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Greenbrier County man faces prison time after post office break-ins

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A Greenbrier County man faces five years in federal prison after admitting to breaking into two post offices.

Matthew Riffle

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Matthew Riffle, 29, of Rupert pleaded guilty Friday.

Riffle broke into the Smoot Post Office in Greenbrier County on March 30, 2019 and then the next day, March 31, 2019, he broke into the Springdale Post Office in Fayette County. He tried to go back to Smoot the next day but was unsuccessful. He was arrested on April 2, 2019.

“Riffle not only broke into a post office- he admitted he broke into two,” Stuart said. “The security of our post offices is critical. In a season of massive amounts of ballots being delivered by mail, this case echoes the worries of many in the country as to post office and postal service security. I commend the tremendous work of the U. S. Postal Inspection Service and the Sheriff’s Departments of Greenbrier and Fayette counties.”

Riffle took a postage meter, mail, stamps and some cash.

Riffle will be sentenced Jan. 8, 2021. he faces up to five years in prison, a fine and restitution.

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Prosecutor: Juvenile in custody in connection with Weirton double-murder

WEIRTON, W.Va. — A 13-year-old boy is in juvenile custody in connection with the Thursday shooting deaths of a Weirton woman and her teenage daughter.

Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis

Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis told WTRF-TV Friday the boy was inside the Ardmore Avenue home with Melissa Rowland and her daughter Madison Crowe. Davis would not identify the boy because of his juvenile status. He’s being held at Ronald C. Mulholland Juvenile Center in Wheeling.

Davis said a gun has been recovered which authorities believe was the murder weapon. Both victims died at the scene.

Madison Crowe was a sophomore at Weir High School and a member of the Red Riders’ girls soccer team. School Athletic Director Donna Ferguson told MetroNews Friday she was bright and funny with an infectious laugh.

“Just one of those young ladies, no matter what kind of day she was having, always had a positive attitude, always a smile, and always a laugh,” Ferguson said. “Plus a very fierce competitor on the field.”

Ferguson said the news of the deaths was devastating to many in the community. She said members of the soccer team have already pulled closer together.

“They have very strong leadership within the team with their senior leaders along with their three coaches so I know they’re all going to rally together,” Ferguson said.

Counselors remain available for Weir High students. Some of the students led a vigil Thursday night to remember “Maddy.”

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2019 meeting could offer some clues for WVU & OSU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia and Oklahoma State matched up in the second-to-last regular season game of 2019. They will share the field at Boone Pickens Stadium this afternoon in the second game of the COVID-altered 2020 season.

Coaching staffs and personnel for both teams are largely similar, but with some notable exceptions. Oklahoma State will have some firepower back on their offense that wasn’t on display at Milan Puskar Stadium in OSU’s 20-13 win on Senior Day.

“You go back to last year and (Spencer) Sanders was out. (Tylan) Wallace was out. Some of the stuff matches up and it is redundant,” said WVU defensive line coach Jordan Lesley. “You go back and look at it. Does it match? Some of it, yeah. Some of it, no. It is probably flip a coin, 50-50.”

“Defensively, they were quite a bit different last week (vs. Tulsa). You don’t know why that was,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “Are they going to be different? Or were they just a little bit different last week? You really look at not necessarily the schematics of it, but more the one-on-one matchups — the O-line vs. D-line, the receivers vs. the defensive backs. You go back and see how individual players did. That is kind of the way we have attacked that.

“This is a difficult prep game for us defensively. They do have a new play caller. We are unsure who is going to be quarterback. Now in this game, they do have Tylan Wallace, which is a whole different piece than when we played them last year at the end of the year. Normally it would be a good thing. I am not sure it makes much of a difference this time.”

Oklahoma State Cowboys horse Bullet rides after a touchdown at Boone Pickens Stadium. (Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports)

Pump up the volume (sort of)

Boone Pickens Stadium features a normal seating capacity of 55,509. On Saturday, OSU will welcome approximately 15,000 fans in. It will be the only time the Mountaineers will play in front of a crowd consisting of more than family members until at least October 17. Next Saturday’s home game vs. Baylor is closed to the general public.

