged five times for 45 yards. The hosts produced 307 yards of total offense, with 198 of those yards coming through the air.
Wahama will look to secure its first winning football season since 2014 on Friday when they host Trinity Christian at Bachtel Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.