The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

November 16, 2013

Nicholas County upsets Warriors

Grizzlies back in Class AA second round with 35-14 victory

NEW RICHMOND — It’s officially basketball season in Wyoming County.

The No. 6 Wyoming East Warriors (9-2) were defeated by the No. 11 Nicholas County Grizzlies (9-2) 35-14 Friday night in the opening round of the WVSSAC Class AA playoffs. The Grizzlies will advance to the second round, where they await the winner of today’s Bluefield/Ravenswood contest.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO ...

It was a wet and soggy night in New Richmond, as rain storms moved in through the area just minutes before kickoff and continued throughout the night, making it tough for either team to air the ball out as they had hoped.

But the Grizzlies had a running back that was up to the task of picking up the slack.

Wil Mayes, the powerful Nicholas County back, put the team on his shoulders in the first half, scoring two of his three touchdowns and leading his team to victory.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior picked up 146 yards on 24 carries.

“There’s a guy that runs downhill very well,” Nicholas County coach Gene Morris said. “Sometimes guys that are a little more elusive kind of lose that ability when the weather conditions and footing is how it happened to be.”

Mayes didn’t seem to have too much trouble with the muddy field, gaining positive yardage on all but one of his 24 carries.

“I enjoy it,” Mayes said of playing in the mud. “It does make things a little tougher, but it’s still fun.”

Mayes and the rest of the Grizzly backfield’s job was made a little easier by the play of the offensive line — Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, Drew Amick, Will Lemasters and Cameron Woods.

“I couldn’t have done it without my line,” Mayes said. “They controlled the line and made the holes, and I just ran the ball.”

In fact it was Hill, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound monster, who had perhaps the biggest play of the game early in the second half.

Leading the Warriors 21-14, Nicholas County quarterback Tyler Sagraves dropped back to pass, but the wet ball slipped out of his hand.

That was when the senior center, who also serves as the team’s kicker, scooped the ball up and ran 26 yards to the end zone, hurdling a Wyoming East defender in the process, and putting the Grizzlies up by two touchdowns.

“I just kind of was in the right place in the right time and saw the ball come out,” Hill said. “I picked it up and got some great blocks from the guys and ended up scoring a touchdown.”

Hill also made a big play in the fourth quarter, this time on the opposite side of the ball.

Wyoming East punter Brian Witt managed to get a punt off, but it hit a charging Hill, who recovered at the 20-yard line.

That set up a four play drive that ended in another Mayes touchdown to finally put the Grizzlies comfortably ahead.

“I thought our offensive line did a heck of a job in that second half,” Morris said. “We got some good breaks, we blocked a punt and I thought we executed well. Our players didn’t let the weather bother them any. I was pretty proud of them.”

Despite only finding the end zone two times, the Warriors did have their moments, including a 57-yard pass down the right side of the field from junior quarterback Aaron Griffith to senior receiver Christian Hedinger, that eventually set up a Coty Bishop touchdown.

“I think we’ll take a lot of positives from this,” Wyoming East coach Gary Poindexter said. “We’ll get back in the weight room. We’ve got a lot of young good kids coming up, but we’re also losing a lot of good seniors.”

— E-mail: jrollins

@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072514 Loomis The Greenbrier impresses Payton, Loomis

    When a deal was finalized on March 13 to bring the New Orleans Saints to The Greenbrier for three weeks of summer camp, Saints officials never doubted that the facility would be ready a little more than four months later for the first practice.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 1 Hess Former Mountain Lions playing well at Open

    In sports like basketball or football, home field advantage can be the ultimate difference maker. The same can be said in golf.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 2 Westfall Evans leads the field on rainy day at W.Va. Open

    The wind picked up, the rain started to fall and the scores were low at second round of the 81st West Virginia Open.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp