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Madonna beats Wahama in 77-50 shootout

WEIRTON -- A layer of snow covered the field at Jimmy Carey Stadium, but the atmosphere was electric for Madonna's Class A quarterfinal matchup with Wahama.

Ross Comis and Eliott Nero made sure of it.

Comis ran for six touchdowns and passed for another and Nero tacked on four scores Saturday night as the Blue Dons avenged last year's championship game loss with an incredible 77-50 conquest that set several playoff records.

It was a rematch of last year's title contest, won by Wahama 43-42 in overtime at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Madonna (12-0), the No. 1 seed, hosts No. 4 Williamstown (10-2) in next week's semifinals. The Blue Dons are 14-0 all-time in postseason home games.

The pace was frenetic all night, as Comis carried 25 times for 263 yards and Nero added 184 yards on 20 attempts.

For the No. 8 White Falcons (10-2), the defending Class A champs, Kane Roush also put on a show, tallying six TDs -- three on runs and three more on kickoff returns.

"Our offense was rolling,'' Comis said. "In the second half, our defense barely got on the field with all the kick returns they had. We had a couple of mistakes that gave them most of the points they had. But we had fun, and now it's on to the next one.''

The White Falcons saw their offense hampered when quarterback Hunter Bradley left during the game's opening series with an injury. He never returned, leaving duties under center to Wyatt Zuspan.

After the game, Bradley said he broke his collarbone. That certainly didn't help matters for Wahama, but the visitors did score the first two times they had the ball and led 16-8 after one quarter before Madonna's onslaught.

"We don't make excuses at Wahama High School,'' said White Falcons coach Dave Barr, fighting back tears. "Tonight I'm proud of our guys because we came out and faced a great program and we gave everything.

"It's disappointing, heartbreaking. But we had great days together and we'll have great days again.''

Roush carried 10 times for 181 yards and his kickoff return TDs covered 83, 83 and 70 yards, though it was difficult to spot the ball most of the night as the yard lines were all but obscured in snow.

Because of his propensity for breaking long returns, and two not-so-onside kicks that squibbed off Wahama players and were covered by Madonna, the Blue Dons ran the first 33 plays from scrimmage in the second half.

Wahama didn't run an offensive play in the second half until 4:17 remained in the game, and that turned into an 83-yard scoring run by Roush.

Also, in a span of six offensive snaps to start the second quarter, Madonna turned a 16-8 deficit into a 34-16 halftime advantage.

Comis burst to touchdowns on carries of 73, 19 and 56 yards and Nero added a scoring surge of 25 yards as the Blue Dons rolled up 189 yards on those six plays.

Wahama contributed a pair of lost fumbles in that stretch, including one by a bad exchange between Zuspan, the reserve QB, on a handoff to Roush.

@tag:Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazette.com.


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