Sports for October 23, 1999

Robert C. Byrd suffers first loss of the season

by Charles Casey
FAIRMONT -- No. 20 Fairmont Senior came up with huge plays on both sides of the ball in the final nine minutes for an emotional 7-6 victory over No. 5 Robert C. Byrd in Class AAA high school football action Friday night at East-West Stadium.
Robert C. Byrd (7-1) led 6-0 heading into the final quarter when Fairmont Senior (5-4) came alive.
RCB drove to the FS 3 and had the ball first-and-goal. It looked like a good opportunity to increase the six-point lead.
However, a procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 8 and three running plays netted only two yards. Left with fourth-and-goal from the 6, RCB elected to go for the touchdown instead of trying a field goal and the pass fell incomplete.
"We had ample opportunity to put this one away," Robert C. Byrd coach Richard Iaquinta said. "We have a lot of young kids. They just couldn't finish it off and did the best job they could."
Fairmont Senior coach Frank Moore talked about the importance of what his defense did to give his offense a chance for the dramatic win.
"The kids have worked very hard all year and they displayed that when they were backed up near the goal line," Moore said. "The defense gave us one last chance and that extra effort was what we needed."
Robert C. Byrd, which at that point had held Fairmont Senior to 110 yards total offense, still had its vaunted defense, which had carried it all season long. And it looked good when the Polar Bears were backed up with a third-and-nine at its own 7-yard line.
But, quarterback Matt VanGilder found Aaron Smith behind the RCB secondary for a 44-yard completion to the RCB 49. VanGilder completed five-of-six passes for 69 yards on the 13-play, 94-yard scoring march.
"They did an excellent job all evening against our passing game with their coverages," Moore said. "We just got Aaron behind their corner and that was a big play."
Chad Merchant, who had been bottled up all evening, gaining only 60 yards on 15 carries, finally found some daylight on a sweep to the right for a 6-yard touchdown run with 2:35 remaining.
Tony Veltri converted the all-important conversion kick to put Fairmont Senior in front 7-6.
RCB had to play from behind, something the Eagles weren't accustomed to doing. That meant going to the air instead of the power-I running attack.
Fairmont Senior's Adam Rowland subsequently intercepted a pass with 30 seconds remaining to ice the victory.
Robert C. Byrd broke the scoreless game on its final drive of the first half, traveling 63 yards in nine plays with Scott Ross bolting into the end zone from three yards with 23 seconds remaining.
Ross rushed six times on the drive for 44 yards and finished as the game's leading rusher with 123 yards on 23 carries.
Iaquinta remains upbeat about the remainder of the regular season.
"We have got two games remaining and we will find out how well these guys bounce back from a tough loss," Iaquinta said.

All-business Bearcats roll

by Mike Nutter
sports writer
GRAFTON -- It was basic, quick and most importantly, very effective. As Grafton fullback Mike Snider plunged in from three yards on the opening possession, it became apparent what was to come. Grafton continued to roll. Tyler Consolidated never recovered as Class AA No. 4 Grafton (7-1) blasted Class AA No. 9 Tyler Consolidated (6-3) 27-0.
Snider's scoring run and Mike Keener's point after kick put Grafton up 7-0 with 7:02 left in the first quarter. The run capped an 80-yard drive, during which Grafton averaged more than seven yards per carry.
Snider ended with 116 yards on 12 carries, while tailback Seth Kelley added 100 yards on 10 carries.
"We just wanted to come in and dominate from the start," Snider said. "Our offensive line just went crazy tonight. They were opening up some huge holes and held their blocks.
"Besides the Bridgeport game, this is probably the best game we've played this year. Overall, it probably was our best game."
Grafton held Tyler Consolidated to a paltry 59 yards of total offense. Snider sacked quarterback Blake Patterson twice and Tyler managed just three first downs the entire game. Tyler Consolidated never crossed midfield until midway through the third quarter.
By that time, Grafton had already put the game away.
Jon Nash scored from two yards on Grafton's second possession of the game, and quarterback Jeff Lambert connected on his first of two touchdown passes to Josh Turner, a 14-yard strike with 3:39 remaining in the second quarter, to put Grafton up 21-0.
"Right now we're just getting back to where we were," Grafton coach Mike Skinner said. "We started out strong against two strong teams and sort of stumbled a little, but now we're getting back to where we were.
"That first half was about as good as we've played. It was really a continuation of how we played last week against Bridgeport. I think this team is starting to grow up and get a little maturity."
Grafton pushed the score to its final margin when Lambert drilled a perfect ball to Turner from 30 yards.
The senior quarterback finished seven of 10 for 73 yards and two TDs. Nash added 44 yards on 12 carries for Grafton, which racked up 293 yards on the ground.
Josh Rocchio had 35 yards on eight carries for Tyler Consolidated.
"What I'm most disappointed in is that we just came in and sat on our hands and didn't play the way we have the last three weeks," Tyler Consolidated coach John Stender said. "That's upsetting. The last time we went into a funk it took us two weeks to get out of it. If we do that this time, our season's over and everyone goes to an early Thanksgiving."
Grafton travels to Lincoln next week, while Tyler Consolidated plays Parkersburg South.

