othwell to Cornell, Dragons roll in opener

West Union quarterback Ryan Rothwell (3) was involved in seven touchdowns for the Dragons in their 62-12 season opening win over Georgetown.  Rothwell had five passing scores, one rushing score, and an interception return to help lead the Dragons to the victory. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)

Dynamic duo connect for five TD’s, West Union routs Georgetown 62-12 – 

By Mark Carpenter – 

Picking up right where they left off. That is exactly what Coach Scott McFarland and his West Union football squad did last Friday night as they opened up their quest for a second consecutive undefeated season. At Freedom Field, the Dragons played host to the Georgetown Titans, a team in their first year of varsity play in the Southern Ohio Independent League, and the West Union experience showed as they were rather rude hosts to their visitors, scoring early and often and rolling to a 62-12 triumph in the season opener for both sides.
“It was great to be back under the lights playing football,” said Coach McFarland. “It was great to start off the season with a big win. Our players work very hard and understand what it takes to be a great team after last season and we have some excellent senior leaders.”
“I was impressed with Georgetown and congratulate them on a great start to their program. They made some great plays and made us earn everything we got tonight.”
The West Union football squad has a new weapon in their already loaded arsenal in placekicker Jacob Fox, who nailed eight of nine extra point attempts in the Dragons’ 62-12 win over Georgetown on Aug. 17 at Freedom Field.  (Photo by Mark Carpenter)
The West Union offense is quite potent, with depths of talent at the skill position, and the combination of quarterback Ryan Rothwell and wide receiver Brandan Cornell proved too much for Georgetown to handle as the duo connected on five touchdown passes, all in the first half, as Cornell racked up 202 receiving yards on the night.
The Rothwell-Cornell combo struck on the first possession of the game, just 1:11 in, from 41 yards away. The Dragons have another weapon in kicker Jacob Fox booted the extra point to make it 7-0. A minute later, the home team was on the board again, this time with Rothwell on the defensive side of the ball. A high snap forced confused in the Georgetown offense and quarterback Kyle Cornette’s pass was picked off by Rothwell who returned it five yards to paydirt and the Fox extra point made it 14-0 with 9:14 left in the opening period.
The Titans scored their first touchdown of the season on their second possession of the game, taking advantage of a West Union penalty and then getting a 51-yard scoring pass from Cornette to Dillion Glaser that made it 14-6.
The Dragons took over on their own 26 and proceeded to go 74 yards in eight plays, the drive culminating with a 55-yard touchdown catch by Cornell with 3:42 left in the opening frame. Fox’s extra point attempt was wide right, but the Dragons had increased their advantage to 20-6. After a Georgetown fumble was covered by the West Union defense, the Dragons drove into the red zone early in the second quarter, but a Rothwell pass was picked off in the end zone by the Titans’ Logan White. That favor was returned just moments later when a penalty-plagued Georgetown drive ended with an interception by West Union’s Blake Nesbit, who returned the pick to the one-yard line. After a false start penalty, Rothwell ran it in from six yards out and the Fox extra point made it 27-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Titans fumbled and the Dragons recovered and it took just one play for Rothwell and Cornell to connect again as the West Union wideout snagged the ball in traffic and made his way to the end zone and with a Fox kick, two touchdowns in six seconds made it 34-6 with still 10:18 to go in the first half.
West Union running back Clayton Madden (23) looks to turn the corner in action from last Friday night’s big win over Georgetown. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)
After their defense forced a turnover on downs, the Dragons marched 44 yards in eight plays, overcoming a pair of penalties, getting a 16-yard pass from Rothwell to Cornell and a Fox kick to go up 41-6. The Georgetown offense went out quick on four incomplete passes, giving the West Union offense one more shot before the half and it was Rothwell to Cornell one more time on a nice crossing pattern from six yards out and the Fox extra point sent the home team to the intermission with a commanding 48-6 lead.
With the big margin, the second half was played with a running clock, which makes the play go rapidly but each team put points on the board. After a Clayton Madden interception, the Dragons got a touchdown run from Dylan Grooms and a later scoring run from backup fullback Jimmy Wallingford, as both teams were able to use their entire rosters, valuable experience in a season opener. Georgetown put one more score on the board, and the final seconds ticked off on a big West Union win by the final count of 62-12.
”We managed to get everyone in the game which is great for experience building,” said McFarland. “As you would expect from a first game, there are a lot of things for us to improve which will be our focus this week, but overall I was pleased with the effort and execution. Getting everyone n the field is great for morale and depth building.”
On the statistical side, quarterback Rothwell was involved in seven touchdowns, five passing, one rushing, and one interception return. Wallingford ran for 56 yards and a score and the West Union defense forced five turnovers. Kicker Fox was successful on eight of nine extra point attempts.
Next up for the Dragons is the annual Victory Bell battle with North Adams this Friday night at Freedom Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

6 0 0 6 —12
West Union
20 28 7 7 —62

Scoring Summary:
First Quarter
WU- Cornell 41-Yd. Pass from Rothwell (Fox kick)
WU- Rothwell 5-yd. interception return (Fox kick)
GT- Glaser 51-yd pass from Cornette (kick failed)

WU- Cornell 55-yd. pass from Rothwell (kick failed)
Second Quarter
WU- Rothwell 6-yd. run (Fox kick)
WU- Cornell 40-yd pass from Rothwell (Fox kick)
WU- Cornell 16-yd. pass from Rothwell (Fox kick)
WU- Cornell 6-yd. pass from Rothwell (Fox kick)
Third Quarter
WU- Grooms 30-yd. run (Fox kick)
Fourth Quarter
WU- Wallingford 25-yd. run (Fox kick)
GT- Glaser 40-yd. run (kick failed)