“I think our guys will be charged to see some people in the stands and play in front of,” said WVU offensive coordinator Gerad Parker. “You actually have a discussion about noise up there with the size of the stadium and the things they create. I have never had the opportunity to go up there and play. So it is going to be good for our guys to go out there and get in front of some energy. I know it will be a reduced crowd but at the same time, it will be good to see some people up there.”

“It has been a long time so we are happy about that,” said WVU defensive lineman Jeffrey Pooler. “We didn’t have a lot of fans but we had our families so it was a little bit to look forward to last week. Having more around is going to be more of a college football atmosphere.”

Former West Virginia Mountaineers offensive lineman Josh Sills (Photo by William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

Hello, old friend

Josh Sills started 24 games on the WVU offensive line before transferring to Oklahoma State. He was limited to just two games a year ago in an injury-shortened season for the Mountaineers. Sills is slated to start for the Cowboys at left guard today.

“Josh has been really good for us,” said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. “He has come in for us and competed. It took him a while to get back in shape. He was off. Then the virus hit. He went back home and I think hunted for three months and then came back and had to get in shape again. But he has been good for us. He is a good leader. He likes to play football and he is a good person. We are certainly glad he is on our team.”

“We are going to line up and he is going to play offense,” Brown said. “Our defensive guys are going to go out there and play. We wish him the best of luck. I actually don’t want him to have a whole lot of success in this game. But after that, we wish him the best of luck.”

“We came in the same year in the 2016 class,” Pooler said. “So it is going to be fun to play against each other. We’re on different sides of the ball so we had a lot of competition in practice.”

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Roundup: Six teams improve to 4-0, several more remain perfect

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Take a look around the high school football scene in West Virginia in the fourth week of the season.

John Marshall bounces back, blanks Parkersburg South

The Class AAA No. 9 Monarchs responded from their lone loss to date last week against Oak Glen in a big way.

John Marshall forced five turnovers and had two players surpass 100 rushing yards in a 39-0 runaway win over No. 15 Parkersburg South.

In addition to a pair of fumble recoveries, the Monarchs (3-1) picked off Patriots’ quarterback Sam Schuler three times.

Alex Burton and Dalton Flowers each eclipsed 100 rushing yards, while Flowers rushed for three scores and caught a touchdown.

Nate Menendez returned a fumble 72 yards for a score in the win.

The Patriots fell to 1-3 overall.

Parkersburg beats Huntington for third straight win

The Big Reds closed with 11 unanswered points to keep the Highlanders winless and claim a 25-14 victory.

Parkersburg, No. 13 in Class AAA, broke a 14-all tie late in the third quarter when Bryson Singer scored on a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal. Singer’s 47-yard pass to Jordan Martin helped to set up the go-ahead touchdown.

A Carter Mills interception helped set up Casey Stanley’s 29-yard field goal for the game’s final points.

Gavin Lochow threw for 221 yards and found Devin Jackson for a 14-yard touchdown pass in addition to rushing for a score.

Singer rushed for 155 yards on 31 carries, allowing the Big Reds to improve to 3-1.

Liberty Raleigh rolls past Clay County in battle of unbeatens

The Raiders handled the Panthers, 33-0, in a matchup of teams that entered with identical 3-0 records.

Class AA No. 9 Liberty Raleigh got touchdown passes of 37 and 57 yards from Isaac Atkins to Braden Howell.

Liberty’s defense held Panthers’ QB Grant Krajeski to 5-of-21 passing with an interception.

The Raiders also got an 80-yard rushing touchdown from Ryan Simms, who carried 13 times for 139 yards.

Atkins passed for 190 yards and three scores and rushed for 76 yards on 13 attempts.

No. 5 Clay County had allowed only 17 points over its first three games.

Tygarts Valley tops Gilmer County to stay unbeaten

The Class A No. 8 Bulldogs built a 20-7 halftime lead en route to a 44-21 win over the No. 16 Titans.

Tygarts Valley (4-0) eventually upped its advantage to 34-7, before Gilmer (2-2) cut into the deficit.