Temple could doom bowl hopes

by John Raby
The Associated Press
MORGANTOWN -- Normally, Temple presents little threat to West Virginia's bowl hopes.
Checking the calendar, this has been anything but a normal year for the Mountaineers.
With every loss to a team it was favored to beat, West Virginia (2-4, 1-1 Big East) improves its chances of getting home-cooked meals during the holidays. So far, there's been East Carolina, Maryland and Navy.
This week, Temple (1-5, 1-1) is a 17-point underdog for today's game at Mountaineer Field.
Despite going 7-0 against Temple since joining the Big East in 1991, the Mountaineers are set on being serious for the Owls for one reason.
A Temple victory would mean West Virginia, which hasn't won two straight all year, would have to win its four remaining games in order to go to its fourth straight bowl.
Two of those games are Oct. 30 against Miami and Nov. 6 against Virginia Tech, games in which it is likely to be a big underdog.
"When you've won two games and lost four games, you have no right to look over anybody. You do not," said offensive lineman Tanner Russell. "We only have one more win than Temple. For us to say we'll look over them to Miami, that'd be ridiculous."
For Temple, a 24-14 victory over Boston College two weeks ago is still fresh.
The Owls' game at Miami last week was postponed to Dec. 4 because of Hurricane Irene.
"I know our kids were disappointed," said Temple coach Bobby Wallace. "It was an unusual feeling. I think they were kind of apprehensive about flying into a hurricane. They were a bit relieved."
While a week's worth of practice went to waste, Temple at least is healthy this week.
"I was hoping they'd have to play Miami, and now they're coming in here on a high," Nehlen said. "It seems like Temple is a hot and cold team. If your team thinks they might be cold, you might be in real trouble. Against Boston College, they just flat-out beat them."
This will be Temple's second venture into the Mountain State in a month. In a 34-0 loss at Marshall, the Owls were held to 28 rushing yards on 28 carries while passing for 157 yards.
Against Boston College, the Owls also went to the air, completing 33-of-48 for 273 yards.
Temple should get plenty of chances against a West Virginia secondary that has been susceptible to the long play.
Last week, Rutgers scored on an 80-yard pass on the game's first play from scrimmage. Miami of Ohio had three TD passes over 55 yards against the Mountaineers earlier this year.
West Virginia probably will get quarterback Marc Bulger back after he missed two games with a broken right index finger. He began taking snaps again Monday.
"The doctor didn't specifically say I could play," Bulger said. "My gut feeling is I will play. I'm about 90 percent sure. But I'm not the doctor."
If Bulger, the school's career passing leader, is unable to go, sophomore backup Brad Lewis will get his third straight start.
In two games, Lewis completed 58 percent of his passes (26-of-45) for 310 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for another score in a 62-16 victory over Rutgers last week.
"I want the opportunity," Lewis said. "I feel I have made great strides for myself. Now I can say to myself that I'm a veteran."
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Conditions are expected to be blustery with rain or snow showers likely, 20 to 30 mph winds and highs only in the lower 40s.

Mike Robey named as new basketball coach at Notre Dame H.S.

