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Strong second half pushes Sissonville over Herbert Hoover

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Chip Ellis
Jared Wilkinson of Sissonville blasts a hole in the Hoover defense.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After a 58-19 loss to Wayne two weeks ago and a so-so first half on Friday, Class AA No. 6 Sissonville had built up six quarters of frustration.

And when the Indians started letting that steam off after the break, there was just no slowing them down.

Quarterback Nathan Miller threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and returned a punt 46 yards for a score as Sissonville (5-1) broke a 14-all halftime tie and steamrolled to a 48-14 win over Herbert Hoover on homecoming in front of a packed house at Joe Sawyer Field.

The Indians were stopped on fourth down three times in the first half including once on fourth-and-2 and once on fourth-and-1 deep inside Hoover territory. Sissonville was also flagged six times for 48 yards in the opening two quarters.

But after stopping the Huskies (2-4) on their opening possession of the second half, the Indians embarked on a game and perhaps season-defining 16-play, 76-yard drive capped off by a 2-yard scoring plunge from Dominic Walker, that took up over seven minutes and really seemed to suck all the life from Hoover.

"This is our homecoming, it's our home field, it was our next game, and it was a rival game," Sissonville coach Eddie Smolder said. "I knew the first half would be close -- Hoover has a good team -- it was a good first half to watch. But the way we prepare and train 365 [days a year] the second half is ours. That's our mindset. We're a second-half football team."

It would be tough to argue against him after Sissonville scored on all four of its second-half possessions and added a defensive touchdown as well.

But the tone was set on that opening possession highlighted by punishing runs from Walker, Jarred Wilkinson and Austin Burford.

The Hoover offense didn't help matters by fumbling on the first play of the next drive and two plays later, Wilkinson scampered in from 26 yards away to make the score 27-14 and the rout was on.

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