FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — Veteran senior quarterback Trenton Gibbs tossed a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another in leading the Wahama White Falcons to a convincing 35-7 season opening road win over Fayetteville Friday evening.
Gibbs ran for 80 yards while connecting on six of nine passes for 136 yards in his 2012 gridiron debut as Coach Ed Cromley’s Bend Area gridders raced out to a 35-0 halftime edge before coasting to the 28 point victory.
Gibbs threw scoring strikes covering 38 yards to Colton Neal and 33 yards to Austin Jordan in addition to rushing for a 61 yard touchdown in the opening quarter. Crandal Neal added a nine yard run and Zach Wamsley a 19 yard scamper during second quarter action for the White Falcons.
The White Falcons dominated the first half statistics as the halftime score would indicate before Fayetteville came back to make the final tally more acceptable. Cromley substituted freely over the final two quarters with the Pirates avoiding the shutout with a Hunter Pullins two yard run with just over a minute remaining in the game
Wahama limited Fayetteville to a mere 31 yards in total offense throughout the opening two quarters with the Pirates finishing the night with 181 yards on the ground and just 15 through the air. The White Falcons picked up 346 yards in total offense with the Bend Area team running for 210 yards and passing for another 136.
The locals scored on its first five possessions of the opening half with Gibbs beginning the first quarter scoring onslaught by finding a wide open Colton Neal behind the Fayetteville secondary for a 38 yard scoring pass. Zach Wamsley booted the point after, his first of five straight successful kicks on the night, to give WHS an early 7-0 advantage with 7:57 to play in the first canto.
Less than two minutes later Gibbs followed up the Falcons’ first score by scrambling 61 yards into the end zone. Wamsley added the PAT kick to make it 14-0 with 5:59 to play in the first period.
On its next possession Gibbs found Austin Jordan along the far sideline with Jordan making the grab and walking into the end zone. Wamsley’s boot made it 21-0 with 1:26 to go in the quarter.
The White Falcons took to the ground for its two second period touchdowns with Crandal Neal finding the end zone on a nine yard sprint at the 9:21 mark before Wamsley completed the Mason County teams scoring by racing 19 yards for the locals’ final touchdown with 6:59 left in the half.
Fayetteville marched deep into Wahama territory on three successive occasions late in the game but was successful on only their final offensive series. Hunter Pullins capped a six play 49 yard drive for the Pirates with a two yard burst into the end zone to escape the shutout.
In addition to Trenton Gibbs’ big offensive night the White Falcons received 62 yards on the ground by Wamsley and 35 by Crandal Neal. Wyatt Zuspan caught one pass for 36 yards and Crandal Neal one for 20 yards to join Colton Neal and Austin Jordan’s 38 and 33 yard grabs.
Aaron Krise paced the Pirates ground game with 53 yards with Pullins notching 50 and Tasheem Collins 49. Krise was successful on just two of six aerials for 15 yards with Louis Mendenez picking off a Krise offering for Wahama.
Wahama (1-0) will again hit the road for the second straight week next Friday evening when they travel to Trimble for a significant Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division encounter with the Tomcats. Kickoff time is 7:30 p.m.