By Bill Nestor
The Cougars and the Indians earned huge wins this past week. Lincoln edged Nicholas County 17-16 in Summersville, while the Tribe doubled up Fairmont Senior 40-20 in Bridgeport.
The Cougars remained unblemished with the one point victory over the Grizzlies. The first quarter was a defensive struggle, but the second frame favored the visitors. Lincoln moved the ball inside the 10 yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.
Most teams would have been frustrated, but not the Cougars. This squad maintained its mental focus and the defense once again provided a key stop, setting up quarterback A. J. Bart and company with a short field opportunity. Bart found Maddox Perine for a 19 yard score. The extra point attempt failed and the Cougars held a six to nothing lead. Bart stayed hot and tossed a second touchdown pass in the second stanza to increase the lead.
Brayden Edgell collected the 16 yard toss to make it a two score lead. Veteran mentor Rob Hawkins elected to go for two and the move paid off as Bart connected with Nathan Swiger to push the advantage to 14-0.
The first score of the second half came on a 24 yard field goal by Liam Gallagher. Gallagher also recorded his first quarterback sack in the first half to provide key plays in two facets of the game.
The Grizlies would cut the deficit with a rushing score in the third period. They would draw to within a point, and elected to go for the two-point conversion with less than a minute left to play. Lincoln’s defense made the play and secured the win to remain the only unbeaten in Harrison County.
In Bridgeport was the defense that made the difference in the Indians’ victory. Playing one of the most prolific offenses in the Mountain State provided a challenge that no team has had an answer for all season. The Tribe decide to keep the Polar Bears scoreless for the last seven and a half minutes of the third quarter and the entire fourth period to double up Fairmont Senior. The stoppers also generated three takeaways in the affair.
Bridgeport stayed grounded, garnering all of their points offensively via the rushing attack. The Indians had not one, but two century game rushers in Zach Rohrig and Josh Love. Rohrig earned a game high 211 yards on 29 carries and the lock up’s last two touchdowns. Love picked up 142 yards on 15 attempts and a score. Tanner Hatrhaway also chipped in with 76 yards on 12 rushes and three touchdowns.Kicker Logan Anglin added four extra points in a win that put the Tribe in solo first place in the Big 10 Conference.
West Virginia’s football team picked up its biggest win of Neal Brown’s tenure as the head coach. Its the most recent victory for Brown’s bunch. With the pressure on him and his team, he delivered against the most hated foe on the schedule. The Pitt Panthers came to Touchdown City and went home with a 17-6 loss.
Brown had no choice but to go with backup quarterback Nicco Marchiol after starter Garrett Greene left the lock up after the sixth play due to injury. Brown did an excellent job of taking the pressure off of his young, but talented signal caller. Marchiol only threw nine passes, completing six of them for 60 yards and a score.
Brown would call on his defense and it answered, limiting Pitt to just 211 yards, and most importantly, no touchdowns. The 61, 106 fans in attendance left happy and, according to Brown, will be needed next weekend when Texas Tech comes to town for the third consecutive game at Milan Puskar Stadium and the first Big 12 game of the season.