WESTON -- Matt VanGilder showed why he is one of the premier quarterbacks in the area in leading Fairmont Senior to a thrilling 34-32 victory over Lewis County Friday night.
VanGilder, a senior, has been touted for his passing going into the season, but it was his running that carried Fairmont Sr. to victory.
He rumbled 59 yards for the game's opening score, and with his team trailing late in the fourth quarter, it was his 49-yard run that put the Polar Bears in front to stay with 4:17 remaining.
VanGilder rushed eight times for 140 yards, while completing six of 13 passes for 89 yards and one touchdown.
"Matt showed his toughness and why he is a talented player," Fairmont Sr. coach Frank Moore said. "We scored and moved the ball rather well offensively and (VanGilder) had a lot to do with that."
Not to be outdone, Lewis County quarterback Patrick Morrison, who transferred from Gilmer County, had an excellent evening.
He completed 11 of 21 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing 11 times for 24 yards and another score. It was his third touchdown pass of the evening -- to Lucas Oldaker -- of 27 yards that gave the Minutemen a 32-28 lead with 4:55 remaining.
"We left everything out there on the field, and I can't be more proud of them," Lewis County coach Eddie Williams said. "Patrick is a tremendous ball player and totally deserves all the recognition he gets."
Dustin Cavins was Morrison's favorite target, with four receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
Jeff Courtney added 82 yards on 19 carries for Fairmont Sr.
Lewis County returns to action Friday when it hosts South Harrison. Fairmont Senior visits rival North Marion the same evening.