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2017: Area High School Football Scoreboard: Week 9

The Gilmer Free Press

Area High School Football Scoreboard
2017: Week 9 Games
Hannan (2-6) 6 #12 North Marion (5-3) 28
Gilmer County (2-6) 46 #12 Braxton County (6-2) 30
Calhoun County (0-9) 18 #11 Valley (Wetzel) (5-3) 7
#6 Webster County (7-1) 53 #10 Doddridge County (7-2) 35
Wirt County (4-4) 40 Williamstown (4-4)  
Ritchie County (2-7) 6 Parkersburg Catholic (0-6)    Saturday  
#1 South Harrison (8-0) 43 Magnolia (3-6) 43
#3 St. Marys (6-1) 15 Tyler Consolidated (4-4) 21
Roane County (AA) (0-8) 14 Paden City (2-6) 12
#14 Ravenswood (5-3) 35 Van (4-5) 66
#4 Midland Trail (A) (8-1) 29 Beallsville, OH 25
Nicholas County (6-2) 34 #8 Cameron (7-1) 58
#4 Liberty Harrison (7-1) 14 Valley (Fayette) (3-6) 8
Robert C. Byrd (5-3) 48 Richwood (5-3) 41
#9 Keyser (5-3) 0 Elkins (3-5) 44
#5 Bridgeport (8-1) 30 #11 Lincoln (6-2) 45
Shady Spring (4-4) 31 #8 Hurricane (4-4) 7
Clay County (5-2) 6 #12 Parkersburg (5-3) 35
Philip Barbour (6-2) 24 Buckhannon-Upshur (3-5) 7
Lewis County (1-8) 22 Brooke (2-6) 28
Greenbrier East (1-7) 12    
Parkersburg South (3-5) 29    
BYE WEEK:  Notre Dame

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  MEC: WVSU Wins MEC Women’s Tennis Title

West Virginia State won its fourth Mountain East Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament title in five years defeating Charleston, 5-2, on Sunday at the Brian David Fox Tennis Center.

With the win, the Yellow Jackets earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament in the spring.

WVSU had to rally from an early 2-1 deficit in doubles. UC’s tandem of Kristine Gegeshidze and Katie Swann won at No. 1 doubles, and Elise Edwards and Silvana Slusarciuc picked up a win at No. 2 doubles. The Yellow Jackets salvaged a point at No. 3 doubles with a win by Kayla McKnight and Nika Tadic.

West Virginia State started strong in singles as MEC Player of the Year Laura Isbey picked up a win at No. 1 singles over Swann, 6-1, 6-1. Kierstin Hensley earned a win at No. 2 singles to give WVSU the 3-2 lead.

Tadic worked quickly losing just one game in two sets on her way to a win at No. 6 singles. The tournament-clinching win came at No. 5 singles as McKnight downed Alize Uyttenhove, 6-3, 6-3.


►  MEC Football Roundup (October 21)

West Virginia Wesleyan 20, Notre Dame 13

West Virginia Wesleyan stunned Notre Dame, 20-13, on Saturday afternoon at Mueller Field.

The Bobcats (4-4) slowed down the high-powered offense of Notre Dame (6-2) on Saturday limiting the Falcons to their lowest point total of the season. NDC was able to rush for 222 yards, but threw for just 78. West Virginia Wesleyan out-gained Notre Dame 308-300 on the afternoon.

WVWC’s Tra Jackson provided the first points in the game in the second quarter with a one-yard plunge to open the second quarter. The Falcons got on the board with a Malik Grove two-yard touchdown run, but the extra point was blocked to make it 7-6 in favor of Wesleyan heading into halftime.

The Falcons took their first lead of the afternoon late in the third quarter on a four-yard Brian Walker touchdown run. The Bobcats had the answer, though, as Ryan Deal found Ryan Gumbita for a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-13 WVWC with still 7:11 left in the game.

The score remained that way until the waning moments when Notre Dame had one more chance taking over at its own 18 yard line with 1:17 left. NDC was able to get the ball to near midfield with six seconds left, but the Bobcats ended the game in dramatic fashion with a sack and a forced fumble by Davari Gill that was scooped up by Aman Speed Jr. who raced 35 yards to the end zone with no time left on the clock sealing the win for West Virginia Wesleyan.

Jackson finished with 106 yards and one touchodwn to lead WVWC. Luke Casey completed 8-of-12 passes for 106 yards, and Deal added 5-of-11 passing for 54 yards and a score. The defensive effort was led by Cody Goode who had 12 tackles (eight solo), including two for a loss with a sack. Brandon Grayson had a pair of sacks Keith Johnson added two TFL.

Grove led the rushing attack for NDC with 104 yards on 30 carries. He was also 13-of-18 passing for 78 yards. R.J. Goodwin led NDC with six tackles (1.5 TFL). Claudy Mathieu added 2.5 TFL for the Falcons.


West Virginia State 39, West Liberty 33

West Virginia State rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to send the game into ovetime where it prevailed 39-33 over West Liberty on Saturday afternoon at Lakin Field.

After falling behind 33-19 early in the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets (5-3) responded with a 10-play, 63-yard drive capped by a Juwan Etheredge touchdown run to get within a score. The score remained until late in the game when WVSU took over from its own 14-yard line with 4:25 left, and the Yellow Jackets marched down the field 86 yards in 3:35 to send the game to overtime. Matt Kinnick hit Quinton Gray from 11 yards out for the game-tying score.

In overtime, WLU (2-6) got the ball first and picked up a first down on the first play from scrimmage, but a false start penalty helped stall the drive and the Hilltoppers had to settle for a field goal attempt. The attempt, though, was no good, allowing WVSU needing any score for the win. It didn’t take long, though, as Etheredge took the first play for the Yellow Jackets 24 yards for the score that ended the game.

Etheredge finished with 111 yards and the two scores to help lead the WVSU offense. Kinnick was 26-of-40 for 241 yards and one TD. Gray hauled in 10 passes for 98 yards. Aaron Ball added four field goals to help aid the WVSU scoring.

Jeremiah Ortiz had a big day for West Liberty with 179 yards on the ground, and Savion Johnson added 16 carries for 90 yards and a score. Lukas O’Connor completed 11-of-23 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns.

Darius Goode racked up 15 tackles for West Virginia State, and Noah Hoxie had eight tackles and a sack. Logan Deri led West Liberty with 14 tackles, including two for a loss. Ty Holes had 11 stops and broke up two passes.


Fairmont State 18, Glenville State 15 (OT)

Sam Keil’s six field goals were enough to lead Fairmont State past Glenville State, 18-15, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at Morris Stadium.

Keil’s was 6-of-7 on field goal attempts in the victory for Fairmont State (5-3). His final make in overtime came from 34 yards out.

Glenville State’s Kevin Flores made three field goals, but missed from 41 yards as Glenville State got the ball first in overtime to allow FSU to just need three points for the win.

Dominique Gibson had the only touchdown in the game for either team with a four-yard run early in the second quarter (the PAT was no good).

The game was statistically even in most categories. GSC’s Jaylen McNair had 202 yards passing, while his counterpart Takwan Crews-Naylor had 178 through the air.

Fairmont State’s Marcus Porter had seven tackles on the day, as did Naiquan Thomas. Stephen Turner came up with the only turnover in the game with an interception.

Glenville State’s Andre Dalton piled up 12 tackles for the Pioneers and broke up two passes. Tristin Freeman had 10 total tackles with a TFL.


Charleston 27, UVa-Wise 21

Charleston held off UVa-Wise, 27-21, on Saturday afternoon at Carl Smith Stadium.

The Golden Eagles (3-4) controlled the line of scrimmage rushing for 150 yards and just allowing 52 on the ground for UVa-Wise (4-4). UC had 21 first downs on the game, including 12 through the air. The Cavaliers struggled turning the ball over losing three fumbles and having one pass intercepted.

UC took control of the game early going out to a 21-0 lead before UVa-Wise got a score before halftime to make it 21-7. Andre Hamilton returned a blocked field goal attempt in the third quarter to get the Cavs within a TD, but UC made it a two-score game again after a Dylan Miles field goal. Jacob Cousins hauled in a 77-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-21, but Miles hit another field goal to put the Golden Eagles up six. UVa-Wise had the ball with two minutes left, but a fumble ended any last-ditch efforts the Cavs had.

Tevion Cappe had 109 yards rushing and one touchdown. The Golden Eagles used a pair of quarterbacks on Saturday with Brant Grisel completing 9-of-16 for 119 yards and Mason Olszewski completing 9-of-13 for 123 yards and TD. D’Andre Brooks had six catches for 98 yards.

John Cominsky had nine stops, including 4.0 for a loss in the game with a sack. Khazin Daniels had a pair of sacks and another one for a loss. Luke Sears had the interception for the Golden Eagles.

