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by Joedy McCreary
(September 5) MORGANTOWN -- Is it Morgantown's ground-game philosophy or its bevy of skilled tailbacks that make the Mohigans so hard to handle?
Both, says MHS coach Glen McNew.
Chris Yura rushed for 196 yards and five first-half touchdowns and reserve tailback Mark Wigal ran for 130 yards and three more scores as Morgantown High thumped visiting Elkins, 61-19, Friday evening at Pony Lewis Field.
"Chris is a great athlete, and Wigal is a good athlete," McNew said. "The offense we run, the kids believe it works. They love it. It's been good to them."
Morgantown (2-0) rolled up 443 rushing yards while holding the Tigers (1-1) to just 90 yards rushing.
McNew called Yura's 5-touchdown performance -- his second in as many weeks -- "pretty typical."
Yura's 18 carries equaled the number from last week's 41-0 win over Buckhannon-Upshur, a team he ran for 117 yards against. A signee with Notre Dame, Yura is just getting back to form after missing substantial time during summer practice with a groin injury.
"He's just getting back to how he used to be," McNew said.
Morgantown didn't waste much time, building a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Quarterback Christian Montagliani hit Andrew Belmear from 16 yards out on the Mohigans' second possession, and Yura struck from 12 yards out on Morgantown's next series.
Elkins fumbled the first snap at its own 22, and Yura scored on the next play to make it 21-0.
Elkins looked to make it a game at the end of the first half when quarterback Nathan Fields connected on five straight passes to Mike Simon, the last a 1-yard touchdown strike with 37 seconds left in the half to pull to 35-12.
But Elkins' onside kick was recovered at midfield. After a Montagliani run to the Elkins 16, Yura burst through the line for his fifth touchdown and a 42-12 halftime lead.
In the second half, Wigal took over, and the rout was on.
Of his 130 yards, 127 came in the second half. He scored on runs of 21, 13 and 44 yards.
Montagliani hit just 1-of-5 passes for 16 yards, his lone completion the first-quarter touchdown to Belmear.
Fields led Elkins with 12-of-19 passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
He also rushed nine times for 28 yards, including a 27-yard scoring sprint.
Simon led Elkins' receivers with seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Nick Haddix also caught a touchdown pass for the Tigers and rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries.