The Voice of West Virginia
KIDWELL, W.Va. — Highlights and photo gallery from Williamstown’s 42-22 win at Tyler Consolidated.
(Highlights by Teran Malone, Photos courtesy of Neal Smith)
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Take a look around West Virginia with news and notes from the eighth week of the high school football season.
MARTINSBURG 63, Spring Mills 16: Hudson Clement and Herman Pierson hauled in first-half touchdown passes to help the No. 1 Bulldogs build a 42-9 lead at the break as they improved to 8-0.
Eric King added a rushing touchdown and scored on a blocked punt return for another score to help MHS cruise.
The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 399-122 this season.
CABELL MIDLAND 35, George Washington 7: Chandler Schmidt’s four rushing touchdowns helped the No. 7 Knights knock off the No. 9 Patriots.
Schmidt rushed for 89 yards, while Jackson Fetty added 92 rushing yards for CMHS, which improved to 7-1.
GW fell to 4-3.
PRINCETON 21, Hedgesville 16: Grant Cochran passes for 235 yards and two scores and a rushing touchdown from Brody Rice allowed the Tigers to overcome a 16-14 deficit and remain unbeaten.
No. 5 Princeton improved to 5-0, while the Eagles fell to 3-5.
MORGANTOWN 21, Parkersburg South 14: Caleb Nutter rushed for a touchdown and the Mohigans (3-4) held off the Patriots (3-3) to move closer to the .500 mark.
GREENBRIER EAST 42, Ripley 7: The Spartans scored 21 points in the second quarter and cruised by the Vikings.
Ian Cline rushed for 284 yards and four scores, helping 12th-rated Greenbrier East improve to 5-2.
POCA 14, Logan 12: The No. 2 Dots won their second straight game by two points to remain unbeaten.
Poca (6-0) got a rushing touchdown from Jordan Wolfe in the victory.
No. 13 Logan (5-3) got two touchdown passes from Jordan Hayes to Carson Kirk in defeat.
INDEPENDENCE 74, Man 7: Atticus Goodson rushed for 233 yards and three scores and No. 4 Independence improved to 6-0.
Judah Price added three rushing scores in the victory.
SCOTT 41, Liberty Raleigh 14: Matt Frye tossed a pair of touchdown passes and the No. 15 Skyhawks (5-2) held the Raiders to 113 yards of offense.
No. 7 Liberty fell to 4-2.
CAMERON 44, Clay-Battelle 0: The Dragons used a 30-point second quarter to run away from the Cee-Bees.
Isaac Ball had four rushing touchdowns for No. 2 Cameron, which improved to 7-0. No. 12 Clay-Battelle fell to 6-2.
TRINITY 53, Hanock (Md.) 0: Levi Teets rushed for a pair of scores and returned a punt for a touchdown as the No. 11 Warriors moved to 5-1 with a resounding win over an out-of-state foe.
The No. 14 Silver Knights fell to 4-3.
GREENBRIER WEST 50, Richwood 8: Ty Nickell rushed for three touchdowns and Chase McClung returned an interception for a score as the Cavaliers cruised to improve to 5-2.
WILLIAMSTOWN 42, Tyler Consolidated 22: The Yellowjackets rushed for 340 yards in the win. Ricky Allen accounted for 179 of those yards and scored four times as No. 5 Williamstown won its sixth straight to move to 6-1.
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Photo gallery from Liberty Harrison’s 41-14 win over East Fairmont. Both teams are now 4-3.
(Photo gallery courtesy of Ben Queen/BenQueenPhotography.com)
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SPENCER, W.Va. — Highlights from Roane County’s 57-6 win over Braxton County.
(Highlights courtesy of ‘Braxton Live’)
— By David Walsh
Marshall didn’t need late-game heroics this week to win.
Quarterback Grant Wells passed for 323 yards and two touchdowns and ran for three more to power the Thundering Herd past North Texas, 49-21, Friday night at Apogee Stadium in Denton, Texas.
CBS Sports Network aired the Conference USA contest and the audience watched Marshall score touchdowns on six straight possessions in the first half. Wells connected on 24-of-32 passes with eight different receivers snaring balls as the visitors matched their single-game high for points this season. Marshall also scored 49 in its opener against Navy.
On defense, the Herd forced five punts and North Texas to turn the ball over on downs on five of its 14 possessions.
Marshall is 4-3 overall, 2-1 in C-USA East. The Herd is off next week. The next game is Oct. 30 at home against Florida International.
