Wheelersburg beats Senators, throws SOC into 3-way tie

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 18, 2003

WHEELERSBURG - Winning the Southern Ohio Conference Division II football championship is as easy at 1-2-3.

Teams, that is.

When the Wheelersburg Pirates whipped the Portsmouth West Senators 20-7 Friday, that left the SOC championship a three-way tie between Wheelersburg, West and Minford. Each team finished 3-1 in the league.

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"This was a huge victory for our program," Pirates coach Tony Lewis said. "Our big goal for the year was to win the SOC. Obviously, we'd like to win it for ourselves, but to tie for it was a great accomplishment for our program."

Wheelersburg, 8-2, has clinched a Region 19 Division V playoff spot. The Pirates could possibly play at Chesapeake to being the postseason.

West, 4-5, is on the verge of elimination from the postseason in Division IV. The Senators close the season at Coshocton, second in the region.

Quarterback Tom Kaskey and running back Matt Ruggles were the main tag team in the Pirates offense that generated 288 total yards, 244 on the ground.

Kaskey ran 12 times for 108 yards and a touchdown while completing 4 of 8 passes for 44 yards and a score. Ruggles ran 19 times for 120 yards and a touchdown.

"That's all due to our line. Our line blocked great and I thought Tom (Kaskey) made some nice reads the first half," Lewis said.

West finished with 221 total yards, 150 on the ground and 71 through the air. Jason Bailey carried six times for 71 yards and Jerod Pendleton had 58 yards on 14 tries and the lone West TD.

Wheelersburg jumped in front 14-0 the first quarter.

Kaskey hit Chris Webb with a 9-yard scoring pass with 6:14 on the clock. Ruggles booted the conversion and it was 7-0.

Kaskey accounted for the second touchdown as he kept the ball and raced 75 yards for a touchdown and it was 14-0.

West got its touchdown on a 1-yard run by Pendleton with 10:32 left in the half. Matt Auger kicked the conversion.

"You couldn't ask any more out of our defense. To hold West to seven points after they came off a big game against Minford, I thought our defense played great," Lewis said.

Ruggles supplied an insurance touchdown with just 1:30 to play as he broke loose on a 61-yard scoring run.

Wheelersburg faces a new school, Olentangy Liberty, next Friday.

Ports. West0700-7


First Quarter

Wh - Chris Webb 9 pass from Tom Kaskey (Matt Ruggles kick)


Wh - Tom Kaskey 75 run (Matt Ruggles kick)


Second Quarter

PW - Jerod Pendleton 1 run (Matt Auger kick)


Fourth Quarter

Wh - Matt Ruggles 61 run (kick failed)


Individual Leaders

RUSHING - Ports. West: Jerod Pendleton 14-58, Scott Summers 1-3, Josh Logan 14-18, Jason Bailey 6-71, Levi Morgan 4-0. Wheelersburg: Brian Stephenson 2-2, Brandon Jackson 1-3, Tom Kaskey 12-108, Nathan Timberlake 3-11, Matt Ruggles 19-120.

PASSING - Ports. West: Levi Morgan 3-10-1

71. Wheelersburg: Tom Kaskey 4-8-0


RECEIVING - Ports. West: Johnny Rawlins 2-64, Jerod Pendleton 1-7. Wheelersburg: Brian Stephenson 1-20, Chris Webb 3-24.