By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
The West Liberty football team will be back in action this Saturday against Concord University at West Family Stadium, for a scheduled 1 p.m. kickoff. West Liberty and Concord come into the game with identical 2-6 records and the Hilltoppers are currently on a five game losing streak that they will be looking to snap. This is the longest losing streak that the Toppers have been on since the 2013 season. West Liberty is 2-5 against the Mountain Lions since the 2010 season, with the last win coming in the 2015 season.
When these teams faced off last season on opening day in Athens, W.Va., the Hilltoppers fell in a tightly contested game by a score of 25-32. The offense rushed for 163 yards and quarterback Dakota Conwell led the passing attack with 254 yards and three touchdowns. The defense gave up 411 yards of total offense, so this year they will try to cut that number down so that the offense can be on the field and put up a bigger number on the scoreboard.
Last weekend, West Liberty traveled to West Virginia State University and took home the hard luck loss in an overtime thriller by a score of 33-39. West Liberty led for almost the entire second half, but a late comeback by the Yellow Jackets tied it up with under a minute left, which sent the game into overtime.
The Hilltoppers were unable to score a touchdown in overtime and their one scoring chance was a short field goal attempt, but it missed wide right. On the very next play, the Yellow Jackets found the end zone on a 25-yard run to win the game.
Concord had a losing streak of their own going into last weekend, as it was up to four games and they hosted UNC-Pembroke. They were able to come away with a big 31-22 victory. Concord had 279 yards of total offense but their defense gave up 454 and they were still able to get the win at home.
West Liberty and Concord will both be fighting for wins this weekend to turn around their seasons late in the year with three games left.
The football team has certainly struggled this season, but if they win out, they will beat last season’s win total, which would be a step in the right direction.
Junior quarterback Lukas O’Connor has gotten the start for the Hilltoppers the past two weeks, and he has shown signs of progression with more experience and he will be looking to stop the streak for West Liberty.
Photo credit: Savanna Sieger