For UVa-Wise, Jarome Johnson was 9-of-19 for 153 yards with two TDs and an interception. Buster Henderson had eight stops for the Cavs, including 3.5 for a loss with two sacks.


#2 Shepherd 48, Urbana 14

The second-ranked Shepherd Rams got off to a quick start and never looked back in a 48-14 win over Urbana on Saturday afternoon at Rams Stadium.

After Urbana (3-5) got the early lead on its first possession on a 75-yard pass from Tajuan Green to Trevon Saunders, Shepherd (7-0) rattled off the game’s next 48 points. Shepherd had 479 yards of total offesne in the victory.

Connor Jessop had four touchdown passes and 259 yards passing in the win. Four Rams combined for 200 yards rushing. Wanya Allen added a pair of TD receptions. The Rams sacked Urbana six times in the game with Bruno Anyangwe and Elijah Norris each recording two.

Green had 240 yards passing and one score for Urbana. Duray Hall had 10 tackles, and L.A. Kelly nine stops to go with a fumble recovery for a touchdown.


Concord 31, UNC Pembroke 22

Zack Keaton hit three field goals and Jonathan Roebuck had an interception return for a touchdown to help Concord to a 31-22 non-conference win over UNC Pembroke.

UNC Pembroke (1-6) had more yards of total offense, more first downs and had the ball for nearly 34 minutes in the loss. The Mountain Lions (2-6), though, were able to get big plays and timely defensive stops and turnovers to earn the win.

Trailing 15-11 in the second quarter, Jamal Petty ripped off a 77-yard touchdown, and then Roebuck intercepted a pass on UNCP’s next possession to stake Concord to the 25-15 lead. After allowing a touchdown on the first possession for the Braves, Concord forced two turnovers and two punts the rest of the way to shut down UNC Pembroke. Keaton added a pair of field goals in the second half for the win.

Petty finished the day with 120 yards and the one score. Quarterback Adam Fulton added 123 yards through the air. Zach Malone led the defense with 10 tackles.

UNCP quarterback Dominick Samson was 24-of-35 for 283 yards with one touchdown and two picks. Miles Grant managed 71 yards on the ground with a score. Cameron Williams had six tackles, including two for a loss, and also forced a fumble for the Braves.


►  MEC: WVWC Women, Concord Men Take Cross Country Titles

West Virginia Wesleyan placed its top seven runners in the top 16 to propel the Bobcats to the 2017 Mountain East Conference Women’s Cross Country Championship on Saturday morning at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex.

The Bobcats won the title with just 35 points, ahead of Wheeling Jesuit’s 47 points. Concord was third with 68 points, followed by Charleston (115), Fairmont State (139), West Liberty (188), UVa-Wise (197), Notre Dame (218) and Glenville State (226).

Kelsey Chambers won her third-straight MEC Championship title and was also named the league’s Runner of the Year for the third-consecutive season. She finished the 6,000-meter race with a time of 23:09. Teammate Kaitlyn Workman was second with a time of 23:29.

WVWC’s contingent was led by senior Sydney Pineault who was third (24:08). The Bobcats also had Madison Frame (6th), Joanna Johnston (7th), Lexi Beach (9th) and Michaela Peterson (10th) earn first team honors by finishing in the top 10. Zoey Vilasuso (15th) and Rachel Englund (16th) earned second team recognition and rounded out the scoring for WVWC.

Also earning first team honors was Kelly Whittaker (UC), Sydney Haynes (CU), Emily Maddow (FSU). Haynes was named Freshman of the Year for her efforts this fall.

West Virginia Wesleyan head coach Jesse Skiles was selected as the league’s Coach of the Year for guiding the Bobcats to their fourth MEC title in five years.


►  MEC: Concord Wins Third-Straight Men’s XC Title

Concord picked up its third-straight Mountain East Conference Men’s Cross Country title on Saturday morning at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex.

The Mountain Lions had four runners in the top 10 and five in the top 14 to take the title with 32 points. The University of Charleston was second with 47 points, followed by West Virginia Wesleyan in third with 54. Wheeling Jesuit was sixth (89), followed by West Liberty (164), Glenville State (174), UVa-Wise (183), Fairmont State (217) and Notre Dame (220).

Like last year, Concord individuals went 1-2 in the race, although the order flipped this year as Justin Snyder won with a time of 26:15. Snyder was named the MEC Runner of the Year for his efforts for Saturday and the enitre fall season. Teammate Jason Weitzel was second this year finishing wiht a time of 26:33. CU’s Tyler Kosut and Michael Ruhnke also were in the top 10 to earn All-MEC first team honors.

Charleston had a pack of three runners in the top 10, led by freshman David Cecchi in sixth. Cecchi was tabbed as the league’s Freshman of the Year for his season. Teammates Jake Casto and Hunter Riffle were seventh and eight, respectively.

Wheeling Jesuit freshman Jacob Bishop was third in the race, and West Virginia Wesleyan’s Matt Dearth and Colin Wallace were also in the top 10 to earn All-MEC first team honors.

Concord’s head coach Mike Cox was selected as the league’s Coach of the Year as he directed the Mountain Lions to a third-straight title.


►  College Football Rankings: Associated Press Top 25

1. Alabama
2. Penn State
3. Georgia
4. TCU
5. Wisconsin
6. Ohio State
7. Clemson
8. Miami (Fla.)
9. Notre Dame
10. Oklahoma
11. Oklahoma State
12. Washington
13. Virginia Tech
14. NC State
15. Washington State
16. Michigan State
17. South Florida
18. UCF
19. Auburn
20. Stanford
21. Southern California
22. West Virginia
23. LSU
24. Memphis
25. Iowa State


►  College Football Rankings: Coaches Poll

1. Alabama
2. Penn State
3. Georgia
4. TCU
5. Wisconsin
6. Ohio State
7. Clemson
8. Miami (Fla.)
9. Oklahoma
10. Notre Dame
11. Washington
12. Oklahoma State
13. Virginia Tech
14. South Florida
15. NC State
16. Washington State
17. UCF
18. Michigan State
19. Auburn
20. Stanford
21. Southern California
22. West Virginia
23. LSU
24. Texas A&M
25. Michigan

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  Ka’Raun, Kyzir White continue family legacy at West Virginia

Ka’Raun and Kyzir White are adding to the family legacy started by their older brother at No. 23 West Virginia.

Kevin White stamped his place in Mountaineer lore after a senior season in 2014 that earned him second-team all-America honors with 1,447 receiving yards, the second most in school history.

Ka’Raun and Kyzir White followed Kevin from Pennsylvania’s Lackawanna Junior College to West Virginia and have boosted their own name recognition this season.

With the injured Chicago Bears’ wide receiver in attendance at homecoming, his siblings made big contributions in the Mountaineers’ 46-35 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.

Ka’Raun White caught two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as part of West Virginia’s comeback from an 18-point deficit, including a leaping grab of a 32-yard pass that prompted teammate Gary Jennings to flatten White afterward with a celebratory chest bump.

Kyzir White sealed the win in the final two minutes with his team-leading third interception of the season. He also tied for the team high with nine tackles and also forced a fumble.

Ka’Raun White will take a streak of two straight 100-yard receiving games on the road Saturday night when West Virginia (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) plays at Baylor (0-6, 0-3).

Both Ka’Raun and Kyzir White sat out last year’s regular-season finale against the Bears with injuries. Ka’Raun White was unable to work on the timing of his routes with quarterback Will Grier until this summer after recuperating from a broken bone in his right leg.

The inevitable comparisons to Kevin White had already started before the 2017 season. At 6-foot-1, Ka’Raun White is two inches shorter than his older brother, yet he’s on pace to match Kevin’s 10 TDs from 2014.

“I’m just going to come play every week and hopefully everything will turn out pretty good,” Ka’Raun White said. “I’ll keep working in practice, keep working on that connection with Will to make things happen.”

Coach Dana Holgorsen said White had been great in practice the past two weeks and had a statement game against the Red Raiders — his eight catches and two TD receptions were season highs. He’s matched last year’s TD catch total of five and is averaging five receptions per game.

“Keep in mind, he missed all spring,” Holgorsen said. “So the relationship and timing with him and Will has taken a little bit longer. There was some times in camp where Will was frustrated that that timing didn’t exist. It’s just taken a little bit longer than we would have liked it. It looks pretty good now.”

Unlike his brothers, Kyzir White said he ended up playing on defense because “I just like to hit people.”

A second-year starter at the spur position, a safety-linebacker hybrid, Kyzir White is second to linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton in tackles with 32 and is easily on pace to surpass last season’s total of 58.

“We’ll all just have to play our part, do our job,” Kyzir White said. “Just play hard, try to create turnovers. Everything else will take care of itself.”

