WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. — Wheeling Central Catholic quarterback Michael Toepfer tossed three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Maroon Knights secured a key win for their playoff hopes, 33-14 over Williamstown. The game was played at West Family Stadium at West Liberty University.
Toepfer scored his two rushing touchdowns in the first half. A 1-yard sneak in the first quarter put Central up 6-0 after the first frame. He found the end zone again in the second, scoring from fourteen yards out on a fourth-and-1 play. That gave the Maroon Knights a 14-0 lead.
“Michael is a gamer,” said Wheeling Central head coach Mike Young. “He steps up and plays hard. He doesn’t have the best practices sometimes and he will be the first one to tell you that. But you have kids that play hard. You have kids that come to play a game. That’s what Michael does. He is a leader to the rest of the kids.”
Williamstown responded with a 20-play scoring drive. Brayden Modesitt hit freshman receiver Louis Goodnow in the end zone from five yards out, cutting the Yellowjacket deficit to 14-7 at the break.
Central however would recover a pair of fumbles and score three touchdowns in the air in the second half. Toepfer connected with Jordan Waterhouse on scoring strikes of 41 and 29 yards in the third quarter, giving WCCHS a 26-7 lead through three quarters.
In the fourth, Toepfer hit Vinnie High on a 7-yard strike to make the score 33-7.
“We were confident we could move the ball but we didn’t know how well we would stop them. They have put a lot of points on the board this year if you look back at their scores. I am just proud of our kids and what they did. Can’t say enough about being shutout last week with no game and to rally. Coach (Chris) Beck did a super job of getting his kids ready.”
Williamstown (5-2) capped the scoring in the final minute when Thomas Billingsley scored on a 9-yard run.
Wheeling Central (5-3) entered the week ranked 20th in the SSAC ratings. The three-time defending state champions, whose losses have come against Poca, Parkersburg and Fort Frye, Oh., can secure a playoff spot with a win at Petersburg next Friday.
“We knew we needed it. And we told them this is a playoff game. The playoffs were starting a bit early this year.”