ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Wellston spotted Meigs a 12-0 lead, then exploded for 22 points in a span of six minutes in the third quarter to defeat Meigs 43-12 in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division football action Friday night before a small, damp crowd at Farmers Bank Stadium/Holzer Field.
The loss is the fourth in a row for the Marauders, as they fell to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in TVC Ohio play. Wellston breaks a three-game losing skid and moved to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the league.
The Golden Rockets piled up 531 yards on the ground against the injury depleted defense of the Marauders. Most of that came from the one/two punch of Nick Cox and Travis Jayjohn. Cox carried 35 times for 335 yards and three touchdowns, while Jayjohn added 194 yards on 28 tries and also scored three times.
Things looked bright for the Marauders early as they received the opening kickoff and put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Meigs took the early lead when sophomore Zach Bartrum slipped behind the Wellston defender for a 31-yard scoring pass from Zach Helton.
Meigs increased the lead to 12-0 after a four and out by Wellston, but this time it covered 75 yards in 13 plays. Once again, Helton hit Bartrum on a five-yard scoring toss with 25 second left in the first and the Marauders were on top 12-0.
Wellston scored its first touchdown of the night when Cox scored from seven yards out, Jayjohn added the extra points with 11:12 left to cut the Marauder lead to 12-8.
Jayjohn scored from nine yards out with 6:18 left in the half. The extra point were no good but the Golden Rockets went into the locker room at the half with a 14-12 advantage.
Wellston took a 22-12 lead in the third period when Jayjohn scored from 18 yards out. On the second play after a Meigs punt, Cox ripped up the middle 63 yards for the score to increase the lead to 30-12. Wellston then added their third score of the period when Cox took it in from two yards with two minutes left in the period to make it a 36-12 contest.
The Golden Rockets ended the scoring when Jayjohn scored from two yards out with 2:15 left. Rodney Brown added the extra points to make the final 43-12.
Cox carried 25 times for 335 to lead Wellston, Jayjohn added 28 carries for 194. Michael Graham was one for three in the air for five yards, to Jayjohn.
Meigs was led by Lane Cullums and Zach Bartrum both with 14 yards rushing each. Helton was 16 of 29 in the air for 175 yards. Bartrum caught nine passes for 81 yards, Bailey Caruthers added three for 45 and Cole Adams two for 22. Christian Maddox added one for 11.
Meigs will travel to Albany next week for the final contest of the season. The Spartans lost 55-13 at Trimble Friday night.
Wellston will host rival Vinton County, which dropped a 41-0 contest to Nelsonville-York Friday night.
Dave Harris is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.