By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
When Greenbrier West gets all its weapons rolling against a struggling team with only 18 active players, things can get out of control quickly.
The Class A No. 8 Cavaliers scored on all six of their possessions in the first half, and threw in a punt return for good measure, and rolled to a 61-18 win over Webster County Friday on homecoming night.
West (7-1) led 47-0 at halftime thanks to an efficient offense that was aided by a defense that has been strong all year. The Cavs had only two drives go longer than three plays.
Corey Cox’s 20-yard touchdown run opened the scoring, and Cox also scored on a 38-yard punt return to put West ahead 13-0 with 6:38 left in the first quarter. That short punt was made possible when junior defensive end Marquis Frazier sacked Webster quarterback Jacob Thayer for a 15-yard loss on third down to the 10-yard line.
The Cavs never let up the rest of the half. Senior quarterback Malik Boatwright scored on runs of 65 and 57 yards on his way to a 170-yard night. He also completed 5 of 6 passes for 61 yards and touchdown passes of 11 yards to David Church and Dustin Yoakum.
West outgained the Highlanders (1-7) 483-348 in total offense.
“We played well offensively, probably as well as we have played all year,” West coach Lewis McClung said. “They are young and made some mistakes, and we were able to take advantage of some of that”
West controlled the line of scrimmage on defense. The Highlanders had just one running play for positive yardage against the Cavaliers’ first-team unit and ran for 20 yards on the night.
“Defensively, we have played well all year, so that didn’t surprise me,” McClung said.
The No. 1 defense played three snaps and the first team offense one series in the second half. The Cavs got to the Webster 7 on their first series when Yoakum went behind center and took four knees for a turnover on downs.
The junior varsity team took over from there, with Bradden Issacs and Derek Coryell both scoring on 2-yard runs.
Issacs ran eight times for 85 yards, Grimmitt had 46 yards on three carries and Coryell went six times for 42 yards. Chris Patton took over at quarterback, but West did not attempt a pass in the second half.
Webster relied on its passing game to move the ball. Senior quarterback Jacob Thayer completed 26 of 43 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns. All three of his scores went for 9 yards, to Dalton Davis, Evan Wayne and Logan Taylor.
“I think that was pretty much their game plan,” McClung said. “Their quarterback has a nice arm. He throws a nice ball, and they have a couple kids who can catch the ball.”
Davis had 12 catches for 195 yards.
Thayer was intercepted twice in the first half, by Mike Goddard and Grimmitt.
The Cavs will host James River (Va.) next Friday, while the Highlanders will host Braxton County.
— E-mail: gfauber
WC (1-7) 0 0 6 12 — 18
GW (7-1) 27 20 6 8 — 61
GW—Corey Cox 20 run (Bradden Issacs kick), 9:20.
GW—Cox 38 punt return (kick failed), 6:38.
GW—Malik Boatwright 65 run (Issacs kick), 5:28.
GW—David Church 11 pass from Boatwright (Issacs kick), 2:16.
GW—Dustin Yoakum 10 pass from Boatwright (kick failed), 9:59.
GW—Jordan Grimmitt 13 run (kick blocked), 5:47.
GW—Boatwright 57 run (Boatwright pass from Mike Goddard), 1:00.
WC—Dalton Davis 9 pass from Jacob Thayer (run failed), 3:47.
GW—Issacs 2 run (pass failed), 1:59.
WC—Evan Wayne 9 pass from Thayer (pass failed), 11:54.
WC—Logan Taylor 9 pass from Thayer (pass failed), 7:15.
GW—Derek Coryell 2 run (Jacob Witt run), 5:00.
RUSHING — WC: Walker Lawson 3-21, Thayer 11-10, Dalton Gray 2-(-3), Chase Rose 3-(-7). GW: Boatwright 5-170, Issacs 8-85, Cox 4-61, Grimmitt 3-46, Coryell 6-42, Jordan Tincher 2-15, Chase McClung 3-11, Witt 1-5.
PASSING — WC: Thayer 26-43-2-328. GW: Boatwright 5-6-0-61.
RECEIVING — WC: Davis 12-195, Lawson 5-46, Rose 4-32, Taylor 3-29, Wayne 2-18. GW: Yoakum 3-25, Goddard 1-17, Garrett Smith 1-12, Church 1-11.
TAKEAWAYS — WC: Gray (FR), Rose (FR). GW: Jordan Robinson (FR), Goddard (INT), Grimmitt (INT), Trevor Brown (INT).