Tigers best Bulldogs in first-ever meeting
Guire sparks Elkins to comeback victory in battle of Randolph County squads
MILL CREEK –In an historic matchup between Randolph County squads and state-ranked teams, Class AA, No, 12 Elkins overcame an early deficit to hold off Class A, No. 4 Tygarts Valley, 39-34, Friday night at Bulldog Field.
The first-ever game between the schools in varsity football action developed when Randolph County was listed as gold this week in the COVID-19 mapping.
The game didn’t disappoint in a closely played battle.
But the Tigers, who trailed 21-7 in the second quarter, held the Bulldogs to just 13 second-half points, which included a touchdown on the final play of the game.
T.J. Guire, seeing his first offensive snaps in several weeks due to an injury, finished with 103 yards rushing, including 70 over the final two quarters to spark the Tiger rally.
The senior scored on TD runs of 6 and 3 yards in the second half.
Leading 23-21 at the half, Guire’s 6-yard run on the first possession of the second half gave the Tigers a 31-21 advantage. Guire also caught the conversion pass from Rodney Vandevender, who added 82 yards and two scores on the ground.
The TD was set up by a 26-yard pass from Vandevender to Peyton Isner which moved the ball to the TV 6-yard line.
Tygarts Valley scored on its first series of the second half as well when Caden Boggs went in from 4 yards out, making it 31-28.
Boggs led all rushers on the night with 175 yards on 21 totes.
Elkins appeared headed to another score later in the third quarter before the Bulldogs recovered a fumble on their own 19-yard line.
But the Elkins defense held on downs near midfield with 5:05 left in the game and a key reception by Dante Ramirez from Vandevender, after a holding penalty, moved the ball to the Bulldogs’ 26.
Four players later, Guire plowed in from 3 yards out with just 1:17 left in regulation. He also ran in the conversion to extend the lead to 39-28.
Tygarts Valley found the end zone once more when Josh Bright hit Aidan Row for an 11-yard score as time expired.
Each team scored on their opening possession of the night as the Bulldogs took the kickoff 73 yards in seven plays. The drive was capped off by Daniel White’s 28-yard scamper.
Elkins responded with an impressive drive of its own as Ramirez went in from four yards to end a 13-play, 80-yard march.
Boggs then gave TV a 14-7 lead when he burst loose for a 20-yard touchdown on the second play of the second quarter.
A 50-run by Ramirez moved the ball to the TV 10-yard line on the Tigers’ next possession, but a holding call and pair of incomplete passes led to a long fourth-and-goal.
Ian Maxwell then tipped the pass attempt, secured the interception and rumbled 75 yards as the Bulldogs extended their lead to 21-7.
It didn’t take Elkins much time to answer, however, as 53-yard connection from Vandevender to Ramirez led to a 1-yard sneak from Vandevender.
The senior quarterback added the two-point run to cut the deficit to 21-15.
After holding the Bulldogs on downs, the Tigers took possession at their own 30.
Eight plays later, Vandevender scooted in from 3 yards out and Guire hauled in the conversion pass as the Tigers took the lead for the first time at 23-21 with 2:11 left in the opening half.
Vandevender was 6 of 10 passes for 126 yards in the win. Ramirez had four catches for 86 while also rushing for an additional 74 yards.
White added 54 yards rushing for Tygarts Valley. Bright was 6 of 9 passing for 41 yards and also ran for 43.
The Bulldogs are now 5-1 on the season, while the Tigers improved to 4-2.
Both teams are scheduled to be back in action next Friday, depending on COVID-19 protocol.
Elkins is scheduled to visit Bridgeport and Tygarts Valley is slated to entertain South Harrison.
Both games are subject to change.
Elkins 7 16 8 8 — 39
Tygarts Valley 7 14 7 6 — 34
TV — Daniel White 28 run (Liam Depp kick), 9:26
EHS — Dante Ramirez 4 run (Peyton Isner kick), 2:31
TV — Caden Boggs 20 run (Depp kick), 11:18
TV — Ian Maxwell 75 yard interception return (Depp kick), 8:30
EHS — Rodney Vandevender 1 run (T.J. Guire run), 6:45
EHS — Vandevender 3 run (Guire run), 2:11
EHS — Guire 6 run (Vandevender to Guire), 7:10
TV — Boggs 4 run (Depp kick), 3:25
EHS — Guire 3 run (Guire run), 1:11
TV — Row 11 pass from Josh Bright, :00, (No PAT attempt)