Photos by Russ Gifford | Wellington Enterprise
What a way to enter the playoffs — on Saturday, the Pirates cut down the Grand Valley Mustangs 48-26 in Division V regional action at Orwell High School. Black River, which ended the regular season 7-3 (5-2 in the Patriot Athletic Conference), took out the 9-1 Mustangs on the strength of stars Corey Bartolic, Riley Gibbs, and Jacob Campbell.
Bartolic opened on a 32-yard touchdown run and Gibbs took the next two drives across the goal line from short yardage. Jacob Campbell went two yards for another TD to lead 28-0 at the half. Pirates back Travis Sexton was a powerhouse, alone outpacing the entire Grand Valley ground game in the opening two quarters. Mustangs quarterback Michael McGovern had trouble in the air, throwing an early interception. Bartolic started the third quarter with a 40-plus-yard TD before the ‘Stangs found traction on McGovern completions to Cody Osburn, Jake Reichek, and Eduardo Hernandez in the end zone. Campbell and Gibbs struck across the line and McGovern connected again with Hernandez before time expired to set the final score.
Now Black River heads Saturday to Orrville High School to take on Canton Central Catholic (7-3).