West Virginia safeties coach Matt Caponi calls Kyzir White “the mold that holds us together and a guy that brings us energy — just always shows up, hustles, makes plays. He has stood out.”

And has kept the family name prominent in Morgantown.


►  MEC Cross Country: Championships Set For Saturday In Bridgeport

The 2017 Mountain East Conference men’s and women’s cross country championships will take place this Saturday, October 21, at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex.

The women’s race will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men at 10:30 a.m. Parking will be $10 per car.

On the women’s side, Wheeling Jesuit comes into the meet as the defending champion for the first time in league history. WJU won last year’s meet with just 24 points, 11 points better than rival West Virginia Wesleyan. The Cardinals are the only team from the league to earn a spot in the USTFCCCA Atlantic Region poll this season. WJU will have two-time MEC Runner of the Year Kelsey Chambers leading the pack, but also have four other runners who earned All-MEC honors in last year’s race back as well.

The Bobcats will be led by senior Sydney Pineault who will be aiming to be a four-time first team All-MEC selection on Saturday. Freshmen Madison Frame and Michaela Peterson, along with returners Joanna Johnston, Rachel Englund and Zoey Vilasuso will try to win back the conference crown that the Bobcats won in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Concord had five runners earn All-MEC honors last season led by first team honoree Aidan Payton, and have added freshman Sydney Haynes to the team’s lineup. Fairmont State has Logan Frame and Juliana Butcher back from last year, and freshman Emily Maddow has had a strong first season for the Falcons. UC will likely be led by the tandem of Cami Mossor and Kristiana Sklioutovskaya-Lopez to try and break through to the upper portion of the standings. Rachel Lovett from Notre Dame College was 13th last year as a freshman at the conference championship meet to earn second team All-MEC honors.

On the men’s side, Concord is the two-time defending champion and the favorite to win the title again this Saturday. The Mountain Lions have their top four runners from last year’s squad that not only won the conference championship, but also became the first team in league history to advance past the NCAA Atlantic Region championship meet on to the NCAA Championships.

Jason Weitzel, the 2016 MEC Runner of the Year, is back for his junior season, but has been pushed this season by teammate Justin Snyder. The duo ran a blistering pace at the Paul Short Invitational a few weeks back with Weitzel running 24:46 and Snyder running 24:53 on the 8,000-meter course. As a team, CU had a strong showing finishing third among Atlantic Region teams behind Edinboro and IUP, but ahead of Lock Haven. Tyler Kosut and Michael Ruhnke, both first team All-MEC honorees last year, are also back in the lineup for the Mountain Lions as well.

Concord finished just ahead of West Virginia Wesleyan last year and the Bobcats will be looking for their first title since 2014. Matt Dearth has proven to be one of the top runners in the conference on an annual basis as he wraps up his cross country looking to earn first team All-MEC honors for a fourth-straight season. Dearth will look to get support from Colin Wallace, Sean Snyder, Eric Wooten and Adam Romano to try and knock off Concord.

The University of Charleston will also make a push and try and take home the title on Saturday. The Golden Eagles have some youth up front with freshmen David Cecchi and Hunter Riffle, sophomore Max Allen to go with senior Jake Casto. Wheeling Jesuit’s Albert Schrimp was the league’s Runner of the Year in 2015, but injuries forced him to miss last year’s meet. This fall, Schrimp’s best 8,000-meter time was a 26:43 at the Louisville Classic back on Sept. 30. Freshman Jake Bishop has provided some depth at the front of the pack for WJU.

The top 10 in each race earn first team All-MEC honors, while athletes finishing 11th-20th are second team all-conference honorees. The awards will be given at the conclusion of both races at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex.


►  MEC Women’s Tennis: UC Looks To Defend Title

The fifth Mountain East Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament will open play on Friday, October 20, at the Brian David Fox Tennis Center in Huntington, WV. The winner will receive an automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The University of Charleston is the defending champion after a stirring 5-4 upset over three-time champion West Virginia State in last year’s final. The match came down to No. 1 singles, and Kristine Gegeshidze downed Laura Isbey in three sets.

The Yellow Jackets, though, enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed after winning the regular season title for the fifth-straight year. West Virginia State has won three MEC Tournament titles to go with its five regular season championships. In fact, WVSU has lost just once to an MEC opponent since the league started, which was UC in last year’s final. In the regular season meeting between the two, WVSU came out on top, but only by a 5-4 margin. WVSU was able to pick up a key 9-8 win at No. 3 doubles to help aid it to victory.

West Liberty is the three seed, and also played WVSU close in its regular season meeting as the Yellow Jackets downed the Hilltoppers 5-4. A pair of wins in singles at the top two spots, as well as wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles helped lead WVSU to the win.

WLU will first have to take on sixth-seeded UVa-Wise in the quarterfinals. The Hilltoppers downed the Cavs 7-2 in the regular season matchup. The Cavaliers earned their way into the tournament with a win over Notre Dame in the final weekend.

Fourth-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan will take on fifth-seeded Fairmont State. The Bobcats just missed the three seed with a narrow loss to West Liberty and defeated FSU 7-2 earlier this season. WVWC came on top in a couple of close matches at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, and the first three singles matches were also competitive between WVWC and Fairmont State. The Fighting Falcons posted their best finish in the MEC regular season standings since the league started in 2013.

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  MEC Announces Week 7 Football Honors

Malik Grove (Notre Dame), Aman Speed Jr. (West Virginia Wesleyan) and Tyler Fischer (West Virginia Wesleyan) have earned Mountain East Conference Player of the Week honors for their play in the seventh week of the season.

Grove, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, paced the NDC offense in a 45-7 win over Urbana. He threw for 229 yards and five touchdowns and added 83 more yards on the ground. He broke the school record with 8,882 yards of total offense and set a new NDC mark with 91 touchdowns accounted for.

Speed Jr., a sophmore from Baltimore, Md., was key in West Virginia Wesleyan’s 10-7 win over UVa-Wise. He scooped up a fumble and raced 41 yards for WVWC’s only touchdown in the game. He also recorded six tackles in the game, including a pair of sacks that totaled up 14 yards.

Fischer, a sophomore from Chalfont, Pa., had four key points in WVWC’s narrow win over UVa-Wise. He had a 36-yard field goal to start the game and also added an extra point in the win.


Other Top Performances

Offense: Ryan Feiss (SU) had seven catches for 97 yards a touchdown in a win over Fairmont State ... Jaylen McNair (GSC) had a 37-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that lifted the Pioneers to a win over West Liberty ... Adam Fulton (CU) had three touchdown passes and 193 yards for the Mountain Lions ... Rodell Rahmaan (UU) had an 81-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the game against Notre Dame ... Laurence King (FSU) had four catches for 86 yards vs. No. 2 Shepherd ... Juawan Etheredge (WVSU) carried the ball 17 for 100 yards and two scores.

Defense: Myles Humphrey (SU) became the school’s all-time sack leader with two last week and also had eight stops in a win over Shepherd ... Earon Settles (GSC) had 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss, in a win over Wets Liberty ... Duray Hall (UU) had a season-high 16 tackles against Notre Dame ... Naiquan Thomas (FSU) had seven tackles and scored on a 37-yard interception return against Shepherd.

Special Teams: Brandon Purk (UU) averaged 44.9 net average and had three punts of over 50 yards with three inside the 20 yard line ... Anton Vrebac (NDC) punted the ball eight times for an average of 41.0 yards with five inside the 20.


►  MEC Men’s Soccer: Falcons Sweep Soccer Honors

Notre Dame’s Leonardo Paiva is the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Daniele De Angelis is the league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Paiva, a senior from Vitoria, Brazil, led the Falcons to a 2-0-0 week. He scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Concord, and then scord both goals in a 2-0 win over Salem International. His scores pushed his total for 11 on the year.

De Angelis, a sophomore from Parma, Italy, notched a pair of shutouts to help Notre Dame to a 2-0-0 week. He stopped five shots in a win over Concord and then made six saves in a shutout victory over Salem International.


MEC Women’s Soccer: Mountain Lions Take Weekly Women Soccer Awards
Concord’s Courtney Wallace is the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Morgan Carmichael is the league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Wallace, a freshman from Castleford, England, had five points in two games to help Concord to a pair of important conference wins last week. She tallied both goals in a win over Notre Dame, and then provided the game-winning assist as the Mountain Lions downed West Liberty 1-0 in double overtime.

Carmichael, a freshman from Fleming Island, Fla., led the Mountain Lions to a pair of wins last week. She contributed a pair of assists as Concord knocked off Notre Dame, and then helped lead the defensive effort as CU shut out West Liberty, 1-0, in double overtime.


