WHEELING, W.Va. -- Four minutes into Sunday night's 64th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic, it looked like the game might be headed for a shootout.
What materialized, however, was a total runaway for Ohio which extended its dominance in the conference showcase with a 47-7 trouncing of West Virginia before a nice-sized crowd at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The win was the 14th in the last 15 years for the Buckeye State gridders and boosted the all-time series edge to 41-22-1, including 26-11-1 in games under OVAC sponsorship.
Ohio coach Dave Caldwell from Beallsville, who pushed his personal record over the .500 mark to 3-2 in all-star game coaching appearances, saw his team get on the scoreboard first after forcing a three-and-out on West Virginia's first possession.
The Buckeyes moved 66 yards in six plays, featuring a halfback pass from Martins Ferry's Jeremy Murray to Beallsville's Eric Lucas which covered 29 yards and capped on a 33-yard touchdown strike from QB Jordan Barbina of Union Local to Brody Call of St. Clairsville.
Cambridge's Nick Liptak added the point-after kick 9 the first of five successful PATs for the Bobcat grad 9 to give Ohio a 7-0 lead with 8:56 on the first quarter clock.
West Virginia countered quickly to tied the score, unleashing Wheeling Central running back DeVaughn Gordon on its first snap for 43 yards and then going right back to Gordon who reversed directions and scampered 27 yards to paydirt.
The PAT by Jon Hood of Brooke evened the score at 7-7 with 8:05 left in round one.
The rest of the game belonged to Ohio.
After an exchange of punts, Ohio went 81 yards in 12 plays, highlighted by a 16-yard pass from Barbina to Lucas and a 19-yard keeper and ensuing late-hit penalty against West Virginia. The six-pointer came on a one-yard keeper by Barbina on a busted play, with Liptak's point-after giving the Buckeyes the lead for good at 14-7 with 14 seconds left in the opening quarter. Ohio went 53 yards in just six snaps for its next tally, with a 34-yard Barbina-to-Call aerial fueling the drive and an 11-yard toss from Barbina to
Lucas finishing things off. Again LIptak converted, giving Ohio a 21-7 lead with 8:33 left in the first half.
The Buckeyes got on the board one more time before the intermission.
After stalling at the West Virginia 32-yard line, it appeared the Buckeyes would have Liptak attempt a 49-yard field goal, but after a timeout, Caldwell & Co. reconsidered and went for it on a fourth-and-10 and the decision proved to be correct as Barbina connected with Steubenville's
Brandon Carroll for a 32-yard touchdown strike.
A celebration penalty made Liptak's PAT try longer and it was off the mark, leaving Ohio on top 27-7 with 1:09 left in the second quarter.
After the crowning of Allison Clark of Wheeling Park as the Queen of Queens (Caldwell's Megan McConnell finished as the second runner-up) and another dazzling show by the McDonald's All-Star Band, Ohio continue its onslaught after Harrison Central's Westley Skinner got things rolling with a 50-yard kickoff return to the West Virginia 40-yard line.
Eight plays later, the Buckeyes were in the end zone again, this time on a one-yard run by Monroe Central's Mike Habig. Lipton's kick bounded off the left upright, but Ohio's lead had ballooned to 33-7 with 8:32 remaining in round three.
A nine-play, 83-yard drive pushed the lead to 40-7, with Ferry's Murray turning in a 32-yard run and Barbina and Habig combining for a 17-yard pickup along the way.
Habig got his second TD on a seven-yard run and Liptak added the PAT for the 33-point lead with 11:24 left in the game.
Ohio added one more score for good measure, with St. Clairsville's Zane Butler blocking a West Virginia punt and scooping it up at the 20-yard line and rambling in for the TD. Liptaks PAT closed the scoring with 1:52 remaining.
The Buckeyes finished with 374 net yards, with 181 on the ground and 193 through the air. Barbina completed 9-of-22 passes, with Lucas and Murray each catching three balls. Murray led the running game with 14 carries for 87 yards while Habig added 13 attempts for 51 stripes.
West Virginia totaled 283 yards, with 233 coming through the air and just a net of 50 on the ground. Wheeling Park's Ryan Sengewalt did most of the QB work, hitting eight of his 22 attempts with Park teammate Eric Mendenhall catching five passes for 71 yards. Wheeling Central's Gordon finished with eight rushes for 93 yards.