The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
The past eleven weeks of work has provided a bonus to four of Harrison County’s six football teams. Bridgeport, Lincoln, Robert C. Byrd, and South Harrison all earned spots in the playoffs.
The Indians finished the season undefeated with a 55-14 win over Preston County. The Tribe played without stand-out Dylan Tonkery, who suffered an injury early in the prior week’s win over Fairmont Senior. Dante Bonamico picked up the slack against the Knights gaining 164 yards on just eight carries. Bonamico also added three touchdowns. Elijah Drummond had three carries and 77 yards. Drummond scored two touchdowns in the affair. Mackenzie Holmes scored on a 35 yard pass from Zack Spurlock. Holmes also took an interception 75 yards for a score as well.
Bridgeport will host throughout the playoffs and will start their quest for a third consecutive Class AA championship at Wayne Jamison Field against Independence.
The Patriots started the season 4-0 and ended with wins over Wyoming East and Fayetteville. Independence finished the regular season with a 7-3 mark.
The Cougars suffered a 51-42 setback to North Marion to end the season. Despite the loss, Lincoln’s offense continued to impress as quarterback Kobie Carpenter was 20 of 32 for 322 yards and three touchdowns. Both Chase Riley and Anthony Kellar both went over the century mark in receiving. Riley caught eight passes for 131 yards, including a 31 yard score. Kellar had six receptions for 102 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions. Hunter Moore rushed for 118 yards on 21 rushes and three scores.
The Cougars will make the short trip to Marion County to battle Fairmont Senior. The Polar Bears lost two of their last four games but ended their regular season with a 32-0 win over cross-town rival East Fairmont.
Robert C. Byrd won their third consecutive game with a 42-6 road win over Phillip Barbour. Quarterback Julian Marino was 8 of 14 for 186 yards and three scores.
Tre Junkins caught four balls for 94 yards and a 47 yard touchdown. Juwan Jones-Wright picked up 125 yards on 19 carries. Jones-Wright also scored three touchdowns on the night. On the season Jones-Wright rushed for 100 yards or more yards in every game that he played in this year.
Robert C. Byrd travels to Chapmanville. The 165 mile trip is the longest road trip of the opening round. The Tigers limp into the postseason after losing their last three games to Mingo Central, Tolsia, and most recently Wayne.
In Class A, South Harrison kept rolling with a 44-0 victory over Wirt County. Cam Barnette claimed 183 rushing yards on 11 carries. Barnette also scored four touchdowns on runs of 2, 45, 21, and 12 yards respectively. Signal caller Ian Riggleman was 3 of 5 passing for 100 yards, including a 45 yard scoring strike to Freddie Canary. Not only did the Hawks defense pitch their first shutout of the season, they held the Tigers to just 76 yards of total offense.
With a #3 ranking, South Harrison will host Valley Wetzel. The Lumberjacks finished the regular season on a three game win streak and a 7-3 overall record.
On the next level, WVU broke a four game losing streak with a 31-26 win over Texas Tech in Morgantown. The Mountaineers went to the ground game to gain 300 yards. Wendell Smallwood gained a game high 163 yards on 22 carries and found pay dirt of a 16 yard run. Rushel Shell also crossed over the century mark picking up 111 yards on 14 carries. Shell scored on runs of 5 and 3 yards respectively.
The win brought the Mounties back to 500 on the campaign. WVU fans are hoping that this is the start of a new streak that could propel this team to a strong stretch run.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!