WELLSTON – Isaac Molihan led Wellston’s offensive barrage on Friday night against River Valley.

The junior quarterback threw five touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the Rockets to a 46-6 win over the visiting Raiders on Senior Night at C.H. Jones Field.

Molihan moved into the starting quarterback role when senior Jeremiah Frisby suffered a season-ending injury at Alexander last week. He completed 15 of 19 passes for 256 yards against the Raiders with five touchdowns and one interception. He also had 61 rushing yards and a score for the Rockets.

“Isaac played phenomenal tonight,” Wellston head coach Mike Smith said about Molihan’s game performance. “He came in during the second half at Alexander last week when Jeremiah got hurt and did a tremendous job.

“Tonight, he just lit it up. He looked tremendous. His footwork was good, his arm was good, and he saw things quickly. I think the game slowed down for him tonight, and he did a heck of a job.”

As a team, Wellston finished with 375 yards of total offense on the night.

Wellston (3-3, 2-0 TVC-Ohio) also came up strong on the defensive end, sacking River Valley quarterback Justin Stump five times. They held the Raiders to 90 yards rushing, with 68 of those yards coming on their opening drive of the game. Stump capped it with a 1-yard touchdown run to take an early 6-0 lead.

The 14-play scoring drive by the Raiders consumed nearly seven minutes off the clock.

“When you haven’t seen the triple-option they (River Valley) run, it is a different animal,” said Smith. We knew going in that we were going to have to play assignment football. We missed a couple of assignments on that opening drive, and we did some things we wouldn’t normally do.

“We ended up doing them anyway, simply because you have three options on every snap. As I said, the triple-option is a different animal, and we don’t see it. Nobody else in this league runs it. It took a while to adjust, but I thought our kids came back out after that first drive and did a good job.”

On Wellston’s opening series, Molihan connected with Brenton Breech for 19 yards on the fourth play from scrimmage. Two plays later, he capped the six-play, 60-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Zach Wilbur for a 7-6 lead after Michael Weber’s PAT.

After a perfectively executed onside kick, Wellston was set up with good field position after Kyle Kisor recovered it at the RV 44. Molihan connected with Breech for a 30-yard gain, and on the next play, he found Evan Brown for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Both Brown and Wilbur had two touchdown catches on the night. Breech had a team-high three catches for 65 yards.

River Valley lost possession of the ball four times on turnovers during the game, including three fumbles and one interception.

One of those fumbles occurred early in the second quarter and returned for an apparent touchdown by the Rockets. However, Evan Brown’s 65-yard scoop-and-score was negated because of an illegal blocking penalty.

After a 16-yard reception by Breech, the Rockets dug into their bag of tricks on the next play. Molihan flipped the ball to Breech, who flung it downfield to Wilbur for a 43-yard touchdown pass to open up a 20-6 lead.

“If you have ever watched Brenton Breech throw a football, he can sling it about 70 yards,” Smith said. “We put that play in, and honestly, I didn’t figure Dan (Polcyn) would run it, but he did. Dan is not much on gadget plays. He likes to do things the other way.

“Usually, you run gadget plays when you have to. But it ended up turning out good for us, and Zach (Wilbur) scored on senior night, which is always good.”

Following back-to-back 14-yard receptions by Evan Brown and Aiden Graham, Molihan scored on a one-yard run two plays later for a 27-6 lead.

Then Molihan capped a 33-point half for the Rockets with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Evan Brown with 2:03 remaining.

On River Valley’s ensuing possession, however, Riley Evans hauled in a 55-yard pass, and the Raiders were knocking on the door. But two plays later, Brenton Breech intercepted Stump in the end zone, and Wellston closed out the half with a 33-6 lead.

The only thing keeping the Rockets from an even bigger tally came on their opening drive in the third quarter, as Molihan threw an interception inside the RV 10-yard line.

The Rockets, though, held River Valley’s offense to a three-and-out, and Wellston got good field position after a 27-yard punt to the RV 37-yard line. Two plays later, Molihan tossed a floater to a wide-open Kisor for a 37-yard touchdown, setting the running clock in motion.

After River Valley turned the ball over on downs, Wellston’s final touchdown of the night came early in the fourth quarter on a four-yard reception by Graham.

Stump threw for 70 yards for the Raiders, while Michael Conkle had a team leading 56 rushing yards.

Seniors from all the fall sports programs at Wellston, including cheerleaders and band, were recognized during pregame activities.

Twelve football seniors and their parents were acknowledged, including Gage Downard, Aiden Graham, Jeremiah Frisby, Joey Dovenbarger, Kyle Kisor, Zach Wilbur, Evan Brown, Payton Downard, Brandon Clagg, Raims Morgan, Ethan Caudill, and Brenden Mullins.

The Rockets return to the road for a TVC-Ohio Division tilt on Friday at Nelsonville-York.

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TEAM STATISTICS

                      RV          W

First Downs                          9                      18

Scrimmage Plays                 44                    47

Rushing (No.-Yds.)              41-90                25-70

Passing (Cmp.-Att.-Int.)       2-3-1                17-22-1

Passing Yards                      70                    305

Total Yards                           160                   375

Fumbles (No.-Lost)              3-3                   0-0

Penalties (No.-Yards)           2-11                 2-20

 

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING

River Valley: Michael Conkle 12-56, Nathan Brown 4-18, Levi Wood 3-9, Ryan Jones 6-8, Justin Stump 10-6 (1 TD), Andrew Huck 2-6, Riley Evans 1-(-1), Mason Browning 3-(-3), Wellston: Issac Molihan 10-61 (1 TD), Bodie Kemp 5-4, Evan Brown 1-2, Tucker Ervin 4-2, Cole Kemp 3-1, Johnny Scott 2-0.

PASSING

River Valley: Justin Stump 2-3-1 70 yards; Wellston: Isaac Molihan 15-19-1 256 yards (5 TDs), Brenton Breech 1-1-0 43 yards (1 TD), Johnny Scott 1-2-0 6 yards.

RECEIVING

River Valley: Riley Evans 1-55, Drew Loveday 1-13; Wellston: Brenton Breech 3-65, Zach Wilbur 3-57 (2 TDs), Joey Dovenbarger 2-49, Evan Brown 3-45 (2 TDs), Kyle Kisor 1-37 (1 TD), Aiden Graham 3-33 (1 TD), Bodie Kemp 1-13, Kale Faught 1-6.