By Logan Arneson, Contributing Writer
The Hilltoppers’ football team has started off their season with one win and one loss. Losing 34-0 on the road against West Virginia Wesleyan was a setback for the Hilltoppers. Putting themselves in a deep hole in the first quarter, the Hilltoppers went down 0-20 with Wesleyan scoring three touchdowns. One of the touchdowns was an impressive blocked punt, which was recovered by Anthony Robinson in the end zone.
Continuing the bad streak, the Hilltoppers fumbled the ball in the third quarter, which was recovered by Wesleyan defensiveman Brandon Grayson for a 40-yard touchdown.Not finished yet, Wesleyan quarterback, Ryan Deal, connected with receiver Kenny Lewis, Jr. for a 27-yard touchdown.
Even with this brutal defeat, the Hilltoppers are looking to quickly recover tonight at home against Charelston. Last year when these two teams faced off, the Hilltoppers came out on top with a crushing 40-23 victory.
Although starting off the game from behind 3-9 at the end of the first quarter, they quickly came back with two more touchdowns, ending the half 20-16. One of the Hilltoppers’ drives consisted of a clock eating 5:57, 13-play drive, which resulted with a 10-yard touchdown pass thrown by Dakota Conwell to Dan Monteroso. The other scoring drive went for 71 yards in only two plays; this quick possession ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Conwell.
Moving into the second half, there was not much action at first, until the Hilltoppers’ kicker split the uprights with a 38-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Starting off the fourth quarter strong, the Hilltoppers’ running back, Tyler Peterson, ran for a 21-yard touchdown, sending West Liberty up 30-23. Not affected by the score, Charleston quickly got back on the scoreboard with a 77-yard touchdown pass caught by Joey Augustin thrown by Anthony Fontana. After a few minutes the Hilltoppers’ kicker, Christian Morris, made another field goal from 22 yards out. Deciding to finish the game on a dominating note, Peterson ran in yet again another touchdown, finishing the game 40-23 with a win for the Hilltoppers.
Last year’s victory over the Golden Eagles was the Hilltoppers’ first win over Charleston since the 2010 season. So this year, West Liberty will try to start a streak of their own against a very tough conference opponent.
Using last year’s game against Charleston and last weekend’s game against West Virginia Wesleyan, the Hilltoppers will being using that motivation to get back on the right track and move to 2-1 after tonight’s game.
Tonight’s game will start at 7 p.m., at West Family Stadium against the 1-1 Charleston Golden Eagles.
If you’re unable to make it to the game tonight, you can catch all of the action on WL-TV14 or check out the post game recap that will be posted on the Trumpet online following the game. Be sure to grab next week’s Trumpet for more game previews and player profiles.
Photo credit: Savanna Sieger