WELLSTON — The Wellston High School football team was the latest to learn an “English” lesson on Friday night.
Senior running back Cornelius English, on only 13 carries, rushed for 238 yards and four consecutive touchdowns as his Meigs Marauders mauled the Golden Rockets 48-13 at C.H. Jones Field in Wellston.
The contest marked the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division opener for both teams, and also marked Meigs’ first win over Wellston since its last league championship in 1998.
The Marauders snapped a two-game losing streak in the process, and raised their overall record to 4-2.
Wellston, meanwhile, remains winless at 0-6. Friday’s setback also assures the Rockets of their first losing season since an 0-10 campaign in 1995.
And, what has plagued the Golden Rockets all season was the problem again on Friday.
Wellston has now been outscored by an unbelievable margin of 318-66, as every Rocket opponent has amassed at least 48 offensive points and 290 rushing yards.
The Marauders eclipsed the 300-yard rushing mark, carrying 34 times for 302 yards.
English, now over 1,000 yards for the season and with 19 touchdowns, had nearly half of his team rushes and over half of the rushing yards.
And, he did not even play in the second half.
With the Marauders leading 7-0, English scored four consecutive touchdowns, including a 98-yard jaunt late in the first quarter and a 76-yard scamper late in the first half.
Such sprints are nothing new to English, a standout in the 100m dash of track and field.
“Early on, we knew he was getting the ball,” said Wellston coach Jason Mantell. “Coming into the game, I thought we had a pretty good gameplan to slow him down. You’re not going to completely stop a kid of that caliber. The kid can play. And we let him out of our grasp a lot of times too. That’s our fault that we missed tackles. By now, I would hope that we would have learned a little bit about missed tackles on good running backs.”
His other two trips to paydirt came on short runs of two and four yards.
After the Rockets stopped the Marauders on Meigs’ opening series, the Maroon and Gold proceeded to score on its next six possessions.
Meigs amassed 21 points in each of the first two periods, and staked a 48-0 third-quarter advantage before Wellston scored on a pair of long runs.
With a hefty 42-0 halftime lead, the Marauders managed their only touchdown of the second half on a 1-yard run by fullback Brandon Shupe.
Shupe’s score actually capped off the Marauders’ longest scoring drive— eight plays.
The quick-strike Marauders needed only one play on two drives and two plays on two other drives for the 42-0 halftime advantage. In fact, Meigs only had 37 plays from scrimmage, but racked up 13 first downs and 418 total yards.
“Meigs may have the best offense in the league,” said Mantell. “I don’t know, but I’d like to see one in the league that’s better.”
English’s second touchdown, the 2-yard plunge with 3:22 left in the first quarter, finished a 7-play, 55-yard march in which he carried on all seven snaps.
He then struck for his 98-yarder down the sideline, his 4-yarder following a 48-yard reception by Clay Bolin, and his 76-yarder with 13 seconds remaining in the first half.
But, there was another ‘Story’ to Meigs’ offensive success. That involved quarterback Aaron Story and all-purpose Jeremy Smith.
Story completed two of his three passes for 116 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown to Smith on a rollout pattern to the right. The Story to Smith connection made it 6-0 Marauders with only 4:15 gone by.
Mason Metts then made good on the first of four extra-point kicks for the night.
Smith, who returned the game’s opening kickoff 60 yards, added 39 yards on eight carries — all in the second half.
Speaking of 60, he returned a Cody Wilkett interception 60 yards for the Marauders’ sixth touchdown, making fancy moves and breaking tackles along the way.
He made the pick in front of the Wellston sideline, broke an initial tackle, darted across the field toward the Marauder bench and finally outran the Rockets to the end zone.
Needless to say, but most of everything went right for Meigs while most of everything — once again — went wrong for Wellston.
What did go right for the Rockets came way too late.
Trailing 48-0, Wellston finally cracked the scoreboard when Matt Lockard took a toss sweep to the left and went 54 yards to the house. He added the extra-point kick with 59 seconds left in the third period.
Chris Howison then tallied the other Rocket touchdown, this one on a 60-yard run off an in-motion play with 3:50 left in the game.
Bolstered by the long touchdown runs, the Rockets ended up rushing for 269 yards on 48 tries. Lockard led the Blue and Gold with 149 yards on 21 carries, as Howison hit the century mark for 109 yards on only six attempts.
The sophomore quarterback Wilkett ran 15 times and threw for 11, with the only Rocket turnover being his lone interception.
Fellow sophomore Jeff Matteson caught all three of Wilkett’s completions for 22 yards.
While the field position battle went much better for the Rockets, they were still forced to punt six times after drives of six plays or less. Two of those were simple three-and-outs.
“We held onto the ball, but we just stalled ourselves,” said Mantell. “We have a nice drive going, but then we miss a block or two and we caught up for a loss. As a team, we did not throw the ball well tonight. It wasn’t there. We aim to run first, but if the passing game isn’t there, then we’re in a lot of trouble. We didn’t execute well and Meigs had a great gameplan for our passing game.”
While Meigs meets Nelsonville-York in a battle of TVC unbeatens, Wellston welcomes Belpre for Homecoming next week.
The Golden Eagles, after starting the season 0-2, have won four straight following Friday night’s 31-20 triumph over Alexander.
* * *
Meigs 21 21 6 0 — 48
Wellston 0 0 7 6 — 13
M — Jeremy Smith, 68-yard pass from Aaron Story (Mason Metts kick), 7:45, 1st (7-0)
M — Cornelius English, 2-yard run (kick failed), 3:22, 1st (13-0)
M — Cornelius English, 98-yard run (Clay Bolin pass from Aaron Story), :45.8, 1st (21-0)
M — Cornelius English, 4-yard run (Mason Metts kick), 8:42, 2nd (28-0)
M — Cornelius English, 76-yard run (Mason Metts kick), 3:22, 2nd (35-0)
M — Jeremy Smith, 60-yard interception return (Mason Metts kick), :13, 2nd (42-0)
M — Brandon Shupe, 1-yard run (kick failed), 7:08, 3rd (48-0)
W — Matt Lockard, 54-yard run (Matt Lockard kick), :58.6, 3rd (48-7)
W — Chris Howison, 60-yard run (kick failed), 3:50, 4th (48-13)
First Downs 13 14
Scrimmage Plays 37 60
Rushing (No.-Yds) 34-302 48-269
Passing (Cmp.-Att.-Int.) 2-3-0 3-12-1
Passing Yards 116 22
Total Yards 418 291
Fumbles (No.-Lost) 1-0 1-0
Penalties (No.-Yds) 3-23 8-56
Punts (No.-Ave.) 4-34 6-26.3
Meigs: Cornelius English 13-238 4TD, Jeremy Smith 8-39, Justin Ellis 5-12, Brandon Shupe 5-7 TD, Aaron Story 1-6, J.T. Evans 1-0, Cory Arnold 1-0; Wellston: Matt Lockard 21-149 TD, Chris Howison 6-109 TD, Cody Wilkett 15-9, Seth Weikert 2-4, Tim Ervin 1-4, Keifer Colmer 1-(-3), Robby Corvin 1-(-2), Ryan Darnell 1-(-1)
Meigs: Aaron Story 2-3-0-116 TD; Wellston: Cody Wilkett 3-11-1-22, Matt Lockard 0-1-0-0
Meigs: Jeremy Smith 1-68 TD, Clay Bolin 1-48; Wellston: Jeff Matteson 3-22