Bulldogs’ quarterback Josh Bright threw two first-half touchdown passes to Caden Boggs and another in the third quarter to Daniel White. Bright, who finished 11-of-18 passing with 140 yards, also rushed for a score, as did Boggs.

Titan’s QB Ean Hamrick threw for 133 yards and rushed for 110 in defeat.

Quick slants

Greenbrier West marches on

The Cavaliers completed a perfect opening month of the season with a 73-6 win at Webster County. It was West’s first road game of the season. Senior quarterback Kaiden Pack passed for a touchdown, rushed for another score and had a punt return for a touchdown. He also booted 7 PAT’s.

Greenbrier East collects third win

The Spartans outgained Buckhannon-Upshur 570-127 in a 55-10 win in Tennerton. Greenbrier East is now 3-1.

Braxton County is back to .500

After an 0-2 start to the season, the Eagles have won back-to-back games in shutout fashion. After blanking East Fairmont 20-0 last week, the Eagles knocked off Roane County 42-0. Jett Cogar tossed four touchdown passes for Braxton and he passed for 202 yards. Tyler Cox had a pair of receiving touchdowns. He caught three passes for 121 yards.

Shady Spring stops slide

After back-to-back losses, Shady Spring picked up their first win since the season opener in a 13-12 triumph over Pikeview. The Tigers were outgained 278-114 but they intercepted a pair of Pikeview passes in the end zone to preserve the victory.

Wirt pulls away from Tyler Consolidated

The Tigers collected their third victory of the season in resounding fashion, 40-18 over Tyler. Dylan Lowe passed for 149 yards while Garrett Parsons rushed for 208 yards. Ranked No. 6 in this week’s SSAC ratings, the Tigers will host Doddridge County (4-0) in Week 5.

Summers wins third in a row

After a season-opening loss to Greenbrier West, Summers County has won three consecutive games. The Bobcats defeated Ravenswood 27-7. SCHS jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead. Isaiah Castro had a rushing touchdown as the Bobcats ended the game with 293 yards of total offense.

Central grinds out win at Man

In a game that was originally scheduled to be played in Wheeling, Central Catholic won at Man 19-0. Jordan Waterhouse, Riley Watkins and Michael Toepfer each had touchdown runs for the Maroon Knights (2-2).

The game was the season opener for Man. Logan County schools received clearance to play for the first time on Thursday.

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Late field goal lifts Doddridge to 9-8 win over Ritchie in Route 50 rivalry

(Highlights by Teran Malone)

ELLENBORO, W.Va. — Doddridge County extended their winning streak over Ritchie County to seven games with a 9-8 win at Chuck Schofield Stadium.

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Bridgeport too much for Robert C. Byrd, 58-21

— By Ethan Collins

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — In a storied rivalry that formerly pitted a pair of Class AA foes, current Class AAA member Bridgeport rolled by Robert C. Byrd, 58-21, to improve to 3-0 on Friday.

This was a game that was within reach for Robert C Byrd’s (3-1) midway through the third quarter. 

However, the Eagles’ mistakes along with not being able to get touchdowns in the red zone, allowed the Indians to pull away in the fourth quarter. 

The game started with a Bridgeport drive that took about 7 minutes off the clock and ended with a 16-yard touchdown run from Cam Cole. 

The first drive for the Eagles resulted in a Jeremiah King fumble and Bridgeport took over in opposition territory to start its next drive. 

From there, Cole ran 21 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The second drive by the Eagles ended in a three and out, but Bridgeport muffed a punt, allowing RCB to have good field position. The Eagles took advantage and got their first points on King’s 5-yard touchdown run.

Bridgeport went back ahead by two scores at 21-7 following a 15-yard TD run by Trent Haines. 

The Eagles started on their own 7-yard line, passed on every play and topped it off with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Xavier Lopez to senior Nicholas Edwards to make it 21-14 with just under 3 minutes left to go in the half. 

The ndians made the best use of the time remaining, and on his first carry, senior Hayden Moore went 32 yards for the touchdown to put it back to a two score game. 