►  MEC MBB: Cardinals Tabbed As Men’s Basketball Preseason Favorite

Wheeling Jesuit is the preseason favorite to win the 2018 Mountain East Conference men’s basketball championship after a vote conducted by the league’s coaches. The poll had five different teams receive first place votes.
The Cardinals finished atop the poll with 112 points and six first-place votes, just two points ahead of Fairmont State’s 110 points and two first-place votes. The Cardinals and Falcons played for the NCAA Atlantic Region title last year with FSU winning and going on to play for a national championship.

WJU returns a pair of All-MEC players in seniors Pat Moseh and Haywood Highsmith from last year’s team that went 25-8. Moseh averaged 16 points and six rebounds last year, while Highsmith averaged a double-double with 15.3 points and 10.8 rebounds. The Fighting Falcons bring back several key components from the team that went to the NCAA title game including Jason Jolly and D’Ondre Stockman, and get back Caleb Davis and R.J. Hutcherson who missed last season with injuries.

West Liberty, which will be led by All-American Dan Monteroso, was picked to finish third with 102 points and two first-place votes. Shepherd was fourth in the poll with 92 points and one first-place vote. The Rams return their top two scorers from a year ago in Steffen Davis and A.J. Carr. Notre Dame had the final first-place vote and finished in fifth in the poll with 86 points. All-American Will Vorhees, the nation’s second leading scorer last year with 26.8 points per game, is back for his senior season to lead the Falcons.

West Virginia Wesleyan was picked to finish sixth with 64 points, followed by Charleston (58), UVa-Wise (47) and Glenville State (46). Concord was picked 10th with 31 points, and West Virginia State (30) and Urbana (14) rounded out the poll.
The poll was released on Monday at the Mountain East Conference Media Day at the Bridgeport Conference Center in Bridgeport, WV.

The men’s basketball season begins on Friday, November 10.

2017 MEC Preseason Poll
1. Wheeling Jesuit (6) 112
2. Fairmont State (2) 110
3. West Liberty (2) 102
4. Shepherd (1) 92
5. Notre Dame (1) 86
6. West Virginia Wesleyan 64
7. Charleston 58
8. UVa-Wise 47
9. Glenville State 46
10. Concord 31
11. West Virginia State 30
12. Urbana 14
() Indicates first place votes
* Coaches not able to vote for own team


►  MEC WBB: Glenville State Picked To Win Women’s Basketball Title

Glenville State has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2018 Mountain East Conference women’s basketball championship in a vote conducted by the league’s coaches.
The Pioneers finished atop the poll with 120 points and 10 first-place votes. The Pioneers return eight players who averaged 20 minutes last season from a team that went 24-6 and won the MEC regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Paris McLeod, the reigning league Player Of The Year, is back after averaging 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.9 steals per game. Courtney Davis, who nearly averaged a double-double with 9.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, returns in the post for GSC.
Wheeling Jesuit, the two-time defending MEC Tournament champions, was picked to finish second in the poll with 110 points and one first-place vote. The Cardinals dynamic backcourt duo of Mariah Callen and Monica Burns, along with Chenelle Moore in the frontcourt, will try to help the team to a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. West Virginia State, under the direction of second-year head coach Charles Marshall, was picked to finish third in the poll with 85 points and had the remaining first-place vote. The Yellow Jackets will be led by Aurreshae Hines who averaged 16.7 points and 5.3 assists and last year’s Freshman of the Year Sydney Bates (11.8 points per game in 2016-17).
Notre Dame was picked fourth with 75 points, followed by Charleston (71), Fairmont State (69), Shepherd (65) and West Liberty (62). West Virginia Wesleyan was tabbed ninth with 51 points, and UVa-Wise (43), Urbana (21) and Concord (20) rounded out the poll.

The poll was released on Monday at the Mountain East Conference Media Day at the Bridgeport Conference Center in Bridgeport, WV.

The women’s basketball season begins on Friday, November 10.

2017 MEC Preseason Poll
1. Glenville State (10) 120
2. Wheeling Jesuit (1) 110
3. West Virginia State (1) 85
4. Notre Dame 75
5. Charleston 71
6. Fairmont State 69
7. Shepherd 65
8. West Liberty 62
9. West Virginia Wesleyan 51
10. UVa-Wise 43
11. Urbana 21
12. Concord 20
() Indicates first place votes
* Coaches not able to vote for own team


►  Column: Talladega is too dicey to be in NASCAR’s playoffs

Here’s what went right at Talladega Superspeedway:

— It was a beautiful day with packed grandstands.

— Fans were treated to a sincere send-off to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

— NBC’s overnight television rating was the highest for this race since 2012, when it was aired on ESPN.

— Brad Keselowski used a last-lap pass to win Sunday and advance into the next round of the playoffs.

So, what’s the problem?

There were a lot of accidents in the race, contributing to almost 35 minutes of stoppage over three different red-flag periods. There were only 14 cars on the track at the checkered flag, and only four were playoff drivers. Two of them finished a lap down.

Sorry, that is not a playoff-quality event.

NASCAR did the right thing this season in moving Talladega into the middle of the second round of the playoffs so it would no longer be an elimination race. The event is too much of a crapshoot, and too many drivers have had their championship chances destroyed by some misfortune — often out of their hands — for the race to play such a pivotal role.

After Sunday, it could be argued that Talladega shouldn’t be in the playoffs at all.

No one is suggesting taking it off the schedule. Fans love restrictor-plate racing at Daytona and Talladega, and many thought Sunday was a great race. Maybe it was. But it wasn’t the kind of product that should be deciding a championship.

Chase Elliott could have won that race, same for Ryan Blaney, and each ended the day as spectators alongside their junked race cars. So, yeah, both sounded a little bitter about their results.

Blaney had won the second stage of the race to pick up valuable playoff points, and was for sure a contender.

“It’s all ruined now,“ said Blaney. “We had a really good day, and now it’s down the drain.“

The 12-driver playoff field will be cut by four after this Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, and all seven of the drivers at the bottom of the standings were involved in accidents at Talladega. That includes reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson, who was parked because his team worked on his damaged car during a red flag. He’s now on the cutline to advance out of Kansas.

Talladega produces dramatic racing that draws fans to their feet for the entire 500 miles. Look away and you might miss something. That’s great, and the four times a year that NASCAR puts the plates on, the customers generally leave satisfied.

But consider this: Keselowski overcame a broken antenna — a setback that not only hampered team communication but required a special pit stop to fix his radio — dodged all the accidents and then timed his pass for the lead perfectly to win. After, he credited luck, not skill, for his ability to “survive.“

Also, the victory was the fifth straight for a Ford driver at Talladega. It gave Fords a season sweep of the plate races, and since Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 in a Toyota in the 2016 season-opener, Fords have won seven consecutive plate races. Clearly Talladega is a race about horsepower, and engine builder Doug Yates is winning it right now.

Ryan Newman has been critical in the past about plate racing, but declined after Sunday’s runner-up finish to answer if it was a good race.

“That’s a matter of opinion,“ he said. “I mean, it is what it is. I don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary or a big surprise for this type of racing. It’s totally different than what we had last week and what we’ll have next week. I don’t know that there’s a desire to have a different product here at this type of racetrack.“

Fair enough. Keep the racing as is, just keep it out of the playoffs. NASCAR doesn’t have a road course in the playoffs because it’s a novelty, something the Cup Series does just twice a year. Including it in the playoffs wouldn’t be fair because drivers don’t do it enough for it to be an accurate factor in determining the champion.

So why does Talladega get a pass? There’s too much at stake — for drivers, teams, the sport — for days like Sunday to be a factor in deciding a champion. NASCAR needs to find a new place on the schedule for Talladega.

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  MEC Saturday Roundup (October 14)

Notre Dame 45, Urbana 7

Notre Dame picked up its sixth-straight win with a 45-7 victory over Urbana on Saturday afternoon at UU Stadium.

The Falcons (6-1, 6-1) trailed 7-0 early before scoring the next 45 points in the game in the win over the Blue Knights (3-4, 3-3).

The NDC offense kept rolling in the game rushing for 315 yards and passing for another 229 for 544 yards of total offense. The Falcons also had 25 first downs in the game and held the ball for over 33 minutes in the game.

Malik Grove completed just 10 passes in the game, but five of those went for touchdowns. He finished the game with 229 yards passing and added another 83 on the ground. Marvell Ross had four touchdown receptions and finished with five catches for 164 yards. Brian Walker rushed 20 times for 129 yards and one touchdown to lead the ground game.

RJ Goodwin led the Falcons on defense with seven tackles, including two for a loss. Jeffrey Thomas and Curtis Collins each came away with interceptions.

Chance Short completed just 9-of-30 for 186 yards for Urbana. Trevon Saunders had six catches for 88 yards, and Ja’Vahri Portis had 60 yards on the ground. Duray Hall piled up 16 tackles in the game (nine solo), including two for a loss. Mikal Toliver had a pair of sacks for the Blue Knights.


