HUNTINGTON - The big guys are proving to be a big pain for South Charleston.
Fullback Elijah Wellman barreled his way for 209 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries Friday night as Spring Valley finally broke into the win column with a 37-36 victory over South Charleston.
The Timberwolves (1-2), considered a Class AAA top-10 team in the preseason, churned out 493 yards on 65 rushing plays against a tiring SC defense.
Besides Wellman, tailback Ryan George ran for 154 yards on 17 totes, including a 35-yard TD burst in the first quarter. Backup Tyler Robertson nearly made it a trio at the century mark as he finished with 89 yards on eight attempts.
"We finally busted out,'' Wellman said. "Our line did a terrific job. They blew their line up. We whipped them and opened up a lot of holes for the running backs. Up to this game, we hadn't had a run of 10 yards, but we had five or six there in the first quarter.''
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Wellman, who has given a commitment to West Virginia University, kept ripping off huge chunks of yardage all night and scored on runs of 51, 2, 1 and 3 yards. He also tacked on a pair of key 2-point conversion runs, with several of his scoring runs in goal-line situations coming as he was untouched by the defense.
It brought to mind SC's difficulty in tackling George Washington fullback Dustin Crouser, another Division I prospect, in the opener. Crouser, who's headed to Charlotte, ran for 150 yards and two TDs in GW's 36-24 win.
"I saw this coming when we got off the bus,'' said SC coach John Messinger. "They obviously saw the film [against GW]. He's been ready for breaking out. We knew it was going to happen. We just had to tackle him and we didn't do it.
"I will say this is one of the best-executed game plans I've ever seen at the high school level. Maybe the best offensive line play I've ever seen in our conference, or in the state of West Virginia. That offensive line stepped up tonight and plain whipped us.''
About the only thing keeping the game close - Spring Valley racked up 24 first downs and didn't punt - was the Timberwolves' penchant for turning the ball over.
Spring Valley had six turnovers - losing five of seven fumbles and throwing an interception in the end zone.
The Wolves led 37-22 in the fourth quarter when SC's Trevond Reese picked up a fumble and returned it 64 yards for a TD to make it 37-28. The 2-point conversion try failed, leaving SC down by at least two possessions.