Wheeling University football defeats WLU 42-19

West Liberty University suffered an ugly loss to local rival Wheeling University last Saturday night, losing their third game of the season 42-19. Although the score is certainly an eye sore, the first half of the game was much tighter than the final score suggests. The Hilltoppers took an early 3-0 lead against Wheeling, and their defense looked more than comfortable while doing so, shutting down Wheeling’s offense three straight drives in the process. However, their defense soon cracked, as they gave up an eighty yard touchdown just seconds to go in the first quarter. Although West Liberty soon answered with a Quincy Wimbush rushing touchdown, the problems for the Black and Gold were just beginning.

While some drives put together by West Liberty looked more than promising as they progressed, they soon turned for the worst in a mere blink of an eye. West Liberty entered the Wheeling 15 with a 3-0 lead, before an interception ruined their drive hopes.

Soon after, WLU was back on offense following a Wheeling score, and unfortunately threw an interception on their first play of the drive. Fast forward to the second quarter and West Liberty was about to be driving again, only for them to throw an interception on their first play once more. Finally, the Hilltoppers threw a fourth interception in the first half alone, capping off what was a miserable ride for the offense. Miraculously, West Liberty only found themselves down by a touchdown entering the second half, despite head shaking turnovers.

Although West Liberty came out firing in the second half, ready to put their struggles behind them, the turnover plague soon caught up to them once more, as the team committed seven turnovers in total for the entire game. To give where credit is due, Wheeling looked quite potent, especially under true freshman quarterback Jalen Lea, who threw 216 yards and 4 touchdowns.

With a familiar opponent in Notre Dame up next in the schedule for West Liberty, they are going to have to put this game behind them rather quickly. Perhaps the most intriguing piece to watch is the quarterback battle going into this week, as West Virginia University transfer Jack Allison and redshirt Freshman Jamie Diven compete to determine who will start at the helm.