Glenville State 17, West Liberty 13

Jaylen McNair’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Javon Butler in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as Glenville State downed West Liberty 17-13 on Saturday afternoon at West Family Stadium.
Trailing 17-13 in the fourth, McNair eluded pressure and rolled to his right where he found Butler on the sideline for the score. West Liberty looked to take the lead back on its next possession and took the ball down to the GSC 21 yard line, but a personal foul penalty took West Liberty out of what would have been a 4th-and-5 and made it 4th-and-20. WLU was then unable to convert giving the Pioneers back the ball. The Hilltoppers got the ball one last time with 2:30 left, but the GSC defense didn’t allow WLU a first down and then was able to essentially run out the clock to preserve the win.

McNair was 19-of-31 for 183 yards with two touchdowns as Glenville State improved to 3-4 on the year and 2-4 in the MEC. Butler had five catches for 63 yards and a score, and Kentre Grier had six catches for 58 yards and a TD. Thomas Boles rushed nine times for 65 yards.

Earon Settles had 12 tackles (11 solo) to lead Glenville State on defense. Andre Dalton and Tristin Freeman each had interceptions for the Pioneers.

Brenton Colabella completed 18-of-30 passes for 158 yards with one touchdown and one interception for WLU (2-5, 2-5). Lukas O’Connor completed 7-of-10 passes for 51 yards and was picked once. Ian Kelly hauled in 12 passes for 87 yards and a TD. Jeremiah Ortiz carried the load on defense with 25 carries for 72 yards.

Cliff Clark had 12 tackles in the game for the Hilltoppers. Logan Deri was in on 10 stops for WLU.


West Virginia Wesleyan 10, UVa-Wise 7

West Virginia Wesleyan came out on top of a low scoring affair in a 10-7 win against UVa-Wise at Cebe Ross Field.

The Bobcats grabbed a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter.  Tyler Fischer hit a 36-yard field goal with 11:09 on the clock and Aman Speed Jr. recovered a fumble and ran it back 41-yards with 1:53 left in the quarter to give West Virginia Wesleyan the momentum early in the contest.   

The Cavaliers got on the board with 13:31 left in the game after Von Purvis’ eight-yard touchdown run.  The score capped an eight-play, 50-yard drive.  West Virginia Wesleyan held UVa-Wise scoreless for the remainder of the contest and managed to run down the clock to earn the win.

UVa-Wise (4-3, 4-3) totaled 306 offensive yards with West Virginia Wesleyan (3-4, 3-3) piling up 275 over the course of the contest.  Brycen Lee completed 14 of 34 pass attempts for 133 yards and Jarome Johnson added one 18-yard pass, contributing to 151 yards in the air on the day for the Cavaliers.

Purvis tallied 54 yards on 14 carries with the lone score of the day for UVa-Wise.  Jarome Johnson added four carries for 36 yards.  Jacob Cousins tallied four receptions for 62 yards on the afternoon while Kaian Duverger followed with three catches for 30 yards.

Luke Casey completed 14 of 27 pass attempts for 146 yards for the Bobcats.  He found Kenny Lewis Jr. seven times for 71 yards and Jerel English five times for 42 yards.  Dante Satcher picked up 70 yards on 11 carries with English adding 34 yards on five carries.

Defensively, Kwadwo Diawuo notched seven tackles for UVa-Wise with Chris White adding six stops, four tackles for loss (16 yards) and one sack.

Keith Johnson paced West Virginia Wesleyan with five solo tackles, a pass breakup and an interception.  Speed Jr. recovered two fumbles for 41 yards and one score and tallied two sacks on the afternoon. 


West Virginia St. 47, Concord 29

West Virginia State grabbed the momentum early and never looked back on its way to a 47-29 win over Concord on Saturday.  The Yellow Jackets piled up 513 offensive yards in the win while holding the Mountain Lions to 308 on the day.

West Virginia State (4-3, 3-3)  took a 33-7 lead into the halftime break, gaining an early advantage.  Concord (1-6, 1-6)  outscored the Yellow Jackets in the second half, but was unable to overcome the early deficit.

Matt Kinnick connected with Tyrell Henderson on a 61-yard touchdown pass in the Yellow Jackets’ opening drive before propelling West Virginia State to a 14-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.  He completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for 231 yards with one touchdown in the win while Austin Hensley completed one 27-yard pass to Kinnick for a score.

Quinton Gray notched eight receptions for 77 yards with Tyrell Henderson adding three catches for 87 yards with one score.  AJ Barrette tallied six grabs for 56 yards.  Juawan Etheredge picked up 100 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns while Dionta Brown racked up 88 yards on 19 carries with two scores.

Adam Fulton threw for 193 yards with three touchdowns for Concord.  He completed 16 of 27 pass attempts and connected with seven different receivers in the setback. He found Tywan Pearce five times for 44 yards and Brandon Plyler three times for 12 yards.  Both hauled in touchdown passes.  Camari Murray recorded one reception for a score on a 39-yard pass.

Jamal Petty paced the Mountain Lions on the ground with 85 yards on 13 carries.

Dominic Wilson and Zach Malone each picked up a game-high eight tackles for Concord.  Darius Goode led the Bobcats with seven stops on the afternoon.


►  College Football Rankings - Associated Press Top 25

1. Alabama
2. Penn State
3. Georgia
4. TCU
5. Wisconsin
6. Ohio State
7. Clemson
8. Miami (Fla.)
9. Oklahoma
10. Oklahoma State
11. Southern California
12. Washington
13. Notre Dame
14. Virginia Tech
15. Washington State
16. NC State
16. South Florida
18. Michigan State
19. Michigan
20. UCF
21. Auburn
22. Stanford
23. West Virginia
24. LSU
25. Memphis


►  College Football Rankings - Coaches Poll

1. Alabama
2. Penn State
3. Georgia
4. TCU
5. Wisconsin
6. Ohio State
7. Miami (Fla.)
8. Clemson
9. Oklahoma
10. Southern California
11. Oklahoma State
12. Washington
13. South Florida
14. Virginia Tech
15. Michigan
16. Notre Dame
17. NC State
18. Washington State
19. Michigan State
20. UCF
21. Auburn
22. Stanford
23. West Virginia
24. Texas A&M
25. LSU

2017: Area High School Football Scoreboard: Week 8

The Gilmer Free Press

Area High School Football Scoreboard
2017: Week 8 Games
Gilmer County (1-6) 26 #15 Braxton County (5-2) 35
Calhoun County (0-8) 14 Grafton (3-4) 14
#11 Lincoln (5-2) 43 #13 Doddridge County (6-2) 20
Roane County (0-7) 30 #11 Ravenswood (4-3) 3
#10 Sherman (5-2) 7 Magnolia (2-6) 6
#2 South Harrison (7-0) 50 #3 St. Marys (6-0) 35
Parkersburg Catholic (0-6) 28 #7 Webster County (6-1) 25
Notre Dame (2-6) 32 Ritchie County (2-6) 12
Greenbrier West (0-8) 19 #11 Clay-Battelle (5-2) 7
Richwood (4-3) 26 #9 Cameron (6-1) 36
Meadow Bridge (0-7) 8 Frontier, OH 14
Summers County (4-3) 36 #15 Valley (Wetzel) (5-2) 37
Williamstown (4-4) 46 Paden City (2-5) 26
Wirt County (3-4) 8 Hannan (2-5) 0
East Fairmont (0-7) 0 Tolsia (2-6) 14
#4 Liberty Harrison (7-0) 49 Tyler Consolidated (4-3) 48
#5 Bridgeport (7-1) 21 Clay County (5-2) 24
Elkins (3-4) 3 Lincoln County (3-4) 18
Lewis County (2-6) 20 Nicholas County (5-2) 28
#12 North Marion (4-3) 44 Westside (4-3) 14
#2 University (8-0) 42 #9 Parkersburg (4-4) 35
#16 Buckhannon-Upshur (3-4) 3 #15 Cabell Midland (4-3) 63
BYE WEEK:  Parkersburg South, Philip Barbour, Robert C. Byrd

MEC Week 7 Football Notebook & Matchups

The Free Press WV

The seventh week of the season opens on Thursday night as the second-ranked Shepherd Rams take on Fairmont State at Duvall-Rosier Field in Fairmont, WV

Fans can watch the game live in high definition online at WVMetroNews.com/channel or listen across the region on MetroNews affiliate stations. Fans can watch the game live on MountainEast.tv, or on the MEC Digital Network Channel on OTT devices (Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android TV).

The Rams bring their high-powered offense against one of the league’s top defensive units in Fairmont State. Shepherd is second in the country averaging 50.5 points per game and has not scored fewer than 42 in any contest. Quarterback Connor Jessop has thrown at least three touchdown passes in all five games this season, and his 20 TDs are third in Division II.

