Note: This recap appears in the Sunday, Sept. 29 newspaper on Page B1.
NELSONVILLE — Friday night featured a non-conference matchup between the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes and the visiting Oak Hill Oaks.
Nelsonville-York lost its first two games of 2019, both of which were played on the road. The Buckeyes then beat Berne Union and River Valley at home. They hoped to continue the solid play at home in their third straight game at Boston Field.
The Oaks went into the game with a 2-2 record. Like the Buckeyes, they started the season 0-2, but quickly bounced back with consecutive wins over Rock Hill and Northwest. Oak Hill picked up right where they left off.
At the end of the day, Nelsonville-York standout Keegan Wilburn powered the Buckeyes to the 28-7 victory.
After forcing a three-and-out on the Buckeyes’ opening drive, the Oaks marched down the field with their run game. The drive featured three first downs and 13 carries en route to a three-yard Triston Diltz touchdown run. The score came with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
Nelsonville-York would answer in just over a minute. Wilburn broke out for a 56-yard touchdown run on a third down. He would continue to leave his mark on the game.
In the second quarter, Oak Hill punted twice and a pass from Nelsonville-York’s Mikey Seel was picked off by A.J. Harrison. With 2:01 left in the first half, the Buckeyes scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Seel to Wilburn.
Oak Hill would then miss a field goal with just a few seconds left before the half. After catching a pass from Seel, Ethan Gail gave Wilburn a lateral toss, which resulted in a 77-yard touchdown run from the senior as the first half ended. The Buckeyes led by a score of 21-7 after two.
Offense from both teams was at a premium in the second half. The final score of the game came with 6:15 left in the third quarter when a 39-yard touchdown reception from Drew Carter gave Nelsonville-York a 28-7 lead. That would be the final score after neither team put up points in the fourth quarter.
There was a total of 21 penalties between the two teams. Oak Hill had 10 in just the first half for a total of 88 yards. It was a scrappy game at certain points, with many personal fouls called by the referees.
Wilburn finished the game with 203 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He broke the Nelsonville-York school record for receptions during his Friday night performance. School records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns were also broken by Wilburn this season. The Ohio University commit got it done on the defensive side of the ball as well with an interception in the third quarter.
Rusty Richards, the Buckeyes’ head coach, had a lot to say about his standout player.
“He’s a dual-threat. He caught passes, he ran the ball, he played great for us at safety,” said Richards. “He can pretty much do it all. With a D-1 talent, we’re going to use him while we have him.”
Wilburn’s performance was something special, but the player under center had a great game as well. Seel completed 11 passes for 136 yards in the win. Richards appreciated his play.
“He played well again. When he’s throwing it, it opens up a lot of other stuff,” he said. “We expect that now. He’s started 15 games for us.”
Oak Hill’s opening drive was impressive. The run game looked to be a problem for Richards’ defense after the Oaks marched down the field and punched in a touchdown. The Buckeye defense made some adjustments after that drive.
“I don’t know what we did after the first drive defensively, but that’s what we need to bring every week,” Richards said. “Our d-line and linebackers stepped it up from basically the second series on. We contained them the rest of the game.”
Oak Hill drops to 2-3 and Nelsonville-York improves to 3-2. Friday night marked the last non-conference game for both teams on the season.
The Oaks will travel to Valley (4-1) next Friday. Meigs (1-4) hosts Nelsonville-York in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup.
Nelsonville-York 28, Oak Hill 7
Oak Hill 7 0 0 0 — 7
Nelsonville-York 7 14 7 0 — 28
OH — Triston Diltz, 3-yard run (Brock Harden kick), 3:45, 1st
NY — Keegan Wilburn, 56-yard run (Alec Taylor kick), 2:40, 1st
NY — Keegan Wilburn, 31-yard reception (Alec Taylor kick), 2:01, 2nd
NY — Keegan Wilburn, 77-yard run (Alec Taylor kick), 0:01, 2nd
NY — Drew Carter, 39-yard reception (Alec Taylor kick), 6:15, 3rd
First downs 13 7
Plays from scrim 66 43
Rushing (plys-yds) 48-135 18-163
Passing yards (-1) 164
Total net yards 134 327
Passes (C/A/I) 2-7-2 12-21-1
Fumbles (no-lost) 0-0 0-0
Penalties (no-yds) 11-93 10-99
Punts (no-avg) 6-40.3 4-35.25
Oak Hill — Triston Diltz 15-55 TD, Keaton Potter 9-37, Noah Donley 13-34, Isaac Morgan 6-4, Cameron Kerns 2-0, Conor Dickens 1-3; Nelsonville-York — Keegan Wilburn 10-135 2 TDs, Drew Carter 1-13, Mikey Seel 3-9, Brandon Phillips 1-3, Colton Snyder 2-3
Oak Hill — Isaac Morgan 2-7-1-(-1), Keaton Potter 0-0-1-0; Nelsonville-York — Mikey Seel 11-21-1-136 2 TDs, Keegan Wilburn 1-1-0-28
Oak Hill — Keaton Potter 1-0, Noah Donley 1-(-1); Nelsonville-York — Brandon Phillips 3-42, Drew Carter 2-41 TD, Keegan Wilburn 4-40 TD, Mikey Seel 1-28, Ethan Gail 2-13