Big Plays Highlight Black and Gold Game - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Big Plays Highlight Black and Gold Game

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Returning sophomore quarterback Dylan LaGarde opened Thursday night's Black and Gold Game with a 58-yard pass to transfer wide receiver Anton McCallum, setting up the first touchdown of an entertaining evening at West Liberty's Russek Field.

The LaGarde-to-McCallum connection was merely the first of several explosive plays by offensive and defensive players alike as the Gold (offense) posted a 66-47 win against the Black (defense) on a perfect evening for football on the Hilltopper campus.
"I was a little worried the offense might lay an egg tonight after I talked about how much more competitive we've been on that side of the ball this spring," head coach Roger Waialae said after bringing down the curtain on his 10th set of spring drills, "but that's what we've seen all month.
"Some days the defense has had the upper hand and other days it's been the defense but the main thing is we've had competition on both sides of the ball and that's what makes you better."
Junior TB Isiah Moody slammed across from the 2 on the next snap as the offense got off to a flying start but the defense put some points on its side of the ledger with three straight 3-and-outs in the complicated scoring system which awarded points for defensive stops, turnovers, tackles-for-loss, sacks, first downs, etc.
Senior safety Marco Ricchetti, showing no rust after sitting out a redshirt year, had a tackle-for-loss during this stretch along with junior defensive back Josh White and sophomore linebacker Dylan Dominico. Sophomore linebacker Zach Barnes recorded the game's first quarterback sack.
Redshirt freshman QB Dan Leonard then got into the act, scampering 16 yards on 3rd-and-15 to keep a drive alive. He converted another third down by rolling out to his right and hitting diving sophomore WR Daree Goodwin with a 45-yard strike to the 3-yard-line. Two snaps later, Goodwin – the game's leading receiver with 3 catches for 69 yards – leaped high for a one-handed TD grab at the back of the end zone.
Several running backs made positive impressions. Moody had 13 carries for 71 yards while freshman Braxton Gamble ripped off a 42-yard run and finished with 72 yards on 6 carries. Redshirt freshman Jeremiah Ortiz had a 30-yard run to highlight a 12-carry, 55-yard performance.
As Waialae noted, West Liberty's veteran defensive corps turned in its share of highlight-reel plays.
Returning starters Andrew Faraimo and Alec Wood each were charted with multiple tackles-for-loss while sophomore NT Khalil Seaburn had a sack. Sophomore LB Garrett Vulcano and redshirt freshman DB Ellis Randall had the two biggest hits of the night.
Junior safety Tanner Stocker just missed a "pick-6" when he was tumbled out of bounds at the 3 at the end of a nice interception return midway through the scrimmage.
West Liberty kicks off the 2014 season at home on Sept. 6 against defending Mountain East Conference champion Shepherd.
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