From Staff Reports
Notre Dame principal Carroll Morrison announced Friday that Bridgeport assistant coach Mike Robey was named as the school's new head basketball coach.
Robey will replace longtime coach Angelo Basile who served as the team's head coach for 27 years.
Robey coached at Central Junior High and Washington-Irving Middle School before becoming the assistant basketball coach at Bridgeport High School.
"We feel very fortunate to have someone like Mr. Robey," Morrison said. "We were looking for someone who not only had great skill as a coach, but someone who can be a good role model for our kids on and off the court. We reviewed the candidates we felt like he was definitely the person who could do that."
Morrison said Robey was chosen after a two week evaluation of candidates.
She said the decision was made final Wednesday evening after interviewing the final candidate that morning.
"It was a tough decision, but I feel like we made the right one," Morrison said. "We were fortunate that we had such a good pool of potential coaches to choose from. I know whenever you replace someone who's been at a school for a long time like Mr. Basile has is tough, but I have no doubt Mr. Robey will do a very good job for us."

Fairmont, GSC, WVWC look for success on road

by Greg Talkington
Sports Writer
All three area West Virginia Conference teams are on the road today for league matchups.
Fairmont State, coming off a disappointing performance against Shepherd, must face a solid West Liberty squad, while Glenville visits league doormat WVU-Tech. West Virginia Wesleyan is at much-improved Concord.
Fairmont coach Doug Sams is anxious to see how his club reacts following last week's 42-7 loss to Shepherd.
"We just need to focus on playing harder and doing our assignments," Sams said. "I think our kids were starting to believe all of those things people were saying to them and what they were reading in the newspapers.
"We just need to get our minds focused on playing the game the way we're capable of playing."
West Liberty might be the surprise team of the conference. Thus far, the Hilltoppers are 3-0 in the WVIAC and 5-1 overall.
"They're having an excellent season," Sams said. "They've done a great job or stopping the run and a great job of running the ball."
West Liberty is seventh in the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 12.7 points per game, and 24th in total defense.
Safeties Kevin Carpenter and Mark Ceglie are having excellent seasons.
Offensively, tailback Art Miller ranks second in the conference at 99.2 yards per game. The 5-foot-11, 227-pound senior is the hub of the West Liberty attack. Quarterback Jimmy Bolen has come up with big plays but completes just 43 percent of his passes.
"We definitely want to stop their running game," Sams said. "But Bolen gives them a playmaker at quarterback, so we can't just ignore him."
 At Montgomery, Glenville (3-4), coming off a shocking 7-6 loss to Concord, must face an improved Tech team.
Coach Rick Trickett is hoping the turnover bug doesn't bite his team again. Against Concord, Glenville had three passes intercepted in the end zone to stop potential scores.
"We actually had the ball inside their 10 five times and didn't score a point," Trickett said. "One reason I went for two at the end of the game was because we missed a field goal inside the 15."
Backup quarterback Jack Mental led Glenville to its only touchdown of the day and may get the start over senior Jayce Goree.
"I'll probably not decide until game day on which one of them will start," Trickett said. "I figure both will play."
At Athens, West Virginia Wesleyan (1-5) will try to get back on track after a 28-3 loss to West Liberty.
Coach Bill Struble knows his team will be facing a Concord team full of confidence following its upset of Glenville.
"They have played well most of the season, even in the games they've lost," Struble said. "They've improved tremendously since last season."
Tailback Mike Grippo had another solid game last week, gaining 70 yards on 12 carries. But Struble says Wesleyan's passing attack must get better if the losing is to stop.
"We've got to start catching the ball," Struble said. "We had several drops last week.
"And our quarterback has to make better decisions too."
In other league action, West Virginia State travels to Shepherd.
All games are set to kick off at 1 p.m.

