NELSONVILLE — Keegan Wilburn set a school record, and Mikey Seel was nearly perfect for the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes piled up yards and points on Friday, turning away River Valley for a 51-18 victory at Boston Field.
Nelsonville-York scored touchdowns on all six of its first-half drives, totaling 403 yards of offense in winning the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division opener.
“They were double teaming Keegan,” Seel said. “Everything was working. We could do anything we wanted. We could run the ball. We could pass the ball. It was just a great night.”
Seel had a career day passing the football. The senior completed 13 of 15 attempts for 212 yards and four touchdowns. He completed passes to seven different receivers, and also caught a 20-yard pass for good measure.
“It feels pretty great,” Seel said. “I really want to thank my blockers. My wide receivers were catching everything. They had a great night. It’s not all on me. It’s about my team.”
One of Seel’s incomplete passes came on a drop on a shovel pass, as just about every offering was on the money. He showed what the Buckeyes’ offense is capable of when everything is clicking.
“Keegan’s always a big weapon — he’s going to get his yards — but last year the games we won, we sort of went how Mikey went,” Nelsonville-York coach Rusty Richards said. “As long as he can continue to do that, it’s going to keep us very balanced.”
Wilburn also enjoyed another big night that gave him another school record.
Wilburn gained 93 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns, but it was his receiving yardage that set a new school standard.
Wilburn caught three passes for 65 yards. His 48-yard touchdown reception in the opening quarter allowed him to become the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
“It’s pretty cool,” Richards said. “I’ve had him all four years, and we started from day one. He had like five touchdowns his first year. He’s been a big weapon for us.”
Wilburn, already the school leader in touchdown receptions, currently has 1,546 receiving yards after Friday’s big game.
Despite his receiving exploits, it was Wilburn’s rushing that started to open things up against the Raiders’ defense.
Nelsonville-York’s first two touchdowns were courtesy of Wilburn runs. The first score was a 28-yard run that came with Wilburn taking a direct snap in a wildcat formation. The second touchdown covered 18 yards and saw him break multiple tackles after taking a pitch to the right.
Wilburn had five carries for 68 yards on just the first two drives, allowing the Buckeyes (2-2, 1-0 TVC-Ohio) to really open up the passing game.
“He gets a lot of attention,” Richards said. “Anytime we can get him going, it’s going to help Mikey Seel out a bunch with the pass game.”
N-Y’s third touchdown came courtesy of Brandon Phillips. He intercepted the only Raider pass attempt of the night to end a drive, then scored from six yards out when he lined up in the backfield alongside Wilburn. The score allowed Nelsonville-York to quickly lead 21-6.
The running game firmly established, it was time for Seel to take to the air.
The Buckeyes’ Colton Snyder recovered an onside kick after Phillips score, then Seel found Wilburn for his 48-yard touchdown catch.
The Raiders appeared to have nice coverage on the play, but Seel dropped the ball perfectly to Wilburn, who was racing up the middle of the field.
He hauled in the record-setting catch and dashed to the end zone, the Buckeyes now ahead 28-6.
Seel would later throw a 19-yard scoring strike to Ethan Gail, an 18-yard touchdown pass through traffic to Phillips, and a 31-yard score on a fade to the corner of the end zone to Alec Taylor for four first-half touchdowns.
The offensive fireworks allowed Nelsonville-York to lead 48-18 by halftime.
“Everybody is stepping up,” Seel said. “They’re taking a big role in this offense, especially Drew Carter, Brandon, Ethan Gail, Keegan — everyone stepping up and taking a role.”
The Raiders (0-4, 0-1 TVC-Ohio) were never able to gain any footing thanks to Nelsonville-York’s quick scoring. Jared Reese returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score, and he returned another kickoff 55 yards to set up another touchdown.
The Raiders’ Cole Young had 150 yards rushing on 23 carries, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace. River Valley didn’t complete a pass, and finished with just 194 yards of total offense.
Taylor put the exclamation point on the big win, tying a school record by making a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Taylor made six of seven PATs, with the only miss coming after a fumbled hold. He also caught a 31-yard touchdown and banged the 41-yard field goal. All in a day’s work for the multi-talented junior.
“He kicked it wherever I told him to kick it, and the onside kick there at the beginning of the game, he put it right about 10 and a half yards, right where we needed it,” Richards said. “So he had a pretty good night. I’m sure he’ll get some Buckeye leaves this week.”
The Buckeyes have shaken off two early-season losses, having won two straight by a combined score of 81-18. They’ll host Oak Hill next week before continuing what they hope is a push for a league championship.
“We’ve got to put it in a different gear, work hard in practice,” Seel said. “We can’t take anybody lightly. We have to go finish this 6-0, beat everybody, win the TVC.”
Nelsonville-York 51, River Valley 18
River Valley 12 6 0 0 — 18
Nelsonville-York 28 20 0 3 — 51
RV — Jared Reese, 90-yard kickoff return (kick failed), 11:46, 1st
NY — Keegan Wilburn, 28-yard run (Alec Taylor kick), 8:38, 1st
NY — Keegan Wilburn, 18-yard run (Alec Taylor kick), 5:48, 1st
NY — Brandon Phillips, 6-yard run (Alec Taylor kick), 2:53, 1st
NY — Keegan Wilburn, 48-yard pass from Mikey Seel (Alec Taylor kick), 2:40, 1st
RV — Cole Young, 7-yard run (pass failed), :06, 1st
NY — Ethan Gail, 19-yard pass from Mikey Seel (Alec Taylor kick), 9:20, 2nd
NY — Brandon Phillips, 18-yard pass from Mikey Seel (Alec Taylor kick), 8:10, 2nd
RV — Ryan Jones, 5-yard run (run failed), 5:17, 2nd
NY — Alec Taylor, 31-yard pass from Mikey Seel (kick failed), 2:39, 2nd
NY — Alec Taylor, 41-yard field goal, 7:42, 4th
First downs 11 20
Plays from scrimmage 42 44
Rushing (plays-yds) 41-194 27-171
Passing yards 0 232
Total net yards 194 403
Passes (cmp-att-int) 0-1-1 14-17-0
Fumbles (no-lost) 4-2 1-0
Penalties (no-yds) 2-20 6-63
Punts (no-avg) 0-0 0-0
River Valley — Cole Young 23-150 TD, Ryan Jones 6-26 TD, Michael Conkle 2-10, Jared Reese 10-8; Nelsonville-York — Keegan Wilburn 9-93 2 TDs, Brandon Phillips 6-31 TD, Colton Snyder 4-30, Mikey Seel 2-10, Drew Carter 4-9, Hudson Stalder 1-1, Dakota Inman 1-(-3)
River Valley — Jared Reese 0-1-1-0; Nelsonville-York — Mikey Seel 13-15-0-212 4 TDs, Drew Carter 1-2-0-20
River Valley — none; Nelsonville-York — Keegan Wilburn 3-65 TD, Ethan Gail 3-49 TD, Alec Taylor 1-31 TD, Mikey Seel 1-20, Brandon Phillips 2-28 TD, Austin Thrapp 1-13, Colton Snyder 2-17, Drew Carter 1-9, Mikey Seel 1-20