MASON, W.Va. — The turnover bug took a big bite out of the team wearing red.
Visiting Gilmer County scored 14 points after four takeaways and racked up 552 yards of total offense on Friday night during a 40-24 victory over the Wahama football team in a Week 3 matchup at Bachtel Stadium in Mason County.
The host White Falcons (0-3) produced a season high in points and produced a respectable 241 yards of total offense, but the Titans (2-1) built a 7-0 first quarter lead and used a 6-play, 80-yard drive after forcing their second takeaway en route to a 14-0 edge with 5:20 remaining in the half.
The Red and White countered with a 21-yard scoring run from Garrett Stiltner to close the gap down to 14-6 with 1:54 left in the half, but Levi Self hauled in a 25-yard pass from Ean Hamric 32 seconds remaining for a 21-6 cushion at the break.
Hamric — who threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns — found Avery Chapman with a 59-yard scoring pass less than four minutes into the second half, but Stiltner added his second score on a 6-yard pass from Andrew Roush at the 4:01 mark of the third for a 27-12 contest.
WHS, however, was ultimately never closer the rest of the way.
Hamric added a 52-yard run with 2:21 left in the third for a 33-12 edge, then GCHS picked off a pass on the second play of the finale — giving the guests possession at their own 20 with 11:26 remaining.
The Titans marched 80 yards in a dozen plays and capped things with a Max Hulse 8-yard run, allowing Gilmer County to extend its lead out to 40-12 with 5:54 left in regulation.
Kase Stewart hauled in a 36-yard pass from Andrew Roush with 2:53 left, then Roush rumbled 29 yards to paydirt with 13 seconds remaining to wrap up the 16-point outcome.
Hamric — who accounted for 386 total yards of offense — added his first of two rushing scores on a 30-yard scamper at the 1:19 mark of the first for a 7-0 edge.
Chapman hauled in an 18-yard pass from Hamric at the 5:20 mark of the second frame for a 14-point advantage.
Gilmer County finished the night plus-3 in turnover differential and claimed a 20-13 edge in first downs, an advantage that was 11-3 at the intermission. The guests were flagged 12 times for 75 yards, while Wahama was penalized four times for 35 yards.
The White Falcons ran 41 times for 188 yards and also amassed 53 passing yards, while the Titans accumulated 329 rushing yards on 38 attempts and passed for another 223 yards.
Roush led the hosts with 85 rushing yards on 14 attempts, followed by Stewart with 52 yards on 14 totes. Roush also completed 4-of-10 passes for 53 yards, including two touchdowns and three interceptions. Stewart also led the wideouts with two grabs for 45 yards.
Michael VanMatre recorded two sacks and Isaac Roush picked off a deflected pass at the goalline in the first quarter.
Hamric ran for 163 yards on 17 carries and also completed 9-of-13 passes for 223 yards, including three touchdowns and a pick. Chapman led the wideouts with four catches for 116 yards. Hulse also ran for 139 yards on 15 attempts.
Wahama returns to action Friday when it travels to Ashton to face Hannan in a battle of Mason County programs. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.