The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
This past week in football action two teams found themselves on different ends of the scoreboard. Both of them have more pigskin to play but will be affected by the outcome of their outings.
The Bridgeport Indians went into their contest with Fairmont Senior as the Class AA #1 ranking. The Polar Bears were #2. For the second consecutive week they earned a come from behind win, edging Fairmont Senior 17-14. Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, Indian signal caller, Gordon Swiger tossed an 82 yard scoring strike to J.T. Harris to tie the affair heading into halftime.
Bridgeport took the lead on a 21 yard field goal from Koby Kiefer in the third frame. MacKenzie Holmes increased it to 17-7 on a one yard scoring plunge. The defensive unit came up big, forcing three Polar Bear turnovers on the evening.
The victory provided Bridgeport with an undefeated regular season and the top seed in the upcoming playoffs. The Tribe also has the benefit of an extra week off to mend injuries and regroup before defending their championship.
West Virginia University fell from the ranks of the undefeated, losing 37-20 to Oklahoma State this past Saturday in Stillwater. Winning on the road in the Big 12 Conference is a tough enough task, but when you turn the ball over three times it’s near impossible. Despite the giveaways the Mounties had ample opportunity until 5:15 in the final period.
West Virginia had cut their deficit to a single score and had scored the last ten points of the lock-up. However, the hosts weren’t rattled and they responded with a ten point run of their own to put the game out of reach.
The 6-0 start had only been accomplished eight previous times in school history and it helped to catapult the Eers to the #10 ranking in the nation.
All is not lost with this loss. There are several big games to be played and the Mounties need to put this one in the rear view mirror. It’s understandable that this squad had aspirations of going undefeated and playing for a national championship, but they can’t let this setback stand in the way of other goals. In recent years a defeat such as this would lead to more damage.
This coming Saturday provides a great possibility. The opponent, Kansas, has lost seven consecutive match-ups and is coming off of a 56-3 drubbing by Oklahoma. The Jayhawks have allowed a total of 149 points in their last three outings.
WVU will also have a chance to do national damage control as this tilt will be played at 7:00 pm at Mylan Puskar Stadium on ESPN 2. This is the perfect “get right” game for the Mountaineers.
I had a chance to catch the Lincoln Cougars for the first time this season and I was extremely impressed. They picked up their fourth consecutive win, 49-21 over Robert C. Byrd. Their skill players are truly skilled, their offensive and defensive lines are big and strong and they are well coached. The Cougars will finish up their regular season this Friday in Shinnston as they will play host to North Marion.
A win over the Huskies could provide a home playoff game for Rob Hawkins and company.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!