By Bill Nestor
The opening week of high school football brought wins for a trio of county teams. Lincoln, Bridgeport, and Liberty all claimed victories under the Friday night lights. One game is in the books, and with nine tilts remaining, let’s take a look back at last week’s action.
Lincoln proved that all of the preseason hype surrounding the Cougars was indeed warranted. Fans in Shinnston wanted a quick start in the home opener and veteran mentor Rob Hawkins and his squad gave the faithful exactly what they were asking for with an epic first quarter. Lincoln was on pace to score 140 points after throwing 35 big ones on the scoreboard in the first period. They would settle for a 54-0 shutout over Braxton County that Cougar Nation hopes will set the table for a great season.
Quarterback A. J. Bart was near perfect on the night, going six for seven with a pair of touchdowns. Bart’s first scoring toss to Maddox Perine from 18 yards out put the home team on the scoreboard and it would set the tone for the evening. Aiden Rice found pay dirt from one yard out for Lincoln’s second score. Bart connected with Nate Swiger on a 12 yard pass play that scored six points and the rout was on.
The defense contributed to the scoring barrage when Brayden Edgell intercepted a pass and took it 28 yards to the end zone. Swiger then intercepted a throw and raced 24 yards for a score and the Cougars put this lock up away early.
Rice blocked a second quarter punt, picked up the ball, and strolled five yards for his second score of the affair. Edgell recorded his second pick six before halftime to make it 48-0. David Burdette scored the lone touchdown in the third period on a seven yard rush to end the scoring.
Bridgeport jumped out to a 41-0 halftime lead over Buckhannon-Upshur. The Indians utilized a punishing ground game and were led by Zach Rohrig. Rohrig picked up 185 yards on just nine carries while scoring three times in the first half. His touchdowns all came on big plays finding the end zone on rushes of 83, 16, and 60 yards respectively.
Signal caller Jack Spatafore scored on a 49 yard run, showing his dual threat capabilities. Josh Love was the second Tribe running back to hit the century mark with 115 yards on a mere two carries. Love scored on runs of 60 and 73 yards in the second stanza and the third period, respectively. Alex Moses added the exclamation point with a 63 yard rush in the fourth quarter.
Liberty upended Elkins 22-6. Running back Quinton Hilliard scored the only first quarter touchdown on a one yard plunge. Signal caller Brock Benedum found the end zone on a five yard run to push the Mountaineer lead to 14-0 at the break. Bendum would score the last Liberty touchdown in the third period and would add the two point conversion for good measure to put the game on ice.
The Mountaineer defense forced three turnovers and allowed just two passing yards on the night.