HURRICANE, W.Va. - Spring Valley's opening drive set the stage for what became an historic performance, as the Timberwolves stomped host Hurricane 55-27 on Friday night.
Spring Valley (5-3) marched 80 yards on six methodic runs by seniors Elijah Wellman and Ryan George, leading to Wellman's 14-yard run to open the scoring with just 2:06 run off the first-quarter clock.
The theme continued throughout the night, as Wellman finished the win with 224 yards rushing and four touchdowns. George ran for 214 yards and three scores. It was the first time in the school's 15-year history that two running backs finished with more than 200 yards rushing in the same game.
"200 yards for a back in a night is good no matter what. But two, that says a lot about our linemen and how hard they work," said Wellman, who has committed to play college football at West Virginia and is expected to play fullback for the Mountaineers.
"It also says a lot about how they've improved. They're very young. The first couple games they got some experience, but after that they got things rolling."
Hurricane (5-3) entered the game on a three-game win streak, and had one of the top Class AAA defenses in the Kanawha Valley. On Friday, however, the Redskins gave up an eye-popping 654 rushing yards on 53 carries. Spring Valley threw the ball just five times, and not at all in the second half.
"They just physically whipped us up front. We had guys in position, we just couldn't match up with them," Hurricane Coach Jeremy Taylor said. "We tried some trickery and deceit there for a while, but seriously, they are as physical of a football team as there is around. It's what they do, and that's been our downfall all year.
"Against spread teams we're OK. Against physical big teams, we're going to have a rough time."
Spring Valley got out to a 21-0 lead by halftime, holding the Hurricane offense to 81 total yards in the meantime. Although the Redskins finished the game with 22 first downs to Spring Valley's 25, only eight of those came before the Timberwolves took a 28-0 lead on George's 53-yard touchdown run with 8:18 left in the third quarter.
Hurricane junior quarterback Austin Hensley completed 14 of 21 passes for 145 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He carried the ball a team-high 14 times, but was sacked four times and finished with 2 net yards.
The Redskins showed some life in the third quarter, answering George's long touchdown with its their best drive of the game. The eight-play, 65-yard march - aided by a helmet-to-helmet penalty against the Timberwolves - resulted in a 1-yard Hensley run that got Hurricane on the board with 6:09 left in the third.
The hosts could keep no momentum, however. Wellman scored on a 24-yard run on Spring Valley's ensuing drive. Although Zach Pate returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, the Timberwolves' Tyler Robertson - who finished with 90 rushing yards on just four carries - scored on his own 53-yard run.
"They're very good running backs, both of them," Spring Valley Coach Brad Dingess said of Wellman and George. "Our line's growing up. I know there some times in the second half we had three sophomores on the line and a junior at center. They played a really tough schedule at the beginning of the year and now, they're kind of hitting their stride a little bit."
It was the fourth time this season the Timberwolves finished a game with more than 500 rushing yards. They also did so against South Charleston, Greenbrier East and Beckley.
Hurricane plays host to Logan next Friday, while Spring Valley takes on Nitro at home.
SPRING VALLEY 55, HURRICANE 27
First downs 25 22
Total yards 654 289
Rushes-yards 53-643 36-144
Passing yards 11 145
Comp-Att-Int 1-5-0 14-21-1
Fumbles-lost 4-1 1-1