Devils work through injuries to overwhelm West Branch


Travis Luensmann

The Blue Devils manhandled West Branch despite being down two skill players.

Travis Luensmann, Sports Writer

Nick Plank was a different animal in the Blue Devil’s 50-14 stomping of West Branch Friday at Memorial Stadium.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior rushed for 239 yards on 13 carries while adding 3 touchdowns for the Mighty Blue. Plank also roughed up the Warriors on the defensive side, adding a pair of tackles from his linebacker position.

“I was just trying to trust my blocks and give 110% on every carry,” Plank stated.

Plank scored twice in the first quarter to help open a 21-0 lead before Ayden Gutierrez found Eddie Dale for a 78-yard touchdown pass.

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B-A answered with a pair of Trevor Miller touchdown passes to Owen Shedlock and Troy Walker in the second quarter, while the defense collected a safety to make it 37-7 at halftime and signal the route.

In the air, senior Miller completed 8 of 14 attempts for 107 yards, and his lead receiver,Walker snagged 3 of them for 45 yards.

Another notable performance was by sophomore Connor Gibbons, who was starting in place of the injured Zach Mallon and Jon Kost. Having little varsity experience, he stepped up to the challenge and took West Branch on a scramble, with 9 carries for 113 yards. 

“I was very happy with our performance Friday night.  Connor Gibbons stepped in and did a good job filling in at the tailback/cornerback spot,” he said.  “We feel we are a pretty deep team, so when someone has to fill in we still have a high standard for them.  I still think we need to keep improving if we want to reach our long term season goals we have for ourselves.”

It was the fourth game this season where the Devils scored 40 or more points.

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, senior Ayden Gutierrez went in the air for 151 yards on 9-25 attempts. Leading in receiving yards was senior Eddie Dale, having 2 catches for 93 yards. In rushing yards, junior Will Herring was at the top with 60 on 8 attempts.

In total, the Devils out-played and out-hustled the Warriors, with the yard difference being 547 to 240.

The now 7-0 Devils prep to head up to Mount Union to face off against the Trojans while the Warriors begin to devise a new game plan, as the host Williamsburg on Friday.