Lincoln's Hutson gives verbal to Wright St.

by Danny Carpenter
Assistant Sports editor
All-state guard Tabitha Hutson still has one season remaining at Lincoln High School, but she has already prepared herself for Division I basketball.
Hutson gave her verbal commitment to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, on Thursday.
"It was a chance she couldn't pass up," Lincoln coach Jeff Osbourn said. "She could have waited at the end of the season and maybe signed with a bigger school. Wright State made her an offer she couldn't refuse."
According to Osbourn, Wright State offered Hutson, who carries a 4.0 GPA, a guaranteed scholarship at the 17,000-student university.
Hutson, who returned last season after suffering a knee injury in a state tournament semifinal game, has helped Lincoln to a 62-11 record during her three-year career and to the state tournement to past two seasons.
She earned first-team Class AA all-state honors the past two seasons after leading the Cougars in scoring and assists.
"She's a leader, a winner and I just can't say enough about her," Osbourn said. "They really made a push to get her, and she'll have a chance to step right in a play."
Wright State is coached by Lisa Fitch, the daughter of Los Angeles Clippers' head coach Bill Fitch. Wright State competes in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, which includes Butler, Cleveland State and Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Hutson also had offers from Duquesne, several Ivy League schools and most of the West Virginia Conference schools, according to Osbourn.

Liberty outlasts Magnolia

by Chris Errington
Sports Writer
A Magnolia fumble on the game's first play put Liberty in position to score its first touchdown. Another fumble on the game's last play may have put Liberty in position for a Class AA state playoff berth.
David Patterson scored from a yard out on the first possession of overtime and Peter Arbonaise recorded Liberty's third fumble recovery in the No. 14 Mountaineers' 33-27 victory at Hite Field Friday night.
"Usually for some reason, we make mistakes and the big game gets away from us," Liberty coach Roger Gorby said. "This was probably one of the biggest games since I've been here. It was a game we needed to get."
In addition to the three fumbles, Liberty (5-3) intercepted three passes, while turning the ball over just twice.
"It's impossible to win when you turn the ball over that many times," Magnolia coach Mark Patton said. "This kills us. We're done (for a playoff berth). Maybe now we can play the spoilers."
Patterson completed 13 of 20 passes for 101 yards and touchdowns of 5 yards to Arbonaise and 65 to Chad Southern, but it was Liberty's little-known rushing attack that produced the biggest offensive punch. Trey Adams, Arbonaise and Max Williams helped Liberty rush for 217 yards and keep Magnolia's defense guessing.
Adams finished with 81 yards on just five carries, including a 55-yard touchdown that pulled the Mountaineers within 14-13 just before halftime. Arbonaise added 67 yards on 15 carries, while Williams had 57 tough yards on 15 runs, most coming up the middle.
"We felt coming in that offensively we were going to take what they gave us and we had been practicing the run this week," Gorby said. "This was a real balanced attack tonight. When you score 33 points, you know you're doing something right offensively."
Still, after wasting an opportunity to win in regulation, Liberty's victory wasn't sealed until Arbonaise's fumble recovery on Magnolia's second offensive play of overtime.
Williams' 14-yard touchdown run up the middle and a failed two-point conversion gave Liberty a 27-21 lead one play into the fourth quarter, but after an 8-yard punt, Magnolia had a final opportunity to tie the game. Starting at its 32-yard line with just 2:21 remaining, the Blue Eagles needed 10 plays to reach a third-and-10 at the Liberty 29 with 21 seconds left.
Quarterback David Tallman then completed the ninth and most important of his passes for the game when he hit a streaking Steven Iams down the right sideline for the touchdown. Needing just an extra point to take the lead, Magnolia was denied when Adams broke through to deflect the kick wide right.
"We had our chances," Patton said, "but we're not making plays and we haven't made them all year."
Magnolia won the coin toss and elected to play defense for the first overtime possession and Patterson made it pay with two big runs.
The first came on third-and-four from the 14 when he scrambled for a 9-yard gain to the 5. The second occurred when his sneak from less than a yard out gave the Mountaineers the lead for good. Two plays later, Arbonaise recovered a Magnolia fumble to keep Liberty in position for the playoffs.
"When these kids had to, they stood up all night," Gorby said. "The turnovers were the big part. We tell our kids to play smart, don't turn the ball over and good things will happen for you."
Patterson's two first-half touchdown passes and Adams' run gave the Mountaineers a 21-14 lead before Long tied the score with a 12-yard run with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Magnolia finished with 308 total yards.

