R.T. Alexander didn’t throw any more touchdown passes Saturday, but he’s now locked in as the starting quarterback for George Washington.
Alexander, a junior who transferred back to the Kanawha Valley this year from Valdosta, Georgia, earned the start in the Patriots’ scrimmage against Cabell Midland Saturday as the Mountain State Athletic Conference Grid-o-rama wrapped up at University of Charleston Stadium.
The 15th — and final — Grid-o-rama concluded with four two-hour scrimmages between eight league teams. The other three — Capital, Huntington and Spring Valley — scrimmaged in Friday’s opening round. The event is being discontinued next season.
George Washington ended up with a 38-26 victory against Midland, outscoring the Knights 35-12 in the second half as each team stuck with its reserve players. In the other matchups, Woodrow Wilson topped St. Albans 29-7, Riverside beat Parkersburg 19-7 and Hurricane stopped South Charleston 34-21.
Alexander, who played at St. Albans as a freshman before moving out of the area, had been in a battle this summer with GW holdovers Brady Adams and Brody Thompson for the starting gig.
On Saturday, he completed 4 of 9 passes for 103 yards with one interception and was sacked three times. However, he had shown enough to Patriots coaches during the preseason, including five TD tosses in the opening scrimmage with Man.
“He’ll start next Thursday night [against South Charleston],’’ said GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. “He’s the one right now. The other kids are doing what we need them to do, and he’s been doing what we need him to do. And we’re moving that way.’’
Midland led at halftime 14-3 with each team’s starters on the field, but GW rallied behind backups Adams and Thompson. Adams hit on 5 of 9 passes for 111 yards and two TDs and Thompson threw scoring tosses of 8 and 45 yards. Austin Castleberry and Isaiah Price each caught a pair of TD passes for the Patriots.
The Knights appeared more concerned with getting reps for all their players than worrying about field position. Three times in the second half, they went on fourth down on their own side of the 50 and didn’t convert.
Midland got its first-half scores on a 36-yard run by quarterback J.J. Roberts and an 8-yard run by Jakob Caudill. The Knights gained more than 200 yards on the ground in the first half as Roberts, a converted defensive back, and basketball star Chandler Schmidt took turns at quarterback with the starters in the game.
Jaydyn Johnson, a transfer from South Charleston, led Midland on the ground with 59 yards on four carries, Roberts added 57 yards on four attempts and Caudill had 50 yards on 12 rushes. One down note was a penchant for penalties — Midland had 11 flags for 99 yards in the first half.
Knights coach Luke Salmons said he can envision his team’s run-heavy offense utilizing both Roberts and Schmidt taking snaps from center.
“We could,’’ Salmons said. “They’ve both never played there, but they’re getting better. They’re both good at different things. I like them. I don’t worry about playing two quarterbacks — not with what we do.’’
Edwards, meanwhile, was somewhat satisfied with his first string. GW reached Midland territory on each of its four full first-half possessions — reaching the Knights 23, 26, 39 and 19 — but didn’t punch it in. Michael Hughes’ 43-yard field goal marked the lone score for the Patriots starters.
“We didn’t show a whole lot today,’’ Edwards said, “but that’s to be expected. I liked our kids’ effort, but our execution’s got to get a lot better. We were not very good up front today on either side of the ball, but [Midland] had a lot to do with it. That’s a real good football team.’’
Woodrow Wilson 29, St. Albans 7: Lamont Lee barreled his way for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries for the Flying Eagles, but the score was tied 7-all at halftime with both team’s starters in the game. One of Lee’s scores came at the beginning of the third quarter against SA’s backup defense.
For the Red Dragons, QB Caden McCoy connected on 6 of 7 passes for 70 yards and carried five times for 41 yards, including a 3-yard TD run. He was sacked once for minus-9 yards. Jaimelle Claytor added 25 yards on five attempts.
Riverside 19, Parkersburg 13: Another scrimmage that was tied at 7 at halftime while the starters played. For the Big Reds, Bryson Singer threw a 38-yard first-half scoring pass to Braeden Mason and for Riverside, Charlie Pierson scored on a 3-yard run.
Pierson’s touchdown was set up by a 32-yard pass completion from QB Javante Elzy to Austin Stephenson and a 31-yard run by tailback Caden Easterling to the 3. Easterling ended with 56 yards on 10 carries.
On Pierson’s TD run, the Warriors’ top lineman, Austin Chapman, suffered an ankle injury and left the game. Coach Alex Daugherty thought Chapman would be ready for Friday’s opener against Woodrow Wilson.
Parkersburg also had an injury as starting running back Anthony Craig hurt his leg. The Big Reds rotated two QBs throughout the first half in their up-tempo offense — Singer and starter Michael Owens. Singer was 3 of 4 passing for 65 yards and ran six times for 55 yards. Owens hit on 6 of 12 passes for 61 yards.
Hurricane 34, South Charleston 21: The Redskins vaulted into a shocking 34-0 lead at halftime with starters on the field before the Black Eagles rallied behind their backups.
The Redskins kept workhorse running back Christian Hill idle much of the way and came out in a five-wide formation. In less than two quarters, QB Austin Womack completed 15 of 18 passes for 170 yards and three TDs — finding Abel Cunningham, Chase Hager and Ryan Moses for scores.
Bomani Brooks also recovered an SC fumble in the end zone for another Hurricane touchdown and Tyrone Washington had a pick-six for a Redskins score.
SC was down 20-0 after running just five first-quarter plays. However, backup QB Quay Sutton sparked the Black Eagles to three straight scores in the second half — his own 5-yard run and a pair of TD tosses to Donavin Davis.
Trey Dunn, SC’s freshman QB who takes over as the starter this season, went 5 of 9 for 10 yards with the interception. The Black Eagles were also tagged with 11 first-half penalties for 114 yards.