HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - South Charleston football Coach John Messinger knew that Spring Valley senior running back Elijah Wellman would eventually have a breakout evening after a pair of subpar rushing performances to begin the season.
He just hoped it wouldn't be against the Black Eagles.
Unfortunately for Messinger, Wellman had other thoughts in mind.
After rushing for just 92 combined yards in the Timberwolves' first two games, the 6-foot-2, 230 pound Wellman erupted for 209 yards on 23 carries, including touchdown rushes of 51, 2, 1, and 3 yards, to lead Spring Valley to a 37-36 home win over SC.
The win ended a two-game losing skid for the Timberwolves, who improved to 1-2, while South Charleston dropped to 1-2.
"We knew that he had the potential to do that to us and he did it," Messinger said of Wellman, a West Virginia University signee.
"I said I hoped it didn't happen to us here tonight but it did. I knew it was coming, I knew it would happen eventually. I just didn't want it to happen against us."
For Wellman, the big night couldn't have come any sooner given his early struggles.
"I finally busted out," he said. "Our line did a terrific job tonight and just blew their (defensive) line up. We whipped them pretty bad and there were a lot of holes for our running backs."
Wellman said the Timberwolves had not had a run of more than 10-yards in either of their first two games, before finishing with 12 such runs against the Black Eagles, including runs of 51 and 50 yards by Wellman.
The Timberwolves' offensive line of Trevor Stacy, Matt Fuller, Josh Hammer, Matt Jones and Alex Locklear controlled the trenches from start to finish in leading the way to 492 rushing yards on 65 carries.
Senior back Ryan George also had a stellar evening for Spring Valley in rushing for 154 yards on 17 totes, including a 35-yard TD run in the first quarter.
Sophomore Tyler Robertson added 89 yards on eight carries for Spring Valley, with a long of 33 yards.
"My hat's off to them because that's the best offensive line play I've seen in our conference in a long, long, long, long time," said Messinger. "The thing that disappoints me the most is that we absolutely just got out-bullied.
"I know they were bigger, but I'll tell you something right now, that's the first time in a long time that I've seen our kids take a beat down, and they beat us down up front."
Things could have been worse for the Black Eagles had Spring Valley not lost five fumbles and thrown an interception at the SC goal line on the game's opening drive.
"All phases of our offense was clicking except we just kept turning it over to them," said Spring Valley Coach Brad Dingess. "We've got to fix that, but I've not seen an offensive line performance like that against a good football team like them in a long time.
"I just can't say enough about our kids and how they got after it physically and played hard."
Spring Valley's offensive onslaught began on the first series of the game in which it drove from its own 24-yard line to the Black Eagles' 17. The drive ended when SC's Kevin Forrest intercepted Tyler Brown's first pass attempt at the 1-yard line.