Pirates struggle past Hornets
COAL GROVE — The Achilles Heel of the Coal Grove Hornets kicked them again.
The Hornets had their running game working but couldn’t finish drives. They stuffed the Wheelersburg running game only to have the Pirates go to the air.
In the end, the inability to finish drives and the passing of the Pirates allowed Wheelersburg to hold on for a 28-18 win Friday.
Coal Grove (3-3) had 286 total yards with 186 coming on the ground. Tanner Dolen ran 15 times for 114 yards while Isaiah Gunther added 52 on 14 tries.
Quarterback Jesse Rigsby was 8 of 14 passing for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Wheelersburg (5-1) struggled on the ground with only 99 yards, but the Pirates were 10 of 12 passing for 285 yards.
Quarterback Austin May was 9 of 11 for 276 yards and three scores.
Coal Grove recovered the Pirates’ onside kickoff to start the game at the 47.
Dolen’s first carry of the season went 42 yards on a fourth-and-one for the first touchdown of the game at the 10:03 mark and it was 6-0.
Wheelersburg was able to put a drive together and scored on a 12-yard pass from May to Andrew Conn with three seconds left in the first quarter. Daylor Lewis kicked the conversion for a 7-6 lead.
Coal Grove got to the Pirates’ 25 in the second quarter but the drive stalled on an incompletion.
Joe Akers came up with a nice interception at the Hornets’ 37, but again Coal Grove couldn’t convert on downs and punted.
Wheelersburg then took a 14-6 lead on a 40-yard pass from May to Jordan Howard with 1:44 left in the half.
Wheelersburg came out the second half and scored on a drive fueled by a fake punt on fourth-and-9 at their own 45.
May got the touchdown on a 2-yard run and it was 21-6 at the 7:46 mark.
The Pirates opened up a 28-6 lead on third-and-14 when May rolled right, turned and heaved a high fly pass thrown up for grabs that Chasen Burk caught and turned into an 82-yard scoring play with 1:44 left in the quarter.
Coal Grove rebounded with a scoring drive that culminated on a 3-yard pass from Rigsby to Sean Paulus with 9:53 left.
The Hornets got a stop and went right back to work as they quickly moved the ball down the field and scored on a 10-yard run by Dolen with 3:40 to play. The pivotal conversion pass failed and it was 28-18.
Wheelersburg 7 7 14 0 = 28
Coal Grove 6 0 0 12 = 18
CG — Tanner Dolen 42 run (kick fail) 10:03
Wh — Andrew Conn 12 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 0:03
Wh — Jordan Howard 40 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 1:44
Wh — Austin May 2 run (Daylor Lewis kick) 7:46
Wh — Chasen Burk 82 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 1:44
CG — Sean Paulus 3 pass from Jesse Rigsby (pass failed) 9:53
CG — Tanner Dolen 10 run (pass failed) 3:40
First downs 13 15
Rushes-yards 29-96 42-186
Passing yards 285 100
Total yards 381 286
Cmp-Att-Int 10-12-1 8-14-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 2-20 4-40
RUSHING —Wheelersburg: Austin may 14-42, Jacob Hutchinson 4-10, Micah McAlister 2-minus 3, Jordan Howard 5-16, Chasen Burk 3-29; Coal Grove: Tanner Dolen 15-114, Isaiah Gunther 14-52, Jesse Rigsby 7-9, Tanner Murphy 3-6, Austin Ruggles 3-5.
PASSING — Wheelersburg: Austin May 9-11-1 276 2TD, Chasen Burk 1-1-0 10; Coal Grove: Jesse Rigsby 8-14-0 100 TD.
RECEIVING — Wheelersburg: Chasen Burk 4-148 TD, Jordan Howard 2-75, Andrew Conn 1-12 TD, Jacob Hutchinson 1-32, Micah McAlister 1-9, Wyatt Henderson 1-9; Coal Grove: Isaiah Gunter 4-37, Sean Paulus 2-22 TD, Jacob Clark 1-25, Tanner Dolen 1-16.