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Hilltoppers Fall in Offensive Shootout

August 30, 2009
Kevon

West Liberty's Kevon Calhoun (34) breaks into the clear on one of several long runs during Saturday's season opener at Edinboro. Calhoun ran for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 18 carries.

EDINBORO, Pa. – West Liberty tailback Kevon Calhoun rushed for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns while junior quarterback Zach Amedro posted the ninth 300-yard passing game of his career here Saturday afternoon but their efforts weren’t enough to carry the Hilltoppers into victory lane against an NCAA Division II Atlantic Region power.

      Trevor Harris, Edinboro’s All-American quarterback, passed for 423 yards to help the Fighting Scots, ranked No. 21 in the nation, hang on for a 42-30 victory in a mutual opener at Sox Harrison Stadium.

      In a game that saw the teams combine for more than 1,000 yards of total offense, it was defense and special teams that made the difference for the hosts.

      Edinboro defensive back Branden Williams picked off two Amedro passes in the opening quarter, running the second one back 27 yards for the game’s first score. Williams then set up the Fighting Scots’ second touchdown with a 45-yard kickoff return following a field goal by West Liberty’s Mike Blewett early in the second quarter and Edinboro took a 14-9 lead into halftime.

      After Harris opened the third quarter with a long touchdown march, West Liberty tried to answer with a lengthy drive of its own.

      But the Fighting Scots’ defense stuffed the Hilltoppers on four snaps inside the 5 and Harris spent the rest of the third quarter on a clock-eating 95-yard, 11-play touchdown drive that put the hosts on top, 28-9, in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

      The final quarter featured a duel between two of the Atlantic Region’s top gunslingers as Amedro and Harris whipped their offenses up and down the field at a breakneck pace. West Liberty needed just 15 plays to mount three fourth-quarter scoring drives covering 185 yards but Harris led a couple of quick TD drives of his own to keep the visitors at bay and preserve the win.

      Calhoun, a junior tailback who missed last season with a medical redshirt, had the biggest day of his Hilltopper career. He had 18 carries for 153 yards – included TD runs of 2, 4, and 11 yards – and added 35 more yards on 4 catches out of the backfield.

      Amedro completed 21-of-33 passes for 317 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Ryan Travis led all receivers with 8 grabs for 126 yards while All-WVIAC standout Eddie Hills caught 7 balls for 76 yards.

      Wide receiver Willie Walker set up one touchdown with a 44-yard reception and lost another score when he was ruled out of bounds in the corner of the end zone. Fellow wideout Kashif Walls first official West Liberty catch was a 36-yard TD toss from Amedro which wrapped up the scoring with just under 5 minutes remaining.

      Linebacker Clay Beeler led the defense with 12 tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble. Cornerback Derrick Evans snuffed one Edinboro drive with an interception in the end zone while free safety Paul Kallevig ended another long march just before the half with a forced fumble inside the WLU 5.

      Harris went over the 9,000-yard mark for his career by completing 27-of-36 passes for 423 yards and 2 TDs with 1 interception. Harris frustrated the Hilltopper defense time and time again with his ability to extend drives. The Fighting Scots were a combined 10-of-16 on third- and fourth-down conversion opportunities. West Liberty was 1-for-7.

      The Hilltoppers open the home portion of their schedule against Walsh (Ohio) on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Russek Field. 

No. 21 Edinboro 42, West Liberty 30

West Liberty 0  9  0  21 – 30

Edinboro 7  7  7  21 – 42

First Quarter

      Ed-B.Williams 27 interception return (Romanias kick), 5:44

Second Quarter

      WL-FG Blewett 29, 13:26

      Ed-Landis 14 pass from Harris (Romanias kick), 10:43

      WL-Calhoun 4 run (kick blocked), 7:19

Third Quarter

      Ed-DiPaolo 14 pass from Harris (Romanias kick), 10:07

Fourth Quarter

      Ed-Bostic 10 run (Romanias kick), 14:55

      WL-Calhoun 11 run (Blewett kick), 13:13

      Ed-Harris 1 run (Romanias kick), 12:43

      WL-Calhoun 2 run (Blewett kick), 8:52

      Ed-Battles 10 run (Romanias kick), 6;05

      WL-Walls 36 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 4:50

Game Statistics

      RUSHING: West Liberty 27-167; Calhoun 18-153, Hills 3-13, Travis 1-2, Amedro 4-2, Walls 1-(-3). Edinboro 33-106; Bostic 22-67, Harris 6-30, Battles 3-19, Sondag 1-0, DiPaolo 1-(-10).

      PASSING: West Liberty 21-33-317-1td-2x (all by Amedro). Edinboro 27-36-423-2td-1x (all by Harris).

      RECEIVING: West Liberty 21-317; Travis 8-126, Hills 7-76, Calhoun 4-35, Walker 1-44, Walls 1-36. Edinboro 27-423; Nolen 6-99, Jeter 6-85, Bostic 4-49, Brown 4-43, Johnson 2-79, Gossett 2-30, DiPaolo 1-14, Landis 1-14, Marino 1-10.

      First downs: West Liberty 24, Edinboro 25

      Fumbles: West Liberty 2-2, Edinboro 3-2

      Penalties: West Liberty 8-62, Edinboro 8-53

      Time of Possession: West Liberty 25:36, Edinboro 34:24

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