A week ago, Wells threw touchdown passes, the first with 33 seconds left to force overtime and then one in OT, to rally past Old Dominion, 20-13.
On its second drive Friday night, the Herd marched 67 yards in 10 plays to go ahead to stay. On that series, Wells completed two big passes. One went for 32 yards to Willie Johnson and the second 11 yards to Corey Gammage on a fourth-and-5 at the Mean Green 26.
The home team discovered Marshall had come to play when Rasheen Ali capped the march with an 8-yard TD run as he spun out of a tackle along the way. The freshman totaled 109 yards on 20 carries and scored again on a 1-yard run.
Wells got all three of his scores on 3-yard keepers.
An interception plus an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Marshall possession at the Mean Green 33 and Wells would find tight end Xavier Gaines for a 24-yard TD as Gaines kept his feet inbounds as he was shoved toward the sideline at the pylon.
North Texas, playing a game Friday night at home for the first time, got its first score on a 75-yard TD run by DeAndre Torrey, who would amass 179 yards on 20 carries. That TD is the longest run from scrimmage for the Mean Green this season and came with the Herd ahead, 35-0, on the score by Gaines. Torrey would add a 51-yard TD in the fourth period as the home team scored on its final two possessions.
This was the Herd’s largest margin of victory ever in a game in Texas, according to Herdzone’s Chuck McGill. North Texas is 1-5, 0-3 in the league.
First-year Herd coach Charles Huff took delight in his team’s dominant performance after the close call a week ago.
“The first half we played together in all three phases,” Huff told McGill. “We played together as a team.”
For Wells, he chalked up an historic night with five total touchdowns. He completed 18 straight passes, breaking the single-game record held by Eric Kresser (14 in 1996). Kresser’s streak covered two games, the final 10 throws vs. The Citadel and first four in the next game against East Tennessee State. The last Herd quarterback to run for three scores was Michael Payton in 1990.
“It’s what we see every day at practice,” Huff said. “The warrior we talked about at the end of the game who ran for three touchdowns today. That’s who he is. It helps when we have some first-down efficiency.
“What we saw tonight: he was comfortable; he managed some of his throws; he made some good reads.”
As for support, Ali caught one pass for 50 yards in addition to his rushing numbers. Marshall’s defense continues to come on. North Texas finished 5-of-16 on third downs and went 0-for-5 on fourth downs. Marshall also picked off two passes.
“Our defense played really well for three weeks in a row,” Huff said. “It’s a new system and our guys are getting comfortable with it.”
In the first half, Marshall had six scores compared to just five first downs for North Texas. The Mean Green got flagged 17 times for 163 yards.
Marshall registered 14 points in the first period and 28 in the second. The Herd had a 348-132 advantage in total offense and 18-5 edge in first downs in the first 30 minutes.
Senior safety Nazeeh Johnson led the Herd with eight tackles. Sophomore linebacker Eli Neal totaled a sack, two tackles for loss and one pick. Senior safety Cory McCoy had an interception for the second straight game.
Marshall now leads the overall series 3-1. North Texas got its only win at home in 2016. It was the last time these two schools met.
Austin Aune, who had four TD passes in last week’s loss at Missouri, completed 16-of-30 for just 121 yards. North Texas did have 411 total yards, but 279 came in the second half when the outcome had all but been decided.
Torrey had 202 all-purpose yards. He came in averaging 157.2 which is No. 6 in FBS. Ayo Adeyi finished with a career night with 12 carries for 80 yards and his first TD.
“We had way too many mistakes and until we clean that up and quit making mistakes and playing complementary football, you’re not going to beat good teams,” North Texas coach Seth Littrell said. “We have a lot of work to do. I just told our guys we’ll stick together and grind this out and find a way to get a week better.”
North Texas punter Bernardo Rodriguez boomed a 64-yard punt in the first period for his career best. His previous long was 58 yards last season against SMU.
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FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Trailing Fairmont Senior by one point with just inside of 1:30 remaining, Robert C. Byrd was set to get the ball back with a chance to take a late lead Friday at East-West Stadium.
Facing a fourth-and-4 from their own 26-yard line, the Polar Bears kept their offense on the field in an effort to draw the Eagles offside.
A hard count from quarterback Dom Stingo did just that, allowing Fairmont Senior to gain a first down and run out the clock, preserving a much-needed 21-20 victory over the Eagles in its first game since September 24.
“We’ve been good about giving breaks to other teams all season long. It’s nice to get one our way,” Fairmont Senior head coach Nick Bartic said. “It was a big battle all night.”