Fairmont State (4-2) is looking to bounce back after a tough 19-14 loss at Notre Dame last week. The Falcons lead the league in scoring defense allowing just 15.8 points per game, and have 18 takeaways this year with 12 coming on interceptions. FSU has been in several tight games this year with four of its six games decided by less than a touchdown. The Falcons are 2-2 in those games.


Saturday Slate

West Virginia State (3-3) returns to action after a non-conference win over Kentucky State to take on Concord (1-5). The Yellow Jackets are averaging 36.7 points per game, while Concord is coming off its highest point total of the season last week (28 vs. Glenville State).

UVa-Wise (4-2) is looking for its first-ever win at West Virginia Wesleyan (2-4) on Saturday. The Cavs used several big plays to pile up 51 points last week—the most under second-year head coach Dane Damron. WVWC, meanwhile, has managed just 37 total points in its last four games.

Notre Dame (5-1) will try to push its winning streak to six games against in-state rival Urbana (3-3). The Falcons lead the MEC with 267 yards per game and 17 touchdowns on the ground. The Blue Knights defense is allowing just 117 rushing yards per game, and leads the league in sacks (24) and is seventh in the country in tackles for a loss per game (9.8).

West Liberty (2-4) will try to snap its three-game losing streak at home against Glenville State (2-4). After scoring 24 points in the first week of the season, WLU has been held to fewer than 19 points in each of the last five. The Pioneers are averaging 32.7 points per game, but the opposition is averaging 37.0 points so far this season.


Notebook

* The MEC continues to treat fans to close games on a weekly basis. In the first six weeks of the season, 37 percent (13-of-35) of the games have been decided by a touchdown or less and 49 percent (17-of-35) have been decided by 10 points or less.

* There were several big plays last week in MEC action. Glenville State’s Austin Ratliff had the longest rush from scrimmage this season with a 94-yard touchdown (second-longest rush in NCAA D2 this season), and Trevon Saunders (UU) had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and Marquis Hamilton (WISE) added a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the same game.

* Seven players have two interceptions in a game this season in the MEC. Three different players from Fairmont State have two picks in a game this year.

* There have been nine 300-yard passing games this season. Shepherd’s Connor Jessop (4) and West Virginia State’s Matt Kinnick (3) own seven of those nine games.


Thursday, October 12 #2 Shepherd (5-0, 5-0) at Fairmont State (4-2, 4-1) | 7 PM | Duvall-Rosier Field (Fairmont, WV)

Notes: Shepherd has won 18 of the last 21 against Fairmont State ... SU’s only losses in that span have come at home ... the Falcons have not defeated Shepherd at Duvall-Rosier Field since 1995 ... Shepherd is averaging over 50 points per game ... FSU has allowed just 51 points total in the last four games ... SU QB Connor Jessop is ranked top 10 in the country in eight different offensive categories ... Jabre Lolley has at least one rushing touchdown in every game this season ... FSU has allowed just three rushing TDs all season ... the Fighting Falcons are averaging 34.5 points in their last two games at home ... FSU does not have a 100-yard rusher yet this season.


Saturday, October 14 Notre Dame (5-1, 5-1) at Urbana (3-3, 3-2) | 1 PM | UU Stadium (Urbana, Ohio)

Notes: Notre Dame is in the midst of a six-game winning streak ... NDC was held to its lowest point total last week, but still managed a victory ... NDC had a 15 minute advantage in time of possession last week ... Malik Grove was sacked a season-high five times last week ... NDC is averaging 49 rushing attempts per game ... Urbana is outscoring opponents 44-17 in the second quarter ... Tajuan Green accounted for five touchdowns last week with four through the air and one on the ground ... UU is allowing 34.0 points in its three losses, and just 12.6 in its three wins ... Urbana leads the league in net punting (39.3) and second in punt return average (18.4).
 

UVa-Wise (4-2, 4-2) at West Virginia Wesleyan (2-4, 2-3) | 1 PM | Cebe Ross Field (Buckhannon, WV)

Notes: The Cavaliers rushed for a season-high 206 yards last week against Urbana ... UVa-Wise has turned the ball over 10 times in the last two games and are -4 in turnover margin this season ... the Cavs are averaging 39.3 points in their four wins and 3.0 points in their two losses ... WVWC has not thrown for more than 200 yards in any game this season ... the Bobcats are 0-3 when having less time of possession than their opponent ... Wesleyan was held to a season-low 38 yards rushing last week (on 27 carries) and is averaging 1.9 yards per carry in the last two games ... standout specialist JuJuan Linzy missed last week’s game due to injury.


Glenville State (2-4, 1-4) at West Liberty (2-4, 2-4) | 1 PM | West Family Stadium (West Liberty, WV)

Notes: After 39 points total in the first two games, the GSC offense is averaging 39.3 in its last four ... Jaylen McNair has thrown 13 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions this season ... the Pioneers have had a 100-yard rusher in each of the last three games ... GSC has come up with just one sack in the last two games ... the West Liberty offense has been held to 19 or fewer points in each of the last five games ... the Hilltoppers have lost the time of possession battle in five of six games this season ... WLU is 2-0 when it has fewer turnovers than its opponents ... Cliff Clark is fourth in the league in tackles (9.3) ... West Liberty is 11-of-20 in the red zone this year.


West Virginia State (3-3, 2-3) at Concord (1-5, 1-5) | 1 PM | Callaghan Stadium (Athens, WV)

Notes: The winner of this game has scored more than 50 points in each of the last three meetings ... WVSU has rushed for over 200 yards in three games this year ... the Yellow Jackets are 2-1 in those games ... West Virginia State has not allowed a sack in the last two games ... WVSU has come away with points in all 23 of its attempts in the red zone this year ... Concord is second in the MEC in turnover margin at +4 ... CU is the least penalized team in the league at 6.3 per game (56.8 yards per game) ... Garrett Lee leads the league in punting at 45.7 yards per punt ... CU has two players ranked in the top 10 in the league in tackles in Zach Malone (5th, 9.0 per game) and Dominic Wilson (7th, 8.0 per game). 

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  NFL Power Rankings: It’s Chiefs and then Packers . . . and then what?

Each week, national NFL writer Mark Maske will provide his ranking of the league’s 32 teams. This week, Kansas City holds on to the top spot after maintaining the league’s only unbeaten mark with a convincing Sunday night win over the Texans in Houston. Nipping at the Chiefs’ heels are the Green Bay Packers, who broke more Dallas Cowboys hearts thanks to another sensational last-minute comeback authored by Aaron Rodgers. Things get a little muddy thereafter, with plenty of solid squads filling out the top 10.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) / Last Week’s Rank: 1

The Chiefs are quite simply the league’s best team. The offense has been next to unstoppable while the defense has been more than adequate, even if it permitted Deshaun Watson to post some impressive numbers Sunday night. Get used to the idea of Alex Smith as an MVP candidate. Does Smith’s excellence this season complicate the Chiefs’ long-term plan to move on to Patrick Mahomes at QB? That’s an issue for another day.

2. Green Bay Packers (4-1) / Last Week’s Rank: 2

Aaron Rodgers did it to the Cowboys again. Was there any doubt when he took the field Sunday for that final drive that he would guide the Packers to at least a tying FG attempt? He and the Packers got the winning TD, however, and they continue to pile up victories as some of their injured offensive contributors begin to return. Rookie RB Aaron Jones looks capable of helping out considerably.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) / Last Week’s Rank: 5

The toughest part of the Eagles’ schedule is still to come. That is undeniable, and it begins with Thursday night’s game at Carolina. But win or lose against the Panthers, the Eagles have shown enough to prove they should have staying power. Carson Wentz is legitimate, making the Eagles a factor in the division chase all season.

4. Denver Broncos (3-1) / Last Week’s Rank: 4

The Broncos return from the bye with a favorable matchup Sunday night against the Giants, who are winless and basically out of wide receivers. If they can beat the Giants and then the one-win Chargers, the Broncos would take a 5-1 record into an October 30 showdown with the Chiefs in Kansas City on “Monday Night Football.“

5. Carolina Panthers (4-1) / Last Week’s Rank: 8

QB Cam Newton has completed 48 of 62 passes for 671 yards with six TDs and one interception in his past two games. His return from shoulder surgery was gradual but now he has emerged as an accurate pocket passer who clearly has changed his game, with a relatively modest 90 rushing yards this season. Newton was criticized last week, and rightfully so, after his sexist remark for which he later apologized. But things are going extremely well on the field, and if this continues he will be an MVP candidate again and the Panthers will be Super Bowl contenders once more.

