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High-Powered Hilltoppers Hammer Walsh, 48-17

September 6, 2009
buffo tackle

West Liberty linebacker Mike Buffo (2) drops Walsh tailback Clinton Blossomgame (20) for a loss during the first quarter of Saturday's game at West Liberty.

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The West Liberty University football team got back on track in a big way Saturday afternoon, sprinting away to a 48-17 victory against Walsh in the Hilltoppers’ home opener at Russek Field.

   Quarterback Zach Amedro passed for 358 yards and 4 touchdowns, wide receiver Kashif Walls had a game-high 7 catches for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns and tailback Kevon Calhoun posted his second straight 100-yard rushing game as West Liberty (1-1) racked up nearly 400 yards of total offense in the first half alone against the debuting Cavaliers.

   “We have a lot of weapons so we can put a lot of points on the board in a short amount of time if we execute and take care of the ball,” said head coach Roger Waialae. “We didn’t make a lot of mistakes today.”

   Waialae’s high-powered Hilltoppers put the game out of reach in a hurry, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions to grab a 20-0 lead with more than three minutes still showing on the first quarter clock.

   Three more scoring drives followed in the second quarter as West Liberty built an insurmountable 41-3 halftime lead.

   “Zach made some big throws and Kevon had another big day and I was very happy with our receivers,” Waialae said. “Not only did they make some plays on the ball, they had a great game blocking downfield. If your wide receivers block well, that can really open the door for some big plays.”

   Calhoun put West Liberty ahead to stay with an 8-yard touchdown run to cap a 9-play, 74-yard march at 11:34 of the opening quarter.

   The junior tailback notched his second TD of the day on the very next possession, breaking off left tackle and turning the corner behind a crushing block from wide receiver Willie Walker to cruise untouched into the end zone from 30 yards out.

   After another defensive stop, the Hilltopper offense flexed its muscles again, rolling 80 yards in just four plays for a 20-0 lead at 3:03 of the first quarter.

   Long passes to Walker and Eddie Hills quickly moved the ball to the Walsh 38. Wide receiver Ryan Travis then took a handoff from Amedro, rolled to his right and found Walls 15 yards behind the Cavalier secondary for the score.

   Travis added TD catches of 11 and 20 yards from Amedro in the second quarter and Amedro added an 11-yard scoring toss to Walker to put the game on ice before halftime.

   The hosts pushed the lead to 48-3 midway through the third quarter when Amedro finished off a 95-yard, 5-play scoring drive with a 31-yard scoring strike to Walls.

   West Liberty took its foot off the accelerator soon afterward and most of the starters were spectators before the fourth quarter was well under way. Walsh made the final margin more respectable with a pair of touchdowns.

   Amedro completed 25-of-36 passes for 358 yards while Calhoun needed just 15 carries to rack up 103 rushing yards. Hills had 7 catches for 86 yards and added 20 rushing yards on 5 carries while Travis had 4 catches for 78 yards and two scores.

   Clinton Blossomgame led Walsh with 92 rushing yards on 24 carries while quarterback Jim Shiplett completed 9-of-23 passes for 175 yards with one interception. Joe Morgan, a transfer from Illinois, led the visitors with 3 catches for 104 yards.

   “I thought Zach did a pretty good job of spreading the ball around,” Waialae said. “When you have two or three receivers coming open on every play, it’s not easy to pick the right one every time but you have to keep everybody involved.

   “Despite the injuries, the offensive line continues to play well. I’m very happy about that because I know we’ll get healthier there. I thought the defensive line really stepped up today after last week. We got some good pressure on their quarterback and made some plays.”

   West Liberty closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule Saturday when the Hilltoppers host Lake Erie (Ohio) College in the annual Alumni Bowl. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Russek Field.

West Liberty 48, Walsh 17

Walsh                         0    3  7  7 – 17

West Liberty            20  21  7  0 – 48

First Quarter

    WL-Calhoun 7 run (kick blocked), 11:34

    WL-Calhoun 30 run (Blewett kick), 7:36

    WL-Walls 38 pass from Travis (Blewett kick), 3:03

Second Quarter

    WL-Travis 11 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 13:53

    Wal-FG Buchanan 27, 8:49

    WL-Travis 20 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 4:28

    WL-Walker 18 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 1:11

Third Quarter

    WL-Walls 31 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 5:58

    Wal-Sharif 7 run (Buchanan kick), 1:21

Fourth Quarter

    Wal-Shiplett 1 run (Buchanan kick), 2:49

Game Statistics

    RUSHING: Walsh 34-132, Blossomgame 24-92, Olarewaju 3-18, Sharif 3-14, Morgan 2-12, Shiplett 2-(-4). West Liberty 33-151, Calhoun 15-103, Burress 7-20, Hills 5-20, Gordon 1-16, Bell 2-5, Worek 3-(-13).

    PASSING: Walsh 9-23-175-0td-1x (all by Shiplett). West Liberty 26-37-396-5td-0x (Amedro 25-36-358-4td-0x, Travis 1-1-38-1td-0x).

    RECEIVING: Walsh 9-175, Morgan 3-104, McGill 4-49, Sharif 1-14, Blossomgame 1-8. West Liberty 26-396, Walls 7-129, Hills 7-86, Travis 4-78, Walker 3-40, Hill 2-34, Ferguson 2-22, Lee 1-7.

    First downs: Walsh 14, West Liberty 31

    Fumbles: Walsh 1-0, West Liberty 1-0

    Penalties: Walsh 13-135, West Liberty 6-64

    Time of Possession: Walsh 28:54, West Liberty 31:06

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