Injury-riddled Redmen fall to Minford in opener
Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2019
For The Ironton Tribune
MINFORD – Ty Wiget’s two lengthy touchdown dashes, which book-ended Saturday evening’s season opener, summed everything up.
The injury-riddled Rock Hill Redmen simply weren’t going to catch the Minford Falcons.
Minford made big plays from the opening kickoff to the closing whistle as the Falcons soared past the larger Redmen 43-12 at Minford High School.
The game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but was postponed a day due to inclement weather – with rainwater significantly saturating the playing surface.
Indeed, the field was dried out on Saturday, and neither it nor the Redmen could slow down the speedy Falcons.
Wiget broke two tackles as he ran the opening kickoff back 81 yards for a touchdown, then closed the scoring by sprinting 68 yards up the middle with five minutes remaining.
By then, though, the Falcons had long since sealed an important opening-week win.
Wiget rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries – the other TD being a 2-yard plunge to cap a two-play, 26-second possession with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis led the Falcons with 163 passing yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-17 attempts. He added 22 yards on four carries, part of 148 rushing yards on 23 totes as a team.
His 4-yard touchdown run with a minute remaining in the opening quarter closed a six-play, 42-yard drive, making it 14-0 with Caleb Yuhas’ second of five successful extra-point kicks.
Rock Hill coach Mark Lutz said the Falcons’ speed and playmaking ability bothered his club all game.
Combine that with the Redmen moving players around defensively due to their injuries adding up.
Rock Hill was already without senior running back Zak Adkins due to an ACL injury, and fellow senior running back T.J. McGinnis missed the entire second half after re-injuring his ankle.
Brayden Malone missed as well with an injured knee – as he was set to start in the secondary – and Logan Hankins suffered a dislocated finger that forced him to miss some snaps.
“Minford is a good team with a lot of speed. We had a few opportunities to do a few things, but just didn’t. They have guys that can make plays in the open field, and their quarterback does a nice job throwing the ball around,” said Lutz.
“When you start moving people around, you are down to your second, third or fourth defensive backs that aren’t used to that many reps. If we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all at this moment. We have some kids banged up, but you can’t take anything away from Minford.”
Leading early in the fourth quarter 29-12, Vogelsong-Lewis hit a wide receiver screen to Matthew Risner for 37 yards and it was 36-12 with 10:51 left.
Rock Hill held the ball for 10 minutes and 40 seconds in the first half, running 17 plays – mainly McGinnis carries from the traditional two-tight end full-house formation – for 70 yards to the Minford 3-yard-line.
Unfortunately, McGinnis was hit and fumbled at the one. Game film showed McGinnis recovered the ball at the one and handed the ball to an official, but the umpire ruled the play a touchback.
“That was huge right there,” said Lutz. “If we score right there, it’s 14-7 and we get the second-half kickoff and see what happens. Instead, we don’t get anything and give up another score, and on the two-point conversion, guys in space don’t make another tackle.”
Minford used the momentum swing to go 80 yards in just four plays capped by a 14-yard TD pass to Drew Skaggs with just 37 seconds left in the half.
Vogelsong-Lewis picked up a bad snap on the conversion and ran in for the two points and a 22-0 lead.
The Redmen rushed for 260 yards on 54 carries, as Hankins – who made the lone Rock Hill reception on five passes for 13 yards – had 94 yards on 17 tries.
Starting quarterback Brayden Friend moved to running back in the second half and finished with 66 yards on 10 carries. McGinnis gained 53 first-half yards on a dozen carries before exiting due to injury.
Friend finished a 61-yard drive with a 36-yard dash on the opening possession of the third quarter.
Hankins had a 2-yard TD run to end a 48-yard drive with 23 seconds left in the period.
Both drives were five plays.
“Every time we had an answer, Minford had an answer right back,” said Lutz. “I kept hoping for us to have something happen in the second half that would get us jump-started, but it didn’t. Then we turned into a MASH unit in the second half. I had to explain to the kids what MASH was.”
The Redmen must get healthy in a hurry now as they host another spread-the-field formation team in Meigs on Friday night.
Rock Hill 0 0 12 0 = 12
Minford 14 8 7 14 = 43
M — Ty Wiget 81 kickoff return (Caleb Yuhas kick), 11:44
M — Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis 4 run (Caleb Yuhas kick), 1:00
M — Drew Skaggs, 14 pass from Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis (Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis run), 0:37
RH — Brayden Friend 36 run (pass failed), 9:36
M — Ty Wiget 2 run (Caleb Yuhas kick), 2:00
RH — Logan Hankins 2 run (run failed), 0:23
M — Matthew Risner 37 pass from Elijah-Vogelsong Lewis (Caleb Yuhas kick), 10:51
M — Ty Wiget, 68 run (Caleb Yuhas kick), 4:55
First downs 17 18
Rushes-yards 54-260 23-148
Passing yards 13 163
Total yards 273 311
Cmp-Att-Int. 1-5-0 10-17-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 9-85 6-40
Punts-average 3-27.7 1-34
RUSHING —Rock Hill: Logan Hankins 17-94 TD, Brayden Friend 10-66 TD, T.J. McGinnis 12-53, Hayden Harper 6-25, Skyler Kidd 3-17, Chase Delong 4-8, Kordell French 1-3, Trenton Williams 1-(-6); Minford: Ty Wiget 14-121 2TD, Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis 4-22 TD, Matthew Risner 2-8, Andy Crank 2-2, Team 1-(-5)
PASSING — Rock Hill: Brayden Friend 1-5-0-13; Minford: Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis 10-17-0-163 2TD
RECEIVING — Rock Hill: Logan Hankins 1-13; Minford: Matthew Risner 4-72, Drew Skaggs 3-47 TD, Ty Wiget 2-36, Bryson Ashley 1-8.