Bridgeport gets back on track, downs Philip Barbour

by Randall Jett
PHILIPPI -- After a two-game skid, the Class AA No. 12 Bridgeport Indians reversed their fortunes with a 23-6 victory over Class AAA Philip Barbour Friday night.
Bridgeport (5-3, 3-3 Big 10) used its patented running game, which had been bottled up the past two games, to claim the victory.
Chris Cunanan, Mike Honce and Jeremy Hinzman combined to lead the Indians' ground attack, which rolled up 229 yards.
Cunanan finished with 114 yards and one score. Honce had two touchdowns and 35 yards, while Hinzman provided key blocking and added 51 yards on just 12 carries.
After a scoreless first period, Honce punched the ball in from two yards at the 9:28 mark of the second quarter.
Bridgeport added to its lead on its next possession, marching 54 yards on 10 plays. Cunanan capped the drive with a 1-yard dive and Ryan Nicewarner's PAT kick made the score 13-0 at the 3:14 mark.
Philip Barbour (2-7, 1-4) battled back, cutting the deficit to 13-6 when Matt Corder found Aaron Yeager on an 81-yard bomb at 9:05 mark of the third quarter.
The teams swapped fumbles on the next three possessions with the end result being Bridgeport taking over at the Philip Barbour 14.
Honce carried the ball all four plays of the scoring drive, hammering in from 1 yard out to put the game away.
Nicewarner's 23-yard field goal in final period capped the scoring.
"We were happy with the win," Bridgeport coach Bruce Carey said. "I was worried about our kids' mental state after two tough losses in a row.
"But, we ran the ball a little better tonight and we plugged the holes a little better on defense."
Bridgeport travels to Lewis County on Friday. Philip Barbour visits Robert C. Byrd the same evening.

Holden totals 252 yards in Lewis County win

From Staff Reports
WESTON -- Sophomore tailback Curtis Holden rushed for 252 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Lewis County held off Elkins, 17-16, in North Central Athletic Conference action Friday night.
The Minutemen (3-5, 2-5) led 17-0 at the half thanks to touchdown runs of six and 33 yards by Holden. The touchdowns were sandwiched around a 22-yard field goal by Scott Bennett.
Elkins made it interesting in the second half behind the passing of Cyrus Kump. He completed 17 of 34 passes for 201 yards and a pair of scores, but was intercepted three times.
His 12-yard strike to Jeff Satterfield got the Tigers (3-6, 1-5) on the board at the 8:12 mark of the third period. His 25-yarder to Chris Flanagan made it 17-16 with 11:44 remaining.
Flanagan also had a big night, hauling in 11 passes for 153 yards.
-- RITCHIE COUNTY 41, Lincoln 14: Class AA No. 18 Ritchie County raised its record to 6-2 with a convincing 41-14 triumph over visiting Lincoln Friday night in Ellenboro.
Mike Satterfield rushed for 133 yards on 17 carries and scored the game's first touchdown on a one-yard run at the 4:16 mark of the first quarter.
Shane Dotson hooked up with Shaun McCullough on a 48-yard scoring strike later in the period. The Rebels increased their lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter on a five-yard run by Lucas Henger.
Lincoln (0-8) dented the scoreboard on the final play of the first half on Josh Luchuk's 52-yard interception return.
The Cougars' other score came on a 27-yard pass from Jason Salentro to Matt Ice with 1:13 remaining in the contest.
Dotson completed 11 of 17 passes for 136 yards and also rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Nuzum completed 8 of 23 for 77 yards with Ice catching three passes for 68 yards.
-- DODDRIDGE COUNTY 35, Paden City 0: Doddridge County kept its Class A playoff hopes alive with an easy road win.
Rick Gray rushed for 152 yards and the first two touchdowns of the game as the Bulldogs (5-4) rushed for 369 yards.
BenJo McKinney passed for one touchdown and completed six of nine passes for 102 yards. Gray added three catches for 30 yards.
-- UNIVERSITY 70, Preston 0: Christian Vineyard fired three first-quarter scoring passes and ran for another touchdown in leading the Class AAA second-rated Hawks to an easy victory in Kingwood.
Vineyard completed five-of-10 passes for 147 yards.
Tailback Adam Cantoni continued his bid for the Kennedy Award by rushing for 156 yards on 11 carries. He had second quarter TDs of 44 and 78 yards.
-- TYGARTS VALLEY 34, Clay-Battelle 24: Tygarts Valley rallied from an 18-6 halftime deficit to defeat the Cee-Bees in Class A prep football action.
John Cave ran for three scores and passed for another.
His 32-yard TD pass to Josh Pomp put TVHS up for good midway through the final period.
-- BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR 13, East Fairmont 7: Despite being outgained in total yards nearly 2-to-1, Buckhannon-Upshur (3-6, 1-6) used a pair of second-half scoring runs by Luke Struble to rally past the hardluck Bees (3-6, 2-4).
East dominated statistically, outgaining B-U 309-176, while rolling up 19 first downs to just eight for the Bucs. The Bees took the lead in the third quarter on a six-yard pass from Jeff Noechel to Shane Eakle.
Noechel passed for 135 yards and teammate Jason Vennis rushed for 114 yards on 20 carries. Struble racked up 128 yards on 19 carries to account for most of the B-U output.
-- BROOKE 55, North Marion 28: Cliff Sachini and Craig Sperlazza combined for 450 yards rushing as Brooke (5-4) rolled past North Marion (4-5) in a battle of former Class AAA powers.
Sachini rambled for 260 yards on just 16 carries and scored on runs of 5, 94, 31 and 34 yards. Sperlazza added 190 yards on 12 rushes and scored on runs of 1, 58 and 31 yards.
-- MORGANTOWN 58, John Marshall 56: Class AAA No. 3 Morgantown had to rally past the Monarchs to stay unbeaten.
The victory keeps alive the possibilities for a showdown of unbeaten Morgantown schools when the Mohigans face University at Mountaineer Field on Friday.

