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Hilltoppers Romp Past W.Va. State, 52-30

October 11, 2009

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Something had to give Saturday when West Liberty University sent the nation’s No. 2-ranked passing attack against a West Virginia State defense which ranked No. 5 nationally against the pass.

      Score this one for the offense.


West Liberty QB Zach Amedro broke the school’s single-season record with his 27th TD pass of the year on Saturday as the junior signalcaller led the Hilltoppers to a 52-30 Homecoming victory against West Virginia State at Russek Field.

 Junior quarterback Zach Amedro shredded the Yellow Jacket secondary for 337 passing yards and broke the school’s single-season record for touchdown passes with 5 more scoring strikes as the Hilltoppers rolled to a 52-30 victory before a large and appreciative Homecoming crowd at Russek Field.

      West Liberty (6-1, 4-0) never trailed in upping its winning streak to 6 games, the longest in 30 years for the Hilltopper football program.

      Along with breaking his own school record from two years ago with his 27th TD toss of the season, Amedro also became only the fifth quarterback in West Virginia Conference history to surpass the 8,000-yard career passing mark.

      But head coach Roger Waialae said his quarterback’s head is just as important as his arm.

      “This was probably Zach’s best day in terms of checking into the right play at the line of scrimmage,” Waialae said. “Our offense is designed to take what the defense gives us and when your quarterback can see those things and get you into the right play, it’s almost like stealing.”

      After being held to a season-low 29 points in a 29-17 win at Glenville last week, the Hilltoppers had every weapon in their arsenal on full display against West Virginia State (2-4, 1-3).

      Junior wide receiver Ryan Travis led the receiving corps with 8 catches for 100 yards and 3 TDs while senior wideout Eddie Hills had 8 grabs for 85 yards. It was Hills’ 15th consecutive game with 5 or more catches, the longest active streak in NCAA Division II football.

      Tailback Kevon Calhoun provided the rushing balance with 157 yards and 2 TDs on just 14 carries. The leading rusher in the WVIAC, Calhoun has six 100-yard rushing games already this season.

      “Our ability to run the ball as well as throw it is what makes our offense work,” Waialae said. “As long as we can stay two-dimensional, we’re hard to stop.”

      The Yellow Jackets couldn’t even slow the Hilltoppers down for most of the afternoon.

      West Liberty built a 38-17 halftime lead on the strength of three Amedro touchdown passes, a pair of nifty TD runs by Calhoun and a Mike Blewett field goal that capped a 50-yard scoring drive in the final 22 seconds of the second quarter.

      The Hilltoppers had racked up 369 yards of total offense by halftime and were averaging 11.5 yards per snap.

      The hosts picked up where they’d left off when play resumed in the third quarter.

      Amedro pushed the lead to 52-23 with second-half touchdown passes of 27 and 6 yards to Travis before Waialae gave his starters the rest of the afternoon off with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

      West Virginia State quarterback Patrick Ryan had a solid afternoon, completing 23-of-31 passes for 289 yards and 3 TDs.

      Wide receiver Jermain King was equally impressive, leading all receivers with 10 catches for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns but the Yellow Jacket rushing game never got off the ground, managing just 35 rushing yards on 28 attempts.

      Stephanie Pell of Kingwood, W.Va. and Jeff Holbrook of Weirton, W.Va. were crowned as Homecoming Queen and King, respectively, at halftime.

      The Hilltoppers hit the road next week when they travel to Shepherdstown to take on perennial WVIAC powerhouse Shepherd. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ram Stadium. 

West Liberty 52, W.Va. State 30

W.Va. State 10    7  6  7 – 30

West Liberty 14  24  7  7 – 52

First Quarter

      WLU: Travis 7 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 13:21

      WVS: Payne 9 run (C.Wissler kick), 10:49

      WLU: Walls 19 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 9:15

      WVS: FG C.Wissler 35, :42

Second Quarter

      WLU: Calhoun 9 run (Blewett kick), 8:08

      WLU: Calhoun 25 run (Blewett kick), 3:01

      WVS: King 12 pass from Ryan (C.Wissler kick), :27

      WLU: FG Blewett 21, :00

Third Quarter

      WLU: Travis 27 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 5:36

      WVS: King 22 pass from Ryan (kick failed), 1:13

Fourth Quarter

      WLU: Travis 6 pass from Amedro (Blewett kick), 10:52

      WVS: Johnson 35 pass from Ryan (C.Wissler kick), 5:57

Game Statistics

      RUSHING: W.Va. State 28-35, Payne 10-44, Phillip 9-12, Bines 3-10, Ryan 6-(-31). West Liberty 30-210, Calhoun 14-157, Burress 7-22, Gordon 2-16, Walls 1-7, Bell 2-6, Hills 2-3, Amedro 2-(-1).

      PASSING: W.Va. State 23-31-289-3td-0x (all by Ryan). West Liberty 26-34-337-5td-0x (Amedro 26-33-337-5td-0x, Kiedaisch 0-1-0-0-0).

      RECEIVING: W.Va. State 23-289, King 10-146, Johnson 5-68, Payne 3-15, Kennedy 2-35, Phillip 2-20, Landis 1-5. West Liberty 26-337, Travis 8-100, Hills 8-85, Walls 3-68, Calhoun 3-35, Walker 2-34, McDaniel 1-8, Hill 1-7.

      First downs: W.Va. State 17, West Liberty 29

      Fumbles: W.Va. State 1-1, West Liberty 1-1

      Penalties: W.Va. State 6-60, West Liberty 4-46

      Time of Possession: W.Va. State 31:30, West Liberty 28:30


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