On its final series, Robert C. Byrd (4-3) took advantage of a roughing the punter penalty on fourth-and-17 to score on Nick George’s 1-yard run with 3:27 remaining. The Eagles elected to try a point-after kick in an effort to tie, but a low snap led to hesitation from Cameron Clark, whose boot sailed wide and left the Polar Bears in front.
RCB never got the ball back and fell for the third time in its last four games.
“We’re screaming, ‘Don’t jump, don’t jump,’” RCB head coach Josh Gorrell said of the costly late offside penalty. “How do you do that? We cover that every day in practice. We rep it.”
Both offenses struggled early, but the Polar Bears (3-3) got a 49-yard touchdown run from Germaine Lewis on the second play of the second quarter for the game’s first points. Trey Longwell then converted his first of three PATs, an aspect that proved critical in the final outcome.
“We were going for two in the beginning part of the year,” Bartic said. “Longwell took the challenge. We’ve had four or five guys who kicked for us get injured this year in terms of kicking and punting. It’s been a little bit of a fiasco at times. It’s been next up, but now we’re down on that list.
“Longwell’s a guy that was always in the mix there. He took it upon himself. He put in extra time and focus on it this past month. If you tell me a couple weeks ago we’re going to hit three extra points to win a game, I don’t know if I’d believe that was going to be the case.”
After the Polar Bears came up with their second down fourth down stop with the Eagles in their territory, they wasted little time doubling their lead as Stingo found Lewis for a 64-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 6:46 to play in the opening half.
“The biggest thing that helped us out in terms of flow was just playing again,” Bartic said.
However, the Eagles answered in the form of Jeremiah King’s 56-yard TD run, and when Latrell Jones intercepted Stingo in the end zone on the next series, it allowed the RCB to trail by just seven at halftime.
“The guys up front did a tremendous job of getting movement and JK ran like he always runs,” Gorrell said. “We just continue to shoot ourselves and it’s my fault I guess.”
King scampered for 39 yards early in the second half to set up his 2-yard touchdown run 1 minute into the third quarter, allowing the Eagles to pull even at 14.
After forcing a three-and-out, RCB got the ball back and was set to go ahead when King raced 52 yards to the end zone, but a block in the back penalty late in the run brought the ball back to the Polar Bears’ 22.
The drive ultimately ended with Clark missing a 33-yard field goal.
Lewis finished off a 51-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run on the second play of the fourth quarter, allowing the Polar Bears to regain the lead, 21-14.
King, Harrison County’s all-time leading rusher, added to his mark with 309 yards on 36 carries.
“Sooner or later, someone has to step up and make a play other than Jeremiah,” Gorrell said. “When you get an opportunity, you have to make a play.”
Lewis had a strong effort in the victory. He rushed 16 times for 133 yards, caught two passes for 70 yards and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns.
“The offensive line did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage when it needed to,” Bartic said, “and Lewis had an incredible game.”
The Polar Bears entered the contest No. 22 in the WVSSAC playoff ratings, though a victory over the 10th-rated Eagles will allow them to rise ahead of next week’s matchup at Spring Valley.
“Anytime we play Byrd, it’s going to be a big game and there was obviously added incentive for us to try and get a win,” Bartic said. “That was not lost on us.”
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia held an opening scrimmage Friday at the Coliseum. Led by 21 points from Jalen Bridges, the Gold team defeated the Blue Team, 74-57.
Isaiah Cottrell and true freshman guard Kobe Johnson added 16 points apiece for Gold, with Johnson making 5-of-6 three-pointers in the win.
Sean McNeil led the Blue team with 16 points, while Taj Thweatt added 14 in the loss.
(Photos by Taylor Kennedy)
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BAKER, W.Va. — Moorefield intercepted three passes in the final four minutes and outscored East Hardy 12-6 in the second half to win the Hardy Bowl, 25-24.
“We though the physicality level of what we wanted wasn’t there in the first half,” said Moorefield head coach Matt Altobello. “We challenged them physically and wanted them to come out in the second half and understand that in our process we have to continue to push forward. We are not going to look down. We are not going to feel bad for ourselves because we are playing a good football team. They took the challenge at halftime, came out in the second half and did it.”
No. 2 East Hardy (6-1) led 18-13 after a high-scoring first quarter. Mason Miller connected on a pair of touchdown passes to Dawson Price in the opening frame from 61 and 8 yards. Miller also scored on an 11-yard run. The No. 7 Yellow Jackets (6-1) kept pace with a pick-six from Coleman Mongold on the opening play from scrimmage and a Gavin Wolfe 60-yard tote.
