WHEELING, W.Va. – Doddridge County entered Wheeling Island Stadium on Saturday with a chance at a perfect season and a championship on the line.
The Bulldogs, competing in their first football title game since 1978, fell behind 14-0 before getting on the board.
Doddridge County never led for the first time in a game all season, while the ten seed Wheeling Central captured its third-straight Class-A state title, winning by a final score of 38-21.
“It has been tremendous effort all year long. It’s been the entire team. And I’m nothing but proud of them,” Bobby Burnside said after the game.
Hunter America ran the ball 19 times for 126 yards, but was held scoreless on the ground.
He did throw for a touchdown, however, in the fourth quarter.
Noah Bumgardner completed 8-13 passes for 44 yards and a score, that touchdown pass to Austin Kelley in the second half, which at the time cut the deficit to 24-14.
Wheeling Central was just too much, though, passing for 214 yards and four scores with back-up quarterback Jacob Rine, and rushing for 247 yards as a team.
Burnside spoke after the game about how proud he was of his team.
“I’m extremely proud of them. I couldn’t be more proud of them. Before the game I told them they’ve already demonstrated the amount of heart they have. And they showed it. They battled all the way through the end.”