WHEELING - If anyone doubted that Wheeling Park's Bryce Ingram would be back, at least at the level he played at last season, the senior running back understands.
At one time earlier this summer, he probably would have endorsed the doubt.
He entertained the thought himself.
File photo by Alex Kozlowski
Wheeling Park's Bryce Ingram
Don't try to sell that theory to Brooke, though.
Not after Friday night's 34-16 Park victory, which helped the Patriots improve to 4-0.
Ingram started early, and he really never slowed down, rushing for 188 yards and three scores (on 12 carries) in the win.
Early? How about the first play from scrimmage, when Ingram raced 68 yards for a touchdown.
Late? Ingram had touchdown runs of 53 and 45 yards to seal the victory.
There is little doubt Ingram is back. At least not now.
"I was talking to my dad before the season and he said he thought that I'd be back by the fifth game of the season," Ingram said. "Honestly, I wasn't sure that I'd be back at all."
Ingram suffered a stress fracture in his back. Originally thought to be a pinched nerve, he was going to a chiropractor initially.
When it didn't heal, the correct diagnosis was sought.
"I felt that way," he said of missing his senior season. "To be back, and playing again, in the fourth game of the season (he returned Week 3) is a blessing."
For Ingram, and the team.
So deep is the backfield that long-time University coach John Kelley called it the best he's seen.
There's merit, especially after sophomore sensation Savion Johnson added 155 yards on the ground Friday night."
Park will try to go to 5-0 against East Liverpool Friday.
Wheeling Central held serve on the island Saturday, with a dramatic come-from-behind victory Magnolia, which, arguably, could be the best 2-3 team in the state.
The engineer of the comeback was freshman quarterback Isaac Rine, who completed four straight passes, including the game-winning TD toss to Parker Henry with 30 seconds left. That toss gave Central a 21-20 lead which ended 27-20 after he Maroon Knights blocked a game-winning field goal which Derek Yocke returned for a touchdown as time expired.
Obviously, Henry is the starter at quarterback but inserting Rine into the lineup allows coach Mike Young to use Henry and C.J. Burch (who quarterbacked the team last year when Henry missed the season with an injury). It gives the Knighs "explosiveness," Young said.
It sure paid off down the road and it's worth noting that both Henry and Burch topped 100 yards on the same night for the first time this season.
Central (4-1) faces Kiski Academy Saturday at 7 p.m. on the island.
Magnolia returns home to face another tough battle against Monroe Central.
Offensive Player of the Week
Defensive Player of the Week
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