charmco — Madonna came in to Saturday’s Class A playoff game averaging nearly 38 points a game with an explosive passing attack.
That meant nothing to No. 2 Greenbrier West.
The host Cavaliers scored 29 first-quarter points and held Madonna to negative total yardage deep into the third quarter in a 58-0 first round victory.
Though the win and overall dominant performance were reason for the Cavs to celebrate, a damper was thrown on the night when their leading rusher and first-team all-state running back Noah Brown was carried off the field in the second quarter after suffering a lower right leg injury.
Brown was immediately put in a boot and did not return to the bench area in the second half.
“We don’t know much right now, but we definitely need him back out there,” Greenbrier West head coach Toby Harris said. “We’ll wait and see how bad it is and we thought it would be best to go ahead and get him X-rayed and checked out. But Levi Weikle stepped at tailback and ran really well, and my gosh Cole McClung. He played great football on both sides. He made a couple tackles on defense and made a couple great blocks and when he runs the football their guys just didn’t want to get ahold of him.”
Even when Brown was in the game his teammates effectively carried the load.
McClung opened the game with runs of 20 and 35 yards, with the latter being a score that put the Cavaliers ahead 7-0.
Madonna answered with a drive into West teritory, but a stall at the Cavs’ 27 forced a punt, pinning the hosts at their own 8.
That didn’t matter.
Quarterback Kaiden Pack led the Cavs down the field, capping the drive with a 30-yard scoring strike to Kyle Holiday in what would be the start of a big night for Pack.
The Cavs capitalized on back-to-back Madonna turnovers — an interception by Cole McClung and a fumble recovery by Ty Nickell — which led to a touchdown run by Brown and a 20-yard scoring strike from Pack to Lawson Vaughan, putting the game to bed in the first quarter.
“We got the turnovers and took the good field position with it,” Harris said. “As soon as we did that we just went right at them and scored. We made them count.”
Pack’s assault on the Blue Dons continued as he found Weikle for another 20-yard strike, giving the Cavs a 35-0 lead early in the second quarter.
For his curtain call, he returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, making it 50-0 at that point.
“I can’t take all the credit,” Pack said. “My line and blockers did an extremely good job. If it wasn’t for my line I wouldn’t have had the game I had. The reason I can find those guys is because my receivers were getting open and my protection was holding up. I can’t take all the credit for that. I’ve got to give it to my team.”
As a team, the Cavs had four takeaways.
On offense, Pack completed 7 of 15 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns while McClung ran 11 times for 125 yards and a touchdown.
West will now turn its attention to No. 7 Ritchie County, which managed to stay in the yellow on Saturday’s color map release, meaning it will be allowed to play West on Friday or Saturday.
“We told the kids they’re just going to have to come to practice and work hard,” Harris said. “We’re going to get a better team next week than we had this week. We know that and we’re just going to have to come out with the right attitude. We came out tonight and I could tell they were intense and dead set on winning the football game so we’re hoping to see more of that moving forward.”
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M: 0 0 0 0 — 0
GW: 29 23 6 8 — 58