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Records Fall as Hilltoppers Steamroll Falcons

September 28, 2009

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Zach Amedro shattered three school records while throwing for more than 400 yards and 4 touchdowns here Saturday as the surging Hilltoppers splashed their way to a 35-9 victory against Fairmont State.

      The junior quarterback completed 30-of-45 passes for a season-high 409 yards to become West Liberty’s career leader in passing yards, total offense and pass completions while leading the Hilltoppers (4-1, 2-0) to their fourth straight win.

      In just his 26th career game, the former John Marshall High School standout put his name at the top of West Liberty’s all-time charts in passing yards (7,566), total offense yards (7,400) and pass completions (531). All three records had been set by Tim Hicks during his time with the Hilltoppers from 1998-2002.

West Liberty quarterback Zach Amedro (11) peers through the raindrops to take the snap during the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Fairmont State at Russek Field. Amedro set three school records and threw for 409 yards and 4 TDs as the Hilltoppers routed the Falcons, 35-9.

West Liberty quarterback Zach Amedro (11) peers through the raindrops to take the snap during the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Fairmont State at Russek Field. Amedro set three school records and threw for 409 yards and 4 TDs as the Hilltoppers routed the Falcons, 35-9.

      “People are getting a chance to see what Zach can do when he’s healthy this season,” head coach Roger Waialae said. “I think he’s the best quarterback in the conference and one of the best in the nation. He certainly has the numbers to back it up.”

      Despite playing in monsoon-like conditions for much of the first half and a steady rain the rest of the day, Amedro’s knack for spreading the ball around helped the hosts rack up 549 yards of total offense and a season-high 32 first downs.

      Junior Ryan Travis led all receivers with 11 catches for 129 yards and a score but Travis was just one of four different wideouts with a TD grab and one of six players to haul in a pass of 20 yards or more.

      Almost overlooked in the offensive barrage was Kevon Calhoun’s fifth straight 100-yard rushing game. The junior tailback finished with 115 yards and a TD on 19 carries while catching 3 passes for 44 more yards.

      “The way I see it, those records belong to the team,” Amedro said. “I think I have the best receiving corps in the nation, our offensive line is doing a great job giving me time to throw and Kevon’s a great running back. This is a quarterback’s dream.”

      But the West Liberty offense wasn’t the only dominant unit on the field. The Hilltopper defense held the Falcons to just 93 yards of total offense and 5 first downs – by far the lowest numbers in Waialae’s five seasons at West Liberty.

      The previous lows of 8 first downs and 113 yards of total offense came against West Virginia State on Oct. 22, 2005.

      Making Saturday’s feat even more impressive was the fact that Fairmont State (1-4, 1-3) came into the game ranked No. 9 nationally in rushing at 248.3 yards per game.

      The Falcons didn’t even hit the plus side of the rushing ledger until the fourth quarter and finished with a season-low 42 yards on 29 carries.

      “Nobody listens to me when I talk about our defense,” Waialae said. “We held the nation’s No. 1 rusher (W.Va. Wesleyan’s Reggie Taylor) to 44 yards last week and then held Fairmont to less than 100 yards of total offense this week despite playing without Nick Harding, our leading tackler who had his appendix taken out this week. That’s a credit to our defensive coaches and the players.”

      Despite dominating the statistical battle for the first two quarters, the Hilltoppers turned the ball over twice on downs inside the Falcon 5 and missed two field goals before settling for a 14-2 lead at the half.

      Fairmont’s Zack Page cut the lead to 14-9 when he ran the second half kickoff back for an 89-yard touchdown but Amedro led West Liberty on three straight touchdown drives over the next 9:02 to put the game on ice.

      Willie Walker backed Travis with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown while Eddie Hills had 6 catches for 56 yards and a score. Kashif Walls pulled in a 31-yard TD toss from Amedro and finished with 3 catches for 47 yards.

      Falcon quarterbacks Vick Bradford and Derek Taylor completed just 3-of-17 passes for 51 yards with 2 interceptions.

      “Obviously we need to do a better job in the red zone and special teams,”  Waialae said, “but we came into this game with several key players banged up and a bunch of guys answered the challenge. We’ve been talking about developing depth for the past couple of seasons. Today we got a chance to show it off a little bit.”

      West Liberty visits defending WVIAC champion Glenville State next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. 

West Liberty 35, Fairmont State 9

Fairmont State 0  2  7  0 –   9

West Liberty 7  7 21  0 – 62

First Quarter

      WLU: Travis 2 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 13:26

Second Quarter

      WLU: Walker 7 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 6:42

      FSU: Safety, Calhoun tackled in end zone, 6:08

Third Quarter

      FSU: Page 89 kickoff return (Ashley kick), 14:47

      WL: Walls 31 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 13:34

      WL: Hills 9 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 6:35

      WL: Calhoun 21 run (Blewett kick), 4:32

A: 1,648

Game Statistics

      RUSHING: Fairmont 29-42; Brandon Hyler 2-23; Doug Brazill 4-20; Matt Griffin 5-18; Omoniyi Bakare 3-7; Scott Victorio 2-3; Perry Baker 1-(-5); Vick Bradford 6-(-12); Derek Taylor 6-(-12). West Liberty 38-140; Kevon Calhoun 19-115; Jimmy Burress 9-57; Devaughn Gordon 2-2; Arvin Bell 1-(-6); Eddie Hills 1-(-7); Zach Amedro 6-(-21).

      PASSING: Fairmont 4-17-51-0td-2x (Taylor 3-12-51-0td-1x; Bradford 0-5-0-0td-0x). West Liberty 30-46-409-4td-2x (Amedro 30-45-409-4td-2x; Kiedaisch 0-1-0-0-0).

      RECEIVING: Fairmont 3-51; Hawthorne 1-36; Smothers 1-11; Bakare 1-4. West Liberty 30-409; Travis 11-129; Hills 6-56; Walker 4-76; Walls 3-47; Calhoun 3-44; Lee 2-25; Ferguson 1-32.

      First downs: Fairmont State 5, West Liberty 32

      Fumbles: Fairmont State 2-1, West Liberty 4-0

      Penalties: Fairmont State 12-116, West Liberty 15-120

      Time of Possession: Fairmont State 23:22, West Liberty 36:38

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