Down two touchdowns, the Eagles couldn’t do anything with the ball on their first possession in the second half. The Eagles gambled on fourth-and-goal and failed to convert, and Bridgeport went all the way down the field and Cole got his third and final touchdown of the night to have the Indians lead 35-14. 

The Eagles had one last good drive despite having to risk it again, going for it on fourth-and-goal and punched in a 1-yard score by John Crites to put it back to a two-score game at 35-21.

In the fourth it was all Bridgeport, and it started with a misdirection to perfection on a 53-yard touchdown run by senior JT Muller to make it 42-21. Then, Lopez was sacked for a safety. Moore and sophomore Camden Hess accounted for the final two touchdowns. 

Bridgeport had 531 total yards, all on the ground. Cole led the way with 21 carries for 230 yards and two touchdowns. Muller had six carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Moore finished with seven carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. 

The Eagles had 406 total yards: Ninety-eight yards rushing and 308 passing. Crites led the way rushing with eight carries for 45 yards and a touchdown. Senior Makia Payne had three rushes for 44 yards. King had only 9 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Lopez went 26-for-38 with 308 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Leading the way in receiving yards was senior Bryson Lucas who had six catches for 75 yards. Junior Nathaniel Junkins led in catches with seven for 72 yards, while six receptions for 74 yards.

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Frankfort stays unbeaten, outlasts Spring Mills in OT, 21-20
Spring Mills quarterback Keon Padmore-Johnson looks for running room near the goal line against Frankfort. Photo by Greg Carey/WVMetroNews.com

 

SHORT GAP, W.Va. — It remains to be seen how long Frankfort can maintain its unbeaten season.

On Friday, however, the Class AA No. 3 Falcons recorded their best win of the season to date, making a defensive stand on a two-point conversion attempt in overtime to seal an exhilarating 21-20 victory over Class AAA No. 1 Spring Mills.

“These guys have the ability to be resilient and battle through adversity,” FHS head coach Kevin Whiteman said. “I’m very proud of them.”

Frankfort (4-0) never trailed in the contest at home, though it didn’t preserve the victory until the game’s final play.

After Peyton Clark scored his third touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run to put the Falcons up 21-14 in the extra session, the Cardinals (3-1) answered.

Chase Henson’s 4-yard TD run cut the SMHS deficit to 21-20. The Cardinals then lined up to go for two and the win, before Whiteman elected to call timeout.

Out of the break, Spring Mills quarterback Keon Padmore-Johnson fielded a shotgun snap and appeared as though he wanted to run, but was forced to throw a depseration pass under pressure. Frankfort’s Andrew Westfall knocked it down to seal the verdict.

“I give all the credit to my defensive coaches,” Whiteman said. “I just got in the huddle and said, ‘Give it all you have on one more play and let’s see if we can do this.’ But it was a great team effort. It was a huge win against a AAA team for us.”

SMHS head coach Josh Sims had no regret going for the win despite the play being unsuccessful.

“They were moving it on the ground on us. I was a little concerned with our guys getting a little tired, so at that point you have a chance to win by getting a couple yards and I think you go for it,” Sims said.

Frankfort lost a fumble in the red zone on the game’s opening series, but still managed to lead 7-0 at halftime on the strength of Clark’s 42-yard touchdown run 57 seconds into the second quarter.

The Cardinals were faced with a fourth-and-goal on the Falcons’ 4-yard line late in the second quarter and Padmore-Johnson’s pitch to Henson fell to the grass, resulting in a loss of 13 yards.

But Spring Mills pulled even on the first series of the second half as Henson finished off an eight play, 68-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run at the 8:52 mark of the third quarter.

Westfall answered with a 43-yard kickoff return and five plays later, Falcons’ quarterback Colton McTaggart found a streaking Clark down the seam for a 23-yard touchdown pass, giving FHS the 14-7 advantage with 5:48 to play in the third.

“It seemed like every time we got up tonight, we got hit right back in the mouth,” Sims said. “That’s one of those things where we have to do a better job squeezing down on the kickoff team.“

Padmore-Johnson’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Jacob McCarren allowed Spring Mills to tie it at 14 with 5:19 remaining in regulation.