6. New England Patriots (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 9

The defense was better, but still far from perfect in Thursday night’s win at Tampa. The offense struggled without TE Rob Gronkowski, managing only one TD. The Patriots prevailed only because of three missed FGs by now-former Bucs kicker Nick Folk and Jameis Winston’s last-second incompletion at the goal line. But there’s no sense worrying about lost style points, and now the Patriots have a chance to get a winning streak going when they visit the Meadowlands on Sunday to face the Jets.

7. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 13

It could have been a passing-of-the-torch day in the NFC West. Instead, the Seahawks beat the Rams in L.A. in a game with unusual significance for early October. The Seahawks remain the team to beat in the division, and the future perhaps is not quite now for the Rams.

8. Atlanta Falcons (3-1) / Last Week’s Rank: 11

The Falcons return from their bye with, they hope, WR Julio Jones ready to play Sunday without missing any games due to his hip injury. The playing status of pass rusher Vic Beasley, out since Week 2 because of a hamstring injury, is to be determined as the week progresses.

9. Detroit Lions (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 6

The Lions are good but perhaps not quite good enough to match up with the NFC’s best teams, as narrow losses to the Falcons and Panthers demonstrate. Now QB Matthew Stafford is dealing with hamstring and ankle injuries heading into Sunday’s game at New Orleans.

10. Los Angeles Rams (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 7

The Rams had their chances against the Seahawks but couldn’t deliver. They’ve still become competitive ahead of schedule. Overtaking the Seahawks so soon was a lofty ambition.

11. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 24

The Ravens ran into the Raiders at a good time, with Derek Carr sidelined. Still, it badly needed a solid performance after lopsided losses to the Jaguars and Steelers.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 22

The good version of the Jaguars showed up Sunday in Pittsburgh. They can’t actually play well two weekends in a row, can they?

13. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 25

The 0-3 start has been followed by wins over the Browns and Bills, so the Bengals can rest a little easier on their bye week. All is not well yet. But their season at least has possibilities again.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 3

That unraveled quickly, didn’t it? The Steelers went from celebrating a big win in Baltimore with a breakout performance by RB Le’Veon Bell to lamenting a lopsided defeat to the Jaguars with QB Ben Roethlisberger throwing five interceptions and then questioning whether he still has it. Is Roethlisberger done? Probably not. But it’s never a good sign for a player to be even wondering that.

15. Buffalo Bills (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 10

No, the Bills are not for real, at least not in terms of being an honest-to-goodness contender. Their loss to the Bengals demonstrated that pretty clearly. The offense simply isn’t good enough. But that doesn’t diminish the very good job being done by their first-year coach, Sean McDermott, in simply having them competitive and above .500.

16. Minnesota Vikings (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 17

Sam Bradford quite simply should not have been on the field Monday night. His knee clearly was not ready for him to return to the lineup. Case Keenum should have gotten the start. The in-game switch to Keenum was the obvious move and it resulted in the Vikings’ victory over the Bears.

17. Washington Redskins (2-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 16

The Redskins return from their bye week feeling relatively good, and rightfully so, about how they’ve played. They appear to be the main challenger to the Eagles in the NFC East. Who would have predicted that two-team race? The Redskins have the winless Niners coming to FedEx Field this weekend but cannot afford to be complacent, particularly with CB Josh Norman out of the lineup. His absence will be felt.

18. New York Jets (3-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 19

The Jets are competent, but don’t get carried away. A win over the Browns means next to nothing. And there could be a reality check when the Patriots show up across the field Sunday at the Meadowlands.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 12

Maybe it’s time to do something dramatic, such as use a second-round draft pick on a kicker. In the meantime, Patrick Murray takes over for Nick Folk and tries to bring some stability to what is beginning to seem like a cursed position for this organization.

20. Houston Texans (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 14

Rookie QB Deshaun Watson continues to dazzle, but the Houston defense simply had no answers for the Chiefs. The Texans led the league in total defense last season even without J.J. Watt, but now that defense is in disarray and is without Watt again. Watt pushed his body to the brink for so long while becoming a three-time NFL defensive player of the year. But that approach clearly took its toll, and now it is fair to wonder if Watt’s days of playing at that level are done.

21. Indianapolis Colts (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 27

So much for what could have been a pretty pleasant day for the Colts, with the ceremony honoring Peyton Manning followed by Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning FG in OT against the 49ers. Instead, the day was all about Pence’s early exit.

22. Miami Dolphins (2-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 29

The Dolphins had little time to savor their win over the Titans, needing to deal with that video of offensive line coach Chris Foerster ingesting a powdery substance. Foerster resigned Monday, and the organization must move on from that episode while players come to terms with a new policy requiring them to stand for the national anthem if they’re on the sideline or opt to remain in the locker room or tunnel.

23. New Orleans Saints (2-2) / Last Week’s Rank: 20

The Saints emerge from their bye on a two-game winning streak but with a pair of difficult games, Sunday at home against the Lions and then at Green Bay a week later.

24. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 15

The Cowboys are below .500 and two games behind the Eagles in the NFC East heading into their bye week. They also could lose RB Ezekiel Elliott at any time if a federal appeals court lifts the injunction that is keeping his six-game suspension on hold. This is not at all how things were supposed to be going, is it? In retrospect, the Cowboys needed to take more time off the clock before scoring their late go-ahead TD Sunday – they know as well as anyone by now that you simply cannot give Aaron Rodgers that much time to beat you. He will.

25. Oakland Raiders (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 18

The Raiders say they expect QB Derek Carr to return after missing only one game due to a transverse process fracture in his back. That’s good. They certainly need him. Losing at home to a team that was struggling like the Ravens is not what a top contender should be doing. There is plenty of reason to question if the Raiders are as good as was advertised entering the season.

26. Tennessee Titans (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 21

Good thing the Titans had that rock-solid, no-need-to-do-anything-else backup-QB situation, huh? Otherwise they might have had to make a call to Colin Kaepernick.

27. Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) / Last Week’s Rank: 30

The Chargers went on the road to beat the Giants for their first victory of the season. But after playing in front of opposing teams’ fans at StubHub Center, does it even make a difference where they play?

28. Arizona Cardinals (2-3) / Last Week’s Rank: 23

When the Cardinals are bad, they’re really bad. Their three losses have come by a combined 50 points. And those poor outings are happening far too often these days.

29. Chicago Bears (1-4) / Last Week’s Rank: 28

Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky had some good moments Monday night in his first NFL start. One of them was not the late interception that he threw to set up the Vikings’ winning FG. No one should have expected any miracles right away. This will be a long process with ups and downs. But Trubisky provided enough glimpses of his talent to believe he just might get there eventually.

30. New York Giants (0-5) / Last Week’s Rank: 26

The season is as done as it gets. The Giants are winless. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall are out for the remainder of the season as part of a severe shortage of WRs. It’s amazing that it has come to this. But now thoughts turn to the fallout. Will Coach Ben McAdoo’s job be safe? And would the Giants use a top draft pick on a QB even if Eli Manning isn’t ready to retire? The answers here are yes and maybe.

31. San Francisco 49ers (0-5) / Last Week’s Rank: 31

Politics aside, the Niners lost another game they had a chance to win. They’re not Browns-level bad, based on the eye test. But their record says that they are.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-5) / Last Week’s Rank: 32

Carson Wentz is in Philly. Deshaun Watson is in Houston. And now the Browns are left wondering if Kevin Hogan possibly can be the answer at QB, if indeed they’re ready to be done wondering that about DeShone Kizer. The answer: Probably not. These are, after all, the Browns.


►  MEC: Women’s Tennis: Tadic Named Player Of The Week

West Virginia State’s Nika Tadic has been named Mountain East Conference Player of the Week.

Tadic, a freshman from Split, Croatia, came up with several key victories over the week as the Yellow Jackets won a pair of 5-4 matches and took another step towards a fifth-straight Mountain East Conference regular season title. In the win over Charleston, she teamed with Kayla McKnight to win a narrow 9-7 decision at No. 3 doubles, and later picked up a win at No. 6 singles. Against West Liberty, she moved up to No. 5 singles and rallied from a set down to win her mach against the Hilltoppers. She closed out the week with a win at No. 5 singles against Notre Dame College.


►  MEC: Concord Sweeps Cross Country Honors

Concord’s Justin Snyder and teammate Sydney Haynes have earned Mountain East Conference Runner of the Week honors for their efforts on the cross country course last week.

Snyder, a senior from Princeton, WV, earns the honor for the third time this season after his first place finish at the Concord Alumni Invitational. He covered the 8,000-meter course with a time of 26:52 to claim his second individual victory of the season.

Haynes, a freshman from Cana, Va., also had a first place finish at the Concord Invitational. She stopped the clock with a time of 19:29 on the 5,000-meter course.