S. Harrison pummels Lions, 44-14

by Andrew Richards
LOST CREEK -- South Harrison rebounded from an anemic offensive effort in a loss to Robert C. Byrd last weekend to put up 416 yards total offense and a 44-14 victory over Tucker County on Friday night.
South Harrison (5-3) amassed 369 yards on the ground, with Drew Toth rushing for 140 yards and Ben Hall gaining 113. Bucky Kyle also added 70 yards on 12 carries.
Perhaps still reeling a bit from the 7-0 loss the previous week to Class AAA No. 5 RCB, South Harrison fell behind 8-0 early.
Tucker County (1-8), which has had few highlights all season, scored on the first play from scrimmage as Daniel Arnold took a 61-yard TD pass from Josh Arnold.
Tucker's triumph was short-lived.
Ben Hall's 25-yard run capped a five-play, 62-yard drive to tie it at 8-8 following Matt Richards' conversion catch from Hall.
South Harrison coach Brad Jett then made sure the momentum didn't stall by ordering an onsides kick. The Hawks recovered and were soaring the rest of the night.
"Tonight we came out emotionally let down, and when (Tucker County) scored on its first possession it got us focused," Jett said.
South Harrison took advantage of the onsides kick recovery, driving for a scoring run by Toth that made it 14-8 with 7:58 left in the first quarter.
And the Hawks put the game away with a flurry of points early in the second quarter.
First, Bucky Kyle ran in from 3 yards out to make it 20-8. Then, just 26 seconds later, Toth intercepted a pass at the Tucker 40. SH used a rare pass on the next play from scrimmage, from Joe Jenkins to Luke Lawrence, for a 26-8 advantage.
 "Our offensive line is doing an excellent job for us. They are blocking great and opening up huge holes for our backs," Jett said.
South Harrison's line, which consists of Todd Cottrill, Brad Heffinger, Jeremy Dobbins, Mike Wilt, Mike Donnellen, Jason Smith, Jeremy Karlen, and Matt Richards, wasn't done.
South Harrison put up two more scores before halftime, on runs of 13 yards by Hall and 2 yards by Craig Roberts. That made it 38-14 at the break (Tucker scored its only other TD of the evening, on Josh Arnold's 1-yard run, in the second quarter).
Toth scored South Harrison's final touchdown in the third quarter, on a 15-yard run.
"Our running backs did a good job tonight. Drew and Ben picked their holes real well, and Bucky ran the ball hard tonight and blocked extremely well," Jett said.
South Harrison hosts Liberty on Friday in Big 10 action, while Tucker is off a week before playing Liberty.

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