But Westfall again came up with a long kickoff return, this one 46 yards to position Frankfort at the Cardinals’ 41 with 5:11 left.

The Falcons picked up a first down and got inside the 15, but Jansen Moreland was stopped at the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-1 with 1:18 remaining.

Spring Mills had a 20-plus yard pass play called back on a holding penalty, then failed to complete a long ball that looked promising in the air, helping to send the game into overtime.

The Cardinals had scored 162 total points over their first three games, including at least 52 in each contest.

“People want to bust on (our) Wing-T (offense),” Whiteman said, “but that ball control Wing-T had a big win tonight.”

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Heller’s big night keys Park to convincing victory over Linsly

WHEELING, W.Va. — Beau Heller threw for 355 yards, four touchdowns and ran for another, leading Wheeling Park to a 56-20 win in its first ever meeting with Linsly Friday night at Wheeling Island Stadium.

The Patriots’ speed and athleticism shined on both sides of the ball, scoring early and often in the first half while the defense frustrated Linsly most of the night.

Wheeling Park ran out to a 35-7 lead in the first half, led by quarterback Beau Heller who tossed three touchdowns and ran for another. Heller completed 12-of-18 attempts for 256 yards in the first two quarters as the Patriots built an insurmountable lead.

“I felt like tonight when we stalled, it was us, it was our fault. We’re getting better. We’re getting cleaner from week to week. The kids took care of business tonight,” said Wheeling Park Coach Chris Daugherty.

Heller certainly took care of business, connecting with three different receivers for touchdowns. Sincere Sinclair grabbed a pair of touchdowns, Shaheed Jackson and Caron Namack each hauled in touchdowns.

Heller hit Jackson for a 28-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game. Later in the second quarter, Heller zipped a receiver screen out to Sinclair for a 46-yard touchdown pass giving the Patriots a 14-7 lead.

Caron Namack got into the endzone on the ensuing Wheeling Park drive, working his way back to the ball as Heller scrambled away from pressure. Heller found the wide-open Namack for a 65-yard scoring toss.

Wheeling Park extended its lead to 35-7 with 2:37 to go in the first half on a 3-yard Heller touchdown run, capping off a 10-play, 60 yard drive.

“It’s easy when you have to stop one or two kids. It’s a little different when a defense has to stop five or six kids,” Daugherty said.

While the Patriots offense was able to move the ball at will, Wheeling Park’s defense was equally as dominate. Nate Shelek came up with the first of this two interceptions in the game on Linsly’s second drive. Following the interception, the Patriots’ defense forced five consecutive Linsly punts. Shelek came up with a second pick in the third quarter.

Both of Linlsy’s scores came on big plays, one early in the half, the other later in the second quarter. Cadet Quarterback Hunter Kelley hit Luca DiLorenzo on a 71-yard bomb, which tied the game with 9:30 to go in the first quarter.

Linsly didn’t find the endzone again until less than a minute to go in the half. Again, Kelley was able to hit on a deep pass attempt, finding Kobe Hill for a 52-yard touchdown, cutting the Wheeling Park lead to 35-13 at the half.

Wheeling Park scored three more times in the second half. Heller threw his fourth touchdown of the night to Sinclair, a 65-yard scoring toss. Steven Mitchell scored on a 2-yard touchdown run and backup quarterback Brett Phllips got into the endzone late in the fourth quarter.

Heller finished the day with 355 yards passing, 4 touchdown passes and a rushing score.

Mitchell rushed for 155 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown.

For Linsly, Hunter Kelley threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns.

“I don’t know without COVID if this game would’ve happened but it did happen and it was fun atmosphere. I wish it could have been packed but it is what it is,” Daugherty stated.

Friday’s win over Linsly is the first of four straight home games for Wheeling Park. The Patriots are scheduled to play host to Class AA foe Oak Glen next Friday night at Wheeling Island Stadium.

The Golden Bears are 3-0 and were idle this past week.

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Hall, Miller lead Huskies to 41-20 win over Lincoln

— By Luke Wiggs

RACHEL, W.Va. — North Marion led from start to finish in its 41-20 victory over Lincoln on Friday. 

