Page County triumphs over Stonewall
QUICKSBURG – Page County did something Friday night it has been unable to do in at least five years – beat Stonewall Jackson High School.
The Panthers shut out the Generals 39-0.
Also for the first time in many a year, former Stonewall head man Dick Krol was patrolling the sidelines as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, following a long, distinguished career in Quicksburg.
Said Page head coach Joey Soltis, “This is my fifth year as the head coach, and I know we haven’t beaten them during that time.”
“We have gone through a 30-game losing streak and a 19-game losing streak,” Soltis said. “We were 1-9 last year.”
And, in fact, Stonewall head coach Jay Goode’s only career victory in his 1 1/2 seasons with the team was against the Panthers last season, so it meant something Friday for Page to win.
“It’s important to win because it’s the next one,” said Soltis. His team improved to 3-1 overall, 1-0 in Shenandoah. The team has now scored 39 or more in three consecutive games.
Stonewall, whose coach spent several minutes congratulating Soltis when this game was over, dropped to 0-1, 0-4.
“This one’s important because it kind of establishes us in the district,” Soltis said.
The head coach said Krol never mentioned a rivalry with his old school, from which he resigned in 2014.
“He never said a word about it, but I think the kids knew he had coached here and I think they knew what it meant to him,” said the Panther boss.
On Friday, Stonewall fumbled five times, losing four. The Generals also threw an interception. Almost all the miscues either led directly to touchdowns for the visitors, or at least set them up.
Two Stonewall turnovers turned into the first pair of Page County touchdowns in the first half.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, though on its second possession, a bad snap cost Stonewall the ball inside the Page five-yard-line.
The Panthers moved quickly from deep in their territory, depending on running back Ethan Hizer, who picked up 114 yards of rushing in the first half.
The Page County back slipped his way to his own 38 with a first down. On the subsequent second down, Panther quarterback William Hart connected with Bailey Turner on a slant, which carried for 16 yards to the Stonewall 41.
As the second quarter opened, Hizer grappled his way to the General 29.
From there, Hart floated a ball to a wide open Hunter Varner. The touchdown play carried 29 yards and the 2-point conversion was successful.
It was 8-0 Page with 11:18 showing in the half.
Stonewall started the following possession at its own 35.
Another fumbled, but recovered, snap led Goode to move 6-foot-4, 276-pound junior Drew Binion to center. Behind him Stonewall Jackson running back Jacob Murphy blasted upfield for a 43-yard gain to the Page County 22.
On the subsequent down, Murphy and Stonewall quarterback Logan Ritchie experienced another lost handoff – the second turnover for the Generals in the red zone.
As it did the first time it recovered a turnover, Page was threatening to score again.
It moved from its own 16 to the Stonewall Jackson end zone. Big plays along the way belonged to Hizer, whose 37-yard run was prolonged by a Stonewall Jackson personal foul on the same play.
That gave the Panthers first-and-10 at General 37.
Quarterback William Hart threw a screen which wide receiver Alex Ferrer carried to the 10. Hizer got it close and Hart tacked on the one-yard touchdown pass to Mark McClung. The run for 2-points failed, but Page County had the 14-0 lead with 5:12 left in the half.
In the third quarter, a fumbled punt return by Stonewall was recovered by Page, which ultimately the Panthers turned into their third touchdown of the night.
Kizer ran for 12 and 23 yards along the way. His last jaunt was aided by a Stonewall unsportsmanlike penalty. Hart danced for the three-yard touchdown run. The kick again failed. The score was 20-0 with 7:39 left in the third quarter.
Page County buckled down on Stonewall’s next possession, holding the Generals on downs in their territory.
For the only time to this point, Jackson had not turned the ball over on a possession that resulted in a touchdown. This one, they did cleanly without any overt help from the Generals.
Stonewall did drop a number of potential interceptions throughout the game.
Hizer bolted 20 yards, there was a Stonewall penalty and a 36-yard pass from Hart to Ferrer. Hizer carried for the three-yard score. The kick put the Panthers ahead 27-0.
Then it got out of hand. Ferrer intercepted a pass and gashed Stonewall for a 90-yard return. The kick missed for a 33-0 score with 4:43 showing in the game.
Page County’s final score came on a 42-yard fumble recovery-and-run by L.J. Kline. The kick failed for the final 39-0 decision.
Hizer led all rushers with 189 yards.
Hart completed six of 16 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Murphy rushed for 88 yards. Ritchie picked up 52.
Panthers 39, Generals 0
Stonewall Jackson 0 0 0 0
Page County 0 13 14 12–39
PC: Hunter 29 pass from Hart, 2-point conversion
PC: McClung 1 pass from Hart, conversion fails.
PC: Hart 3 run, conversion fails
PC: Hizer 3 run, kick good
PC: Ferrer 90-yard interception return, kick failed
PC: L.J. Kline 42-yard fumble return, kick failed
Stonewall Page County
First downs 8 10
Rushes-yards 34-179 31-228
Passing yards 29 104
Passing 4-10-1 6-16-0
Penalties-yards 8-57 6-50
Fumbles-lost 5-4 1-0
Punts avg. 40 15.5
RUSHING: Stonewall: Murphy 16-88, Ritchie 6-52, Logen Patton 8-26. Page County: Hizer 25-189, Hart 6-39.
Passing: Stonewall: Ritchie 4-10-1. Page County: Hart 6-16
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