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By Bill Nestor, Sports Editor

On the high school scene county teams went .500 on the opening week of the season.

Lincoln lost on the road at Braxton County, 13-6, in the first game of the Rob Hawkins era. Typically early in a season a team’s defense is ahead of its offense and that was the case for the Cougars. The stoppers held the Eagles to one score and seven first downs while forcing a pair of fumbles. Lincoln is known for its big play capabilities and a 50 yard pass play was proof of that as quarterback Jarrod Kellar found Chase Riley for a score. The Cougars will open up the home portion of their schedule this Friday against Philip Barbour.

Bridgeport opened up defense of their Class AA title with a convincing 38-7 win over Buckhannon-Upshur. The ground game is the Indians bread and butter and it racked up 395 yards and five touchdowns. Dante Bonamico had 164 of those yards and all five scores. Zack Spurlock picked up 105 yards on 13 carries. Nick Strogen nailed an 18-yard field goal to complete the scoring. Bridgeport hits the road next week taking on Class AAA Wheeling Park.

Robert C. Byrd defeated Fairmont Senior 28-7 in Clarksburg. The Flying Eagles amassed 531 yards and 27 first downs. Ben D’Annunzio rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Signal caller Julian Marino was 9 of 16 for 146 yards in the air. The defense limited the Polar Bears to 9 yards rushing in the contest. Robert C. Byrd stays at home to entertain Liberty.

The Mountaineers opened up the A.J. Harman era with a 22-8 win over East Fairmont at East-West Stadium. Running back, Logan Robey claimed 220 yards on 31 carries and three touchdowns. Kicker Jared Freshour contributed a 21-yard field goal. Dual threat quarterback John Kreyenbuhl rushed for 88 yards, 13 rushes and was 9 of 13 passing for 65 yards. The defense allowed a mere five first downs to the Bees.

Doddridge County edged South Harrison 27-23; the Hawks held a 23-6 lead but the Bulldogs staged a comeback. South Harrison outgained their opposition in both passing yards and total yards. The Hawks had three running backs with 50 or more yards on the ground and a 30-yard field goal by Garrett Wilkins. South Harrison is scheduled to host Gilmer County this Friday.

Wheeling Central defeated Notre Dame 54-21 last Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium. Santino Cava became the schools all time leading rusher with his 220-yard effort. Quarterback Jordan Miller was 6 of 14 for 144 yards including a six-yard scoring strike to Noah Bohanna. Bohanna caught five passes for 136 yards. The Fighting Irish take to the road once again this Saturday to play Parkersburg Catholic.

Let’s take it to the next level and talk about a team that took it to the next level. W.V.U. lost a heartbreaker to #2 Alabama 33-23 in Atlanta last Saturday on national television. The entire country had a chance to view the Mountaineers come a few plays and a few questionable flags away from pulling the upset.

Clint Trickett put forth his best effort in a W.V.U. uniform against the Crimson Tide. Trickett was 29 of 45 for 365 yards and a touchdown. Several of those incompletions were drops that would have shot his yardage well over 400 and it came against a national championship contender. The fact that he didn’t turn the ball over shows that Trickett’s decision making has also improved from a year ago. Kevin White was the favorite target hauling in 9 passes for 143 yards and a score.

Mario Alford provided a special teams spark with a 100-yard kickoff return. Punter Nick O’Toole punted four times with a 43.8 average.

Former Bridgeport standout Wes Tonkery got the start at linebacker for the Mounties and responded with a nine-tackle day. The “Wes Express” made the most of his opportunity.

I was really impressed with the poise and composure of Head Coach Dana Holgorsen. He looked to be in total control throughout the tilt and with 1:05 left in the game he put his hand on the head of one of his dejected players. It was impressive coaching in several aspects.

That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!