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CURRENT STORIES


Doddridge trumps Liberty in schools' first-ever meeting

by Greg Talkington

SPORTS WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Doddridge County marched 62 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening drive, then took advantage of a short field and six Liberty turnovers to post a 25-7 victory over the Mountaineers Friday night at Hite Field.

The Bulldogs moved their record to 2-0 despite being outgained in total offense, 241-173.

"We had a big win over Valley Wetzel at our place last week, and I think we might have taken Liberty lightly early in the game," DC coach Dan McConnell said. "I thought our defense played much better, especially in the second half, and I thought our secondary played well.

"But we were 2-8 last year and I don't think we should be taking anybody lightly."

The Mountaineers used the running and throwing of sophomore quarterback Marcus Broadwater to keep the game interesting. Broadwater rushed for 112 yards on nine carries and completed 13 of 27 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

But he was also intercepted four times.

"I thought Marcus was outstanding," Liberty coach Chris Colombo said. "He came up with some big plays for us, and at least two of the interceptions weren't his fault."

Doddridge capped its opening drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Dave Parsons to Matt Taylor with 7:24 remaining in the first quarter.

Liberty, which had driven inside the Bulldog 20 on its first possession only to fumble, then marched 57 yards in 11 plays to take the lead at the 7:14 mark of the second quarter.

Broadwater's 19-yard run on a quarterback sneak set up the score, which came when he hit Josh Gawthrop on an 8-yard pass. Scott Toothman's PAT kick gave Liberty a 7-6 lead.

It appeared it might stay that way until halftime.

But Taylor's interception and 31-yard return made it 13-7 with 2:36 remaining in the half.

Taylor also ended Liberty's biggest scoring threat of the second half with an interception in the end zone after Liberty had just gained a first-and-goal situation.

"We had that play set up and we might have scored, but Marcus got hit just as he threw it and they end up taking it back," Colombo said. "On the interception at the goal line, we had somebody run the wrong route. The guy who intercepted the ball should have never been there.

"Had we scored there, we would have taken the lead and who knows how it might have turned out."

Parsons and Taylor hooked up again on a big play on the final play of the third quarter. Faced with a fourth-and-eight situation at the Liberty 31, Parsons was flushed out of the pocket and rolled right. He caught Taylor cutting left across the field, threw back to him with the play gaining 30 yards to the Liberty 1.

Tim Williams then added the first of his two fourth-period touchdowns to seal the verdict.

Parsons came up with two interceptions in the final quarter to end any Liberty comeback hopes.

Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at gtalkington@exponent-telegram.com