Blues Blast Bath

Blues Blast Bath

PM RUNNING back Jeremiah Fulwider takes the ball down the field as teammates block for him. Fulwider led the Blues with 72 rushing yards on 12 carries. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

Blues Blast Bath

FIGHTING BLUE quarterback Ty Ruley jumps over a couple of players as teammates hold off Bath County defenders. Ruley rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

Blues Blast Bath

PM’S TY Ruley prepares to hand off the ball to teammate John Snider (left), who rushed for 69 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

PM Gridders Dominant In Pioneer Showdown

The Parry McCluer High School football team put forth a dominating performance to beat Pioneer District rival Bath County 31-8 on Friday night in the Blues’ final home game of the regular season in Buena Vista.

With the victory, PM improved to 2-6 overall and 2-1 in Pioneer District play. The victory was also PM’s first home win of the season.

“This was a great win,” said PM head coach Mark Wheeler. “We finally put a complete game together!”

PM and Bath (1-7, 1-2) came into this pivotal contest with identical records overall and in Pioneer District play. Wheeler said before the game that he expected it to be a battle. When asked how his team was able to win so convincingly, he said “We took care of the ball, didn’t get many penalties and executed the best that I have seen this year.”

Before the game, the Blues honored their 10 seniors: Tyler Royer, Jacob Wootten, Trent Fitzgerald, Treveion St. Clair-Helm, Colton Painter, Alan Heim, Brendon Conley, Caleb Mason, Colton Staton and Holden Kerr.

“I’m extremely proud of those guys,” Wheeler said. “They all came together in a big way tonight.”

PM needed to win this game to solidify a spot in the Class 1 playoffs, and the Blues came out firing on all cylinders.

“Hats off to our coaching staff,” Wheeler said. “They came up with a great game plan and made it all come together, right on time!”

Despite playing without top running back Keaton Coleman, who leads the team in rushing with 406 yards and has scored two touchdowns this season, the Blues’ offense ran the ball with ease all night.

Freshman John Snider paced PM with 69 yards and three TDs on 14 carries. Snider now leads the team in TDs with six this season. “He’s going to be a really special player,” Wheeler said of Snider.

PM received the ball to start the game and wasted no time. The Chargers attempted an onside kick, which failed and gave the Blues the ball near midfield. Jeremiah Fulwider and Snider led the charge down the field, and Snider capped the drive with a 10-yard TD run. Wootten booted the PAT through and PM went ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter.

The PM defense was also playing without one its best players, Kerr, who went down with a knee injury in the loss to Covington. However, the defense stepped up big and kept the Chargers off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.

On Bath’s opening drive, PM tackle Forrest Vassar delivered a punishing blow to running back Connor Call, who was the Pioneer District’s defensive player of the year last season. The Chargers were forced to punt, and PM took over with good field position again.

PM quarterback Ty Ruley found success running the ball, but the drive stalled out on the 16-yard line. Wootten, who had a great night kicking the football, gave PM points on the drive with a 26-yard field goal that split the uprights.

Up 10-0 after the first quarter, PM’s defense put Bath quarterback Coult Fussell under pressure and repeatedly forced third and long situations. Early in the second quarter, the Chargers went for it on fourth down and three, but Call was tackled in the backfield by Jacob Gilbert.

Fulwider, who led PM in rushing with 72 yards on 12 carries, helped the Blues power their way into Bath County territory again. Before halftime, Ruley extended the Blues’ lead to 17-0 on an incredible 34-yard TD run that came off a play action rollout to the left side of the field. Ruley finished the game with 60 rushing yards and a TD on 11 carries.

In the second half, penalties played a large role in preventing the Chargers from gaining any traction. On their opening drive of the half, back-to-back holding penalties and an unsportsmanlike call backed the Chargers all the way up to their own 5-yard line. They eventually punted the ball away on fourth down and

40.

The punt gave the Blues a short field, and they capitalized on it again. Snider capped the Blues’ drive off with his second TD of the night on a 1-yard run that put PM ahead 24-0 after a Wootten PAT.

On their ensuing drive, penalties hurt the Chargers again and forced them to punt. The snap for the punt was poor. The punter scooped it up, attempted to get a rugby-style kick off, but fumbled the ball, which PM’s Jacob Gilbert recovered on the Bath 11-yard line.

Several plays later, Snider found the end-zone again for his third TD of the night on a 3-yard run that put PM ahead 31-0 after the PAT.

Treveion St. Clair-Helm got his first interception of the season later in the third quarter on a pass that Fussell floated into the PM secondary.

Late in the fourth quarter, Bath finally cracked the scoreboard on a beautiful pass from Fussell to Damian Flenner for a 90-yard TD. Fussell kept it himself on a two-point conversion run and made the score 31-8.

Bath attempted an onside kick following the score, but the kick was caught by PM’s Caleb Mason, and the Blues ran the clock out to end the game.

The Blues will continue district action when they travel to play Eastern Montgomery (1-7, 1-2) this Friday at 7 p.m. The Mustangs also beat Bath County earlier this season, but are coming off a 46-8 loss to Covington last Friday.

“We are going to enjoy this win, but focus on getting back to work,” Wheeler said.

With two regular-season games remaining, Wheeler said, “I told the guys that we have to take it one game at a time from here on out. It will get tougher each week, and we have to keep getting better every day so that we can make a run in the playoffs.”

BC 0 0 0 8 8

PM 10 7 14 0 31

First Quarter

PM – Snider 10 run (Wootten kick)

PM – Wootten 27 FG

Second Quarter

PM – Ruley 35 run (Wootten kick)

Third Quarter

PM – Snider 1 run (Wootten kick)

PM – Snider 3 run (Wootten kick)

Fourth Quarter

BC – Flenner 90 pass from Fussell (Fussell run)

BC PM First downs 7 14 Rushes-yards 23-28 51-262 Passing yards 138 10 Comp-Att-Int 8-19-1 1-5-0 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 2-20 10-95 Time of possession 18:14 29:46

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS (PM only)

RUSHING – PM, Fulwider 12-72, Snider 14-69, Ruley 11-60, Moore 7-45, Tolley 3-10, Hamilton 3-7, Team 1-(-1).

PASSING – PM, Ruley 1-5-0 10.

RECEIVING – PM, Fitzgerald 1-10.

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