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Hilltoppers Pull Away at Glenville

October 4, 2009

GLENVILLE, W.Va. – The West Liberty University football team combined the school’s longest touchdown pass in more than a half-century with an opportunistic defense to pull away from upset-minded Glenville State, 29-17, Saturday afternoon at Morris Stadium.

      Quarterback Zach Amedro posted his sixth 300-yard passing game of the season, tailback Kevon Calhoun extended his string of 100-yard rushing games to six and wide receiver Willie Walker hauled in 7 catches for a career-high 141 yards to pace the surging Hilltoppers (5-1, 3-0).hills_td

      The West Liberty defense also forced four Pioneer turnovers as the visitors won their fifth straight.

      After yielding an early touchdown on a short Glenville (2-4, 1-2) drive, West Liberty had righted the ship with 17 unanswered points to take a 17-7 lead at the half.

      Amedro wrapped a 14-yard TD pass to Eddie Hills and a 19-yard scoring strike to Calhoun around a 26-yard Mike Blewett field goal for the 10-point lead at intermission.

      Short field goals by Blewett and Pioneer kicker Colston Bayless kept the lead at 10 when play resumed but Glenville grabbed the momentum when Xavier Glenn split the West Liberty secondary for a 61-yard touchdown catch with just one tick remaining in the third quarter.

      With their lead cut to 20-17, the Hilltoppers bobbled the ensuing kickoff and fell on the ball at their own 12 before switching ends of the field to head into the wind for the fourth quarter.

      But Amedro opened the final stanza with a beautiful play-action fake, rolled out to the right and found Walker sprinting down the right sideline. Amedro’s throw into a 20-mph wind hit Walker in stride near midfield and the speedy junior legged it the rest of the way for an 88-yard touchdown.

      That play tied the record for the longest pass in West Liberty history, equaling the 88-yard effort of Hilltopper Hall of Fame quarterback Jack Donovan during the 1951 season.

      The West Liberty defense snuffed out any further Glenville comebacks with a pair of turnovers –including Derrick Evans’ WVIAC-leading fifth pick of the season – and Blewett added a 25-yard field goal to close out the scoring with 3 minutes to go.

      Amedro completed 26-of-43 passes for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns to break Tim Hicks’ school record of 60 career TD passes. Already the school’s career passing leader, Amedro is less than 100 yards away from becoming only the fifth 8,000-yard passer in WVIAC history.

      Calhoun rushed for 126 yards on a career-high 29 carries. He is one of only three backs in the nation to reel off six consecutive 100-yard rushing games this season.

      Walker and Hills led the Hilltopper receiving corps. Hills backed Walker’s first career 100-yard game with a game-high 8 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.

      Brian Harden ran for 136 yards on just 17 carries to lead the Pioneers. Quarterback James McCants didn’t complete his first pass of the day until the final minute of the first half and finished 8-of-24 for 137 yards.

      West Liberty returns home to host West Virginia State in the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Russek Field. 

West Liberty 29, Glenville State 17

West Liberty 7  10   3  9 – 29

Glenville State 7    0 10  0 – 17

First Quarter

      GSC-Harden 1 run (Bayless kick), 13:30

      WLU-Hills 14 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 9:15

Second Quarter

      WLU-FG Blewett 26, 13:24

      WLU-Calhoun 19 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 2:27

Third Quarter

      GSC-FG Bayless 27, 5:11

      WLU-FG Blewett 26, :27

      GSC-Glenn 61 pass from McCants (Bayless kick), :01

Fourth Quarter

      WLU-Walker 88 pass from Amedro (kick blocked), 14:47

      WLU-FG Blewett 25, 3:00

Game Statistics

      RUSHING: West Liberty 37-129, Calhoun 29-126; Travis 2-7, Hills 1-1, Amedro 1-1, Team 3-(-1), Burress 1-(-5). Glenville State 37-182, Harden 17-136, McCants 16-22, Glenn 2-13, Johnson 2-11

      PASSING: West Liberty 26-44-337-3td-3x (Amedro 26-43-337-3td-2x, Hill 0-1-0-0td-1x). Glenville State, 8-24-137-1td-1x (all by McCants)

      RECEIVING: West Liberty 26-337, Walker 7-141, Hills 8-82, Travis 7-57, Calhoun 2-46, Law.Robinson 1-6, Hill 1-5. Glenville State 8-137, Glenn 1-61, Stewart 2-24, McDonald 2-21, Hanson 1-20, Harden 1-7, Johnson 1-4.

      First downs: West Liberty 27, Glenville State 19

      Fumbles: West Liberty 0-0, Glenville State 5-3

      Penalties: West Liberty 8-57, Glenville State 6-52

      Time of Possession: West Liberty 39:32, Glenville State 20:28

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