Defenses settled in during the second quarter and the Cougars led by five points at halftime.
Moorefield took the lead on the opening possession of the third quarter when Blake Funk scored on a four-yard tote to make the score 19-18. East Hardy answered right back when Miller hit Price on a 99-yard strike to give the Cougars a 24-19 lead.
Moorefield regained the lead late in the third quarter. On fourth-and-7 from the East Hardy 39-yard line, Branson See hit Mongold on a 39-yard touchdown toss, giving the Jackets a 25-24 lead.
“He had good concentration to watch the ball in even after being tipped. Those guys don’t give up on any play no matter what happens within the play.”
Moorefield intercepted three passes from in the final frame. Mongold reeled in two and Wolfe collected the other.
“We mixed our coverages up a little bit. We pushed ourselves back at our safety position to be over the top to make them throw underneath.” Altobello said.
“We have to clean a lot of stuff up. Give credit to East Hardy. They are a great football team. We want them to celebrate and be happy but in the same breath, we have to move forward too.”
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — An Ohio man has been charged for his alleged role in an Oct. 8 robbery of a credit union.
Dandre Lemont Noble, 26, of Elyria, Ohio, is accused of robbing the Star USA Federal Credit Union on 3rd Street with another person.
According to the Huntington Police Department, Noble and a second man entered the credit union armed with firearms and demanding money. They took an undisclosed amount before leaving the scene.
Officers found Noble near the credit union shortly after the robbery. He fled from an officer before being arrested.
Noble has already been charged with being a fugitive from justice for a parole violation in Ohio, as well as fleeing, obstructing an officer and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
The Huntington Police Department and the FBI are trying to determine the identity of the second suspect.
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For the third straight day, West Virginia senators put off a decision on how to shape their own districts over the next decade.
“I request unanimous consent that the bill lie over one day while retaining its place on the calendar,” Senate Majority Leader Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, said again today.
This is happening because of a battle occurring in the background over Senate maps.
After a full five days of special session, the Senate now plans to return Monday when a vote on a new map might or might not finally occur. This follows a full summer of public hearings on redistricting and a series of open committee meetings to discuss the best map options.
By Friday evening, two new maps had been introduced, both bearing Takubo’s name. Those two join an original version passed by committee, three proposed Democratic amendments and a final, controversial dark horse.
The House of Delegates, which has completed most of its work — including a map of House districts — voted to “adjourn until the call of the chair,” which is an open-ended option for returning whenever the Senate moves ahead.
The Republican supermajority in the Senate has said little about what’s going on, but as each day’s delay has occurred GOP senators have broken off to caucus, apparently to discuss their divisions over political maps.
The Senate Redistricting Committee on Monday coalesced around a map with little dispute. Supporters said that map only splits seven of West Virginia’s 55 counties, keeping most whole. “Overall, the districts presented here are acceptable and reasonable,” the committee’s vice chairman, Senator Dave Sypolt, R-Preston, said that day.
But Senator Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, expressed alarm even then that the map the committee openly selected would not be the one chosen in the end.
“I see this map as a pass-through to get us to the floor with a map. I know this is not going to be the map. I bet you a Pepsi on that,” Woelfel said that day.
Late Wednesday, after the full Senate delayed a final decision the first time, a new map did pop into the redistricting website.
The alternative map, which was not previously publicly considered, breaks up 14 counties, often through municipalities. Cabell County is split four ways. Kanawha is split three ways. One proposed district includes Clay County in central West Virginia and dips all the way down to a portion of Mercer County to the state’s southern border.
At the end of this afternoon’s Senate floor session, Woelfel addressed that map again. “Since we have a few minutes to ponder the future, I think I can give us something to think about over the weekend,” he said.
He continued, “There’s one map that doesn’t have a name, and I’m gonna call it the poor bastardized map. It’s the map that came out of the dark of night a couple of nights ago.”
Woelfel suggested the alternative map, if passed, could be the subject of legal scrutiny. He named each of the members of the state Supreme Court, saying the justices are destined to get involved if the alternative map is embraced.
“They will, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, they will obey their oath. They will pay no attention to politics. They will apply the law. Those people will not play any kind of political games with the map,” Woelfel said.
He concluded, “Please, over the weekend, think about your oath. Think about what we said we will do. Say a prayer, follow your conscience and follow the Constitution.”
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