By Gary Dove
WN Sports Writer
CLEAR FORK – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…,” penned Charles Dickens in the opening paragraph of his book A Tale of Two Cities over 160 years ago.
Depending on which sideline one occupied Friday evening at the Mount View at Westside season-opening football game, that beginning was epitomized in one fashion or the other.
The host Renegades and their faithful had plenty to cheer about in the “best of times.”
Mount View and its fans pretty much suffered through the “worst of times.”
The Wyoming Countians played as if the contest was a mid-season meeting, rolling up 436 yards total offense while chalking up 20 first downs and scoring in each of the four quarters in a 38-6 win over the visiting Knights.
Westside’s defensive effort matched the offense’s results, limiting the View to only a pair of first downs and absolutely smothering the Golden Knight offense, throwing the rushing game for 47 yards in net losses and allowing a minus 19 yards total offense.
The results were perhaps a foregone conclusion when several Knights did not play due to injuries and not having the minimum number of practices in order to compete in a game.
That, nor anything else for that matter, affected the Renegades, who scored three times on the ground and three more times through the air. They scored quickly, they scored on extended drives, they scored from close range, they scored from afar. Indeed it was the “best of times” for the hosts.
Expressed second year Mount View head coach Maurice Gravely after the contest, “I think a lot of it was first game jitters. I’m not going to make excuses. We’ll see after tonight who wants to play and who doesn’t. Maybe this was a wake-up call.”
He continued, “We’ve got some work to do. I think we’re a better team than this. We just didn’t show it tonight.”
The teams traded lost fumbles to open the contest, with that lost Knight possession leading to the inaugural score of the evening for the Westside contingent.
Junior Blake Goode made short work of lighting the Renegade side of the scoreboard, rambling into the endzone from 11 yards out after the Renegades recovered the Mount View fumble with slightly over two minutes elapsed off the first quarter clock.
The TD came with 9:03 showing on the timepiece and staked the hosts to a 6-0 advantage.
Mount View pinned the Renegades at the 14 after the Knights had mounted a seven play drive and picked up what would prove to be their second and final first down of the game midway through the first.
After a holding call, Westside moved back to its own nine before sophomore quarterback Jaxon Cogar flipped a pass to senior speedster Daniel Reed in the left flat. Reed did the rest, outrunning Mount View defenders on the way to a 91 yard score that extended the advantage to 12-0 with 5:34 showing.
In the second chapter, Westside started one of the aforementioned long drives that covered 76 yards in 12 plays to go up 18-0.
On this score, Cogar took the snap in shotgun formation and rolled up the middle from nine yards out. That touchdown came at the 4:48 mark of the second.
After the Westside defense provided a quick four-and-out, Westside reached into its bag of tricks for the next score, a 45 yard halfback pass from Goode, who was the Renegade QB for most of the 2019 season, to senior Ethan Blackburn to extend the advantage to 24-0 at intermission.
Blackburn set the stage for a third chapter TD by picking off a View pass midway into that period.
Reed gained 37 yards on a first down run before Goode added the capper from one yard away for a 30-0 lead at the 5:56 point of the third.
On the opening play of the fourth, Cogar guided a touch pass to Reed, who negotiated the final 10 yards for a six for the home team.
That score brought a 12 play, 72 yard march to fruition and the Renegades led 38-0 following Goode’s conversion run.
Westside was knocking at the door for another TD late in the game when the Knight defense avoided a shutout as junior Tony Bailey stripped the football from a Renegade runner at the Mount View nine before racing 91 yards for a touchdown with 3:47 remaining in the game to pen the final 38-6 score.
Goode rushed the pigskin 27 times for 120 yards and two scores, as well as throwing a TD aerial.
Reed caught two scoring strikes and ended the evening with five catches for 128 yards.
Cogar and Blackburn added one touchdown each.
Related Westside defensive coordinator Brandon Fleenor, “This (defensive effort) was really big to have a game like this the first game of the season. They (players) did well. They played hard.”
Remarked fourth year head coach Herbie Halsey, “It’s good to get that first win (of the season). It’s good to get a convincing win and to see the changes we’ve been looking for the last couple years.”
He continued to heap praise on players on both sides of the football.
“You can win with juniors and you can compete with juniors, but you have to have seniors to step and lead the way,” continued Coach Halsey.
Westside will travel to Greenbrier County next Friday to take on the Greenbrier West Cavaliers, while the Knights are open before visiting Summers County a week from Friday.
AT CLEAR FORK
MOUNT VIEW 0 0 0 6 6
WESTSIDE 12 12 6 8 38
W:Blake Goode 11 yd run (PAT run failed) 9:03
W:Daniel Reed 91 yd pass from Jaxon Cogar (PAT pass failed) 5:34
W:Cogar 9 yd run (PAT run failed) 4:48
W:Ethan Blackburn 45 yd pass from Goode (PAT run failed) 2:38
W:Goode 1 yd run (PAT run failed) 5:56
W:Reed 16 yd pass from Cogar (Goode PAT run) 11:53
MV:Tony Bailey 91 yd fumble recovery return (PAT run failed) 3:47