West McDowell Middle School football player Kobe Nolan picked undoubtedly the biggest stage to showcase his talent.
Nolan and the rest of the Spartans came through with an important 18-8 win Wednesday against cross-town rival East McDowell.
Nolan accounted for all three West (3-2) scores in one way or another. He first broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter by running in a 29-yard touchdown play at the 2:40 mark.
Then, on the first possession of the second half, Nolan capped off a five-minute drive by scoring from 3 yards out, increasing the Spartan advantage to 12-0.
East McDowell responded with a touchdown drive of its own that went close to six minutes of game time. Bo Edwards finished the drive with 3-yard run and successful conversion that trimmed the West McDowell lead to 12-8 with 7:07 left in regulation.
With the lead, the Spartans effectively moved the ball again and came up with some critical conversions. But by far the biggest play came on a fourth down when Gabe Marsh (3-for-4 passing, 102 yards) connected with Nolan from 29 yards away, putting West back up by more than one possession with 1:42 left.
West McDowell finished with 216 yards offensively. The Spartans were also the beneficiaries on the defensive side of two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Edwards accounted for most of East McDowell’s production, finishing with 11 yards on 14 carries.
Both local teams are in action next Wednesday. West McDowell hosts East Burke in the Foothills Conference finale while East McDowell visits Walter Johnson.