MOUNDSVILLE - This is one that will have Bishop Donahue kicking itself. Coach Ryan Wilson and Clay-Battelle liked it just fine.
Tristan Haught threw a pair of touchdown passes, including what figured as the game-winner in the third quarter, as the Cee-Bees (2-0) left Monarch Stadium with a 21-7 victory against the Bishops (1-1).
''To come up here on their turf and get the win, we are excited,'' Wilson said. ''This group of kids, they showed a lot of guts and determination right there.''
Bishop Donahue running back Jordan Bonar (6) is wrapped up by Clay-Battelle’s Jarrett Roush (33) during Friday’s game at Monarch Stadium.
On the other side of the stadium, John Durdines lamented missed chances. The Bishops took the opening kickoff and marched to the Clay-Battelle 14 before turning it over on downs. Later, after the Cee-Bees elected to go for it on fourth down inside their own 40, the Bishops held and took the ball to the 19 before coming up empty.
''We blew golden opportunities,'' Durdines said. ''We just have one or two breakdowns and it gets us in (bad) down and distance.
''This is a good Clay-Battelle team and we needed to bring our A-game. We didn't and yet we were still in it.''
In fact, they were in the lead at halftime, 7-6. That came after sophomore QB Jesse Padlow bulled his way over from the 1 on a sneak play with 7:08 left in the second quarter. The Cee-Bees though, grabbed the momentum as Haught hit Nathan Tolley on a late, 25-yard touchdown pass.
Bishop Donahue was back in business in the second half when Jordan Bonar, who carried 18 times for 83 yards, picked off a Haught pass and returned it to the Clay-Battelle 35 before a late penalty flag brought it all the way back to the Bishops 18. After the teams exchanged punts, the Cee-Bees went to work from the Donahue 35.
Tolley caught a 22-yarder and Haught was dropped for a 4-yard loss. One play later Haught improvised and found Ben Wade across the middle for a 17-yard touchdown pass that stands as the winner.
The play that was called was a screen.
''He looked it off over there,'' Wilson said. ''Bishop really covered it well and he came back over to the secondary receivers and he found Ben Wade on the cross right there for a touchdown.
''That's Tristan being a quarterback. I'd say a year's experience helped him.''
Bishop Donahue had one last chance, but Jarrett Roush came up with a pair of impressive defensive plays, including knocking down a pass on fourth down, to turn it away.
Four plays later sophomore Jacoby Steele (17 carries, 78 yards) put the icing on things with a 3-yard touchdown run.
''It's a great win,'' Wilson said. ''Our defense held. That group of kids right there, they laid it on the line big time.
''They are going to be dead (today).
''Bishop's got a great football team and we knew coming in it was going to be a war.''
Durdines received another strong effort from Padlow, who completed 17 of 32 for 175 yards in addition to his touchdown run. At this point in his career though, the Bishops would prefer he didn't have to throw it that many times.
''Jesse played another solid game - I thought he did everything we asked,'' Durdines said. ''We tried to put him in situations where he didn't have to do it (by himself).
''We just had some blown assignments on certain blocks, went the wrong way. We knew they were going to blitz the gaps and we had that picked up early.
''These are learning steps. We're a young team - we're starting a lot of sophomores at key positions. They're going to mature and get better. I'm still very excited about this season.''