Huskies’ junior Tariq Miller was the star early, intercepting the first pass attempt from David Tate and returning it for a touchdown.

Miller found the end zone 4 minutes later after hauling in a 75-yard pass from Brody Hall to extend the North Marion (3-1) lead to 14-0.

After Lincoln running back Antwan Hilliard almost single handedly took the Cougars (1-1) down the field, Tate hooked up with junior wideout John Lopez for the first Lincoln score.

With 4 minutes remaining in the first half, Miller was again in the mix on a scoring play as he caught afade from Hall that made it 21-7 Huskies. 

A Zach Snyder touchdown was taken off the scoreboard for Lincoln, allowing North Marion to maintain its 14-point advantage at the half.

The woes continued for the Cougars as they fumbled on the first drive of the second half, leading to the fourth total touchdown — and third receiving score — for Miller from 54 yards out midway through the third quarter.

A Garret Conaway touchdown grab and a Parker Kincell scamper rounded out the scoring for North Marion.

Hilliard’s 1-yard carry for his first TD of the season and a Nick Kellar designed keeper with 1:16 left in the game were the remaining two TDs for Lincoln.

Miller finished the game with 170 yards receiving. Hall was equally as efficient, completing 7-of-10 passed for 247 yards and five touchdowns.

Hilliard led the way for Lincoln, carrying the ball 25 times for 146 yards.

Tate went 11-for-24 with a TD and one interception. 

North Marion edged Lincoln in total yards, 367-334.

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Musselman doubles up Fairmont Senior, 42-21

(Story and highlights by Daniel Woods)

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Musselman senior running back Blake Hartman is not used to being held down by any defense. Fairmont Senior, for one quarter, was the exception to that rule, holding the Lehigh commit to just ten yards in the first 12 minutes.

After that, things got explosive.

Headed into the second quarter and trailing 13-0 after two Gage Michael touchdown passes, Hartman and Applemen quarterback Caleb Hardy dominated the final three frames on the ground.

Combining for 319 rushing yards on the night, including 211 of Hartman’s 221 after the opening quarter, they led the sixth-rated team in class AAA to a 42-21 victory over the Polar Bears.

The game’s opening salvo came in the form of Michael through the air, tossing 14-yard score to Alex Brophy on Senior’s second drive before adding an 11-yard hookup with Kayson Nealy on the third. Meanwhile, the Musselman offense sputtered.

Not recording a first down until the 9:13 mark of the second quarter, things kicked up quickly for the Applemen attack. Just two snaps after that conversion, Hardy took off on the read option keeper, reaching the sideline and bolting 44 yards into the end zone to cut the lead to 13-7.

After a tremendous punt return by Hartman, pushing and shoving after the play led to multiple unsportsmanlike penalties against Musselman and the drive began on the wrong side of the 50 for the visitors.

It mattered very little as another powerful drive was capped off with a 22-yard jaunt into the end zone for Hardy with Luke Barger’s extra point putting MHS ahead for the first time.

The score stayed the same until two minutes into the third when Hartman broke loose for the first time, going 57 yards to the house and extending the lead. A battle of wills ensued with Michael leading his reeling team down the field.

A pass interference penalty in the end zone saved the drive and on fourth and goal, he hit Nealy again before tying the game with another strike to his favorite target. That would be the last points for Fairmont Senior.

Hartman’s bruising running style proved to be too much as the Polar Bear defense wore down. He would add the go-ahead touchdown on the very next drive before taking a punt 60 yards for a touchdown and adding a third on the ground for good measure.

Finishing the night with those 221 on 22 carries and four total touchdowns, he outpaced hos fellow Division I commit in Michael who put up 131 yards and three touchdowns through the air to go with 141 yards on 19 carries.

Hardy added 98 rushing yards and two scores, added impact on defense as well with a pair of interceptions while the Applemen sacked Michael five times on the night.

Musselman improves to 3-1 on the season and expects to play Morgantown next Friday while Fairmont Senior falls to 1-2 and heads to Winfield next week.

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