►  MEC: Hill Earns Volleyball Honor

Shepherd’s Cambriea Hill has been named Mountain East Conference Player of the Week after for her efforts last week.
Hill, a sophomore from Columbia, Md., led the Rams to a 3-0 record in conference play last week. She opened the week with 18 kills, 21 digs and four aces in a five-set win over Fairmont State. After recording 15 kills in a win over Notre Dame, she tallied 16 kills and 10 digs in the victory against Urbana. She averaged 4.1 kills per set and 2.9 digs per set.


►  ESPN suspends Jemele Hill after tweet about Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

ESPN suspended “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill for two weeks on Monday, the network announced, after Hill violated the company’s social media guidelines over the weekend. Hill suggested NFL fans boycott vendors and advertisers associated with the Dallas Cowboys after franchise owner Jerry Jones told players they’d be benched if they demonstrated during the national anthem.

Hill had previously run afoul of network executives in September after she tweeted Donald Trump was a “white supremacist.“ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the remarks “a fireable offense” days later during a press briefing.

ESPN at the time warned Hill her remarks were in violation of the company’s policy, but declined to punish her after other anchors threatened not to appear on “SportsCenter” without her. Hill hosts the 6 p.m. hour of the show with Michael Smith.

Over the weekend, Hill made her boycott suggestion on Twitter:

“This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.“

- Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 09, 2017

“Or, how about not patronizing the advertisers who support the Cowboys? You can watch and do that, right?“

- Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 09, 2017

ESPN’s statement called Hill’s previous tweet, presumably about Trump, “impulsive” and said her subsequent apology for it acknowledged she was “letting her colleagues and the company down.“

The network in September claimed Hill’s tweets appeared as though she was speaking on behalf of ESPN. But Hill stood by her tweets, which included one that read, “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.“

She said in statement afterward that she regretted her words “painted ESPN in an unfair light.“

Trump demanded an apology from ESPN for what he called “untruths.“

His administration has also taken the NFL on as players have demonstrated during the national anthem in recent weeks. On Sunday, Mike Pence attended an Indianapolis Colts game, but left after “The Star-Spangled Banner” when players from the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem.

Hill joined ESPN in 2006 as a national columnist and made television appearances on “SportsCenter,“ “First Take,“ “Around the Horn” and “Outside the Lines.“ She has been active covering the intersection of sports and race for ESPN. She hosted a town hall meeting with then-President Barack Obama in July 2016 about race relations, policing and racial equality.

She began hosting her own hour of “SportsCenter” in February.

ESPN has a history of harsh punishments for staffers who cross the NFL. The network suspended then fired columnist and TV personality Bill Simmons in 2017 after intense criticism of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

2017 WVSSAC Football Ranking: Week 8

The Free Press WV

CLASS AAA 

RankSchoolRatingWonLostScoredAllowedPointsBonus
1HUNTINGTON14.83602021006920
T-2MARTINSBURG13.8670352648116
T-2UNIVERSITY13.86702661648116
4MUSSELMAN12512431115715
T-5CAPITAL9.67422141564810
T-5SPRING VALLEY9.6742179834810
T-7HEDGESVILLE952239150603
T-7HURRICANE9421691523915
9PARKERSBURG8.8342213139458
10MORGANTOWN8.1443146172489
T-11GEORGE WASHINGTON7.7143181122459
T-11JOHN MARSHALL7.7152239134486
13SPRING MILLS7.4343149178484
14SOUTH CHARLESTON7.1733106157367
15CABELL MIDLAND733238196366
16BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR5.8333105146332
17ST. ALBANS5.5734156208336
18WHEELING PARK5.4334215202335
19RIVERSIDE5.1434196196333
20RIPLEY425144192244
21HAMPSHIRE3.6724123221211
22PARKERSBURG SOUTH3.5725117211241
23PRESTON2.171510219194
T-24BROOKE21568172120
T-24PRINCETON2159520193
26WOODROW WILSON1.8616101266121
27GREENBRIER EAST1.7116110217120
28WASHINGTON1.291613332390
29JEFFERSON0066725200

CLASS AA

RankSchoolRatingWonLostScoredAllowedPointsBonus
1BLUEFIELD12.2970310887214
2MINGO CENTRAL12603311075418
3FAIRMONT SENIOR10.86612461095422
4LIBERTY (Harrison)10.83602461345114
5BRIDGEPORT10.43612231096013
6JAMES MONROE10612441095713
7KEYSER9.8351201103518
8SISSONVILLE951166156459
9WAYNE8.67512231044210
10POINT PLEASANT8.29522401224513
11LINCOLN7.8342203156398
T-12NORTH MARION7.3342206143395
T-12WINFIELD7.3342257117368
14PIKEVIEW7.14522041073911
15BRAXTON COUNTY742144121366
16OAK HILL6.8652179129399
17CHAPMANVILLE6.8342164157365
18PHILIP BARBOUR6.4352201140396
19WESTSIDE6.334212997335
T-20ROBERT C. BYRD6.2943213190368
T-20WEIR6.2943248122395
22NICHOLAS COUNTY64219292333
23CLAY COUNTY5.3342145100302
24ELKINS5.1733129139274
25INDEPENDENCE4.573495108248
26GRAFTON4.3333129137242
27SHADY SPRING3.672498112184
28BERKELEY SPRINGS3.3324126212182
T-29RIVER VIEW3.1724102154154
T-29SCOTT3.1724179184154
T-31NITRO32594213183
T-31OAK GLEN324101228180
T-31PETERSBURG324143207153
34LOGAN2.8625144261182
35POCA2.5725145254153
T-36LEWIS COUNTY1.7116110198120
T-36WYOMING EAST1.71168825093
38MAN1.67157413191
39HERBERT HOOVER1.57168221992
40FRANKFORT0.861617625460
T-41EAST FAIRMONT0065817900
T-41LIBERTY (Raleigh)0065723400
T-41ROANE COUNTY0067419700
**NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PLAYOFFS (Not enough games vs. AA or higher opponents)
XLINCOLN COUNTYN/A3386101243

CLASS A

RankSchoolRatingWonLostScoredAllowedPointsBonus
1EAST HARDY970260794815
2SOUTH HARRISON8.8360271433617
3ST. MARYS8.850251503311
4MADONNA860202383612
5MIDLAND TRAIL7.867027377487
6FAYETTEVILLE7.55172122369
T-7TUG VALLEY6.835168643011
T-7WEBSTER COUNTY6.8351971293011
9CAMERON6.17526672307
10SHERMAN5.83519032305
T-11CLAY-BATTELLE5.67523198304
T-11RAVENSWOOD5.67421511302410
T-13DODDRIDGE COUNTY5.145227567306
T-13MOUNT VIEW5.1443208229306
15VALLEY (Wetzel)54278110246
16POCAHONTAS COUNTY4.8652183130304
T-17SUMMERS COUNTY4.6733164147217
T-17WHEELING CENTRAL4.67331181421810
19RICHWOOD4.3333194142188
20TYLER CONSOLIDATED4.1733227147187
21VAN434156173217
22WILLIAMSTOWN3.7134231202188
23MONTCALM3.6733110138184
24WIRT COUNTY333142180
T-25TOLSIA2.4325133219125
T-25VALLEY (Fayette)2.4325103204152
T-27MAGNOLIA2.1425182193123
T-27WAHAMA2.1425134175123
29HANNAN22494120
30TUCKER COUNTY1.862594220121
31RITCHIE COUNTY1.712590230120
T-32PENDLETON COUNTY1.171515222761
T-32TYGARTS VALLEY1.17158422361
T-34BUFFALO1153418260
T-34NOTRE DAME11616332861
T-34PADEN CITY11510323160
T-37CALHOUN COUNTY0073634700
T-37GILMER COUNTY0066025800
T-37GREENBRIER WEST0078822700
T-37HUNDRED0063625700
T-37MEADOW BRIDGE0063420900
T-37MOOREFIELD0062021900
T-37PARKERSBURG CATHOLIC0053019100

Sports News

The Free Press WV

►  College Football Rankings - Associated Press Top 25

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Penn State
4. Georgia
5. Washington
6. TCU
7. Wisconsin
8. Washington State
9. Ohio State
10. Auburn
11. Miami (Fla.)
12. Oklahoma
13. Southern California
14. Oklahoma State
15. Virginia Tech
16. Notre Dame
17. Michigan
18. South Florida
19. San Diego State
20. NC State
21. Michigan State
22. UCF
23. Stanford
24. Texas Tech
25. Navy


►  College Football Rankings - Coaches Poll

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Penn State
4. Washington
5. Georgia
6. Wisconsin
7. TCU
8. Ohio State
9. Washington State
10. Miami (Fla.)
11. Auburn
12. Oklahoma
13. Southern California
14. Oklahoma State
15. South Florida
16. Michigan
17. Virginia Tech
18. San Diego State
19. Notre Dame
20. NC State
21. UCF
22. Michigan State
23. Utah
24. Navy
25. Stanford

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