WILLIAMSTOWN - Chalk up number 44 straight as Class A top-ranked and undefeated Williamstown blanked visiting Magnolia, 21-0, on the way to tying a state record for regular-season prep football victories.The Yellowjackets (8-0), who posted their second consecutive shutout in as many weeks, can now erase the old Winfield standard of 44, and set the new state mark with a win against Ritchie County (1-8) on senior night at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Last year, the maroon and gold routed the Rebels, 65-13, at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium in Ellenboro.
Against Magnolia, Tyler Lowers led the 'Jackets, rushing for 165 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown. The senior standout also caught a 5-yard pass from Brandon Roberts for a score, and had a fumble recovery.
The 6-foot, 176-pound Lowers has now gained over 1,000 yards on the season.
Mike Goertler added 95 yards on 13 attempts, and scored one TD of 53 yards.
Doing most of the blocking for Lowers and Goertler were center Ryan Lott, guard Travis Buttrey, tackle Evan Landers, guard L.B. Wingrove, tackle Chris Ullman and tight end Ross Elder.
Defensively, Brad Montgomery and Lott each had an interception.
Class AA, No. 8 Magnolia (6-3) was paced by quarterback Josh Sims, who rushed for 85 yards on 22 carries. The Blue Eagles' signal caller was pressured the entire contest, and was only able to complete 5-of-15 passes for 28 yards . He also had two throws picked off.
During first-quarter action, Williamstown's Lott intercepted a Sims pass on Magnolia's opening drive, and returned it to the MHS 40.
The Blue Eagles' defense, however, stiffened, and forced WHS to attempt a field goal from 33-yards out.
The left-footed Russell Palm's kick was wide-right, and the score remained 0-0.
After Magnolia punted on its second offensive possession, it got a break when Brett Glover picked off a Roberts' pass. But again the Blue Eagles were forced to punt.
Late in the first quarter, Williamstown moved the ball from its 20 to the MHS 43.
On the second play from scrimmage in the second period, Lowers raced 26 yards to the Blue Eagles' 19. Goertler then ran 12 yards to the 7.
On a third-and-goal at the 5, Roberts passed to Lowers out in the right flat, and the WHS tailback was able to run the remaining distance for a touchdown.
Palm's kick gave the Yellowjackets a 7-0 advantage at the 9:24 mark.
Just before the half, Williamstown threatened to score again when it moved the ball to the Magnolia 5. But a holding penalty put the ball back on the 19.
Roberts then tried to pass to Matt Sexton in the end zone, but Magnolia's Joe Ferrell intercepted it.
At halftime, Williamstown led 7-0.
After starting the second half at midfield, WHS went on its second scoring march of the game. With Lowers running eight of the 10 plays, including the capper, a 9-yard dash to paydirt, the Yellowjackets stretched their lead to 13 points.
The maroon and gold then made it 15-0 when holder Roberts muffed the center snap but was able to recover and run for the 2-point conversion.
During the final minute of the third period, Goertler took a Roberts' handoff, veered right to the sideline, and outran the Magnolia defenders 53 yards to paydirt.