By Tony Viola
Special To The Times
WEIRTON - Momentum seems to be everything in high school football.
Photo courtesy of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Williamstown’s Jake Tracewell (14) attempts to evade a Madonna defender during a West Virginia Class A state semifinal game Friday at Weir High School.
Especially when you reach the semifinal round of the playoffs.
No. 1-seeded Madonna will be the first to agree after it beat No. 4 Williamstown 42-28 Friday night.
The Yellowjackets (10-3) marched right through the Blue Dons' defense on the opening drive of the second half to tie the game at 21-21.
W.Va. Class A
Madonna 42, Williamstown 28
Williamstown (10-3) 7 7 7 7 - 28
Madonna (13-0) 0 21 21 0 - 42
W: David Hastings 2 pass from Jake Tracewell (Kade Kiselica good), 4:48
M: Eliott Nero 12 run (kick blocked), 11:53
M: Ross Comis 9 run (pass good), 7:15
W: Hastings 1 run (Kiselica good), 2:18
M: Nero 26 pass from Comis (Matt Green kick), 1:02
W: Brandon Root 4 pass from Tracewell (Kiselica kick), 7:37
M: Will Bowser 77 kickoff return (Green kick), 7:26
M: Comis 13 run (Green kick), 4:26
M: Comis 6 run (Green kick), 2:59
W: Hastings 9 pass from Tracewell (Kiselica good), :55
Rushing: Williamstown 40-167-td (Tracewell 18-75, Dakota Watson 6-48, Hastings 14-25-td, Trace Hart 4-19). Madonna 35-238-4td (Comis 24-138-3td, Nero 11-100-td).
Passing: Williamstown 13-21-74-3td (all by Tracewell). Madonna 3-8-72-td (all by Comis).
Receiving: Williamstown 13-74-3td (Hunter Neely 2-17, Rout 2-8-td, Logan Lindsey 1-8, Watson 5-30, Hastings 3-11-2td). Madonna 3-72-td (Bowser 2-46, Nero 1-26).
First Downs: Williamstown 12, Madonna 12.
Penalties: Williamstown 8-50, Madonna 4-55.
Fumbles: Williamstown 4-1, Madonna 4-2.
Madonna (13-0), though, was penalized with a personal foul after the 4-yard catch by Brandon Root from Jake Tracewell when Will Bowser laid a hit on Root after the play had ended.
Then, to make matters worse for the Blue Dons, they were flagged for another personal foul when someone roughed the holder on the PAT attempted.
Both penalties moved the ball to the Madonna 30 for the ensuing kickoff.
So, Williamstown, who had every bit of momentum on its side, and coach Terry Smith decided to try an onside kick.
"We figured the worse that could happen was they could recover it," Smith said. "That would be better field position than every time we kicked."
Turns out that wasn't the worse thing that could happen for the Yellowjackets.
Not only did Madonna's Will Bowser recover the ball, he turned upfield and took it 77 yards for a touchdown.
"I was thinking of just falling down at first, but I saw a hole and just cut it right up," the senior said. "I knew no one was going to stop me after that.
"Once I see a bounce, I'm just used to baseball. Any kind of ball that's in the air, I just go get it. I guess I just got lucky with the bounce, right in my chest."
Not only did that score put the Blue Dons back in front 28-21, it sparked a resurgence for the undefeated OVAC Class A champions as they scored twice more within a span of nearly five minutes.
"You never look at two personal foul penalties as working in your favor, but somehow that worked in our favor."
For Williamstown (10-3), it was a game effort. The Yellowjackets drew first blood on a 2-yard TD pass from Jake Tracewell to David Hastings. Hastings also scored the tying touchdown after Madonna struck twice in the second quarter. Tracewell also threw TD passes to Brandon Root and another to Hastings with just 55 seconds remaining.