West Liberty stunned on senior day

By Cody Shook, Sports Editor

West Liberty took on West Virginia State University, and the Yellow Jackets were able to come away with the 37-30 victory to spoil the Hilltoppers senior day. A total of 17 seniors played their final game on the Hilltop today, and unfortunately they didn’t come out on the winning side.

The dozen seniors on the defense were Solomon Dixon, Lamar Philips, Miles Young, Jerimy Mask, Ellis Randall, Kevin Melder, Garrett Vulcano, Darnell Vickers, Demarlow Moses, Jevon Fripp, Marquee Johnson, and Zach Barnes. On the Offensive side of the ball was Anton McCallum, Dan Monteroso, Dakota Conwell, Ty Peterson and Mike Berardi.

img_2644The Hilltoppers received the opening kickoff, but were unable to do anything with their first possession. The Yellow Jackets wasted no time as they drove down the field and scored on their first drive. It took them one minute and twenty-three seconds to move 41 yards into the endzone on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Kinnick to wide receiver Quinton Gray, and with the Anthony Herrera extra point kick, the Yellow Jackets went up 7-0 early.  Three plays later the Hilltoppers scored a touchdown of their own as wide receiver Max Kapron reeled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dakota Conwell. The extra point attempt by Christian Morris was blocked at the line of scrimmage, so the score then became 7-6 in favor of West Virginia State.

The second quarter was a busy one as the Yellow Jackets got on the board first with 12:16 remaining in the first half as wide receiver Tyrell Henderson caught a touchdown pass from 3-yards out thrown by Kinnick to go up 14-6. The next Hilltopper possession was a long one that went for 75 yards and 10 plays that resulted in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Conwell to wide receiver Dan Monteroso. With the extra point kick made by Morris, the Hilltoppers narrowed the lead to one. The next score came in the second quarter as the Yellow Jackets scored with 2:35 left in the first half. Running back Juawan Etheredge capped off a 12 play, 70 yard drive that lasted 5:21 with the scored coming off of a 1-yard run up the middle.

img_2649The next touchdown was a milestone for Dakota Conwell as he became the third quarterback in West Liberty history to complete 500 or more passes in a career, and this pass was a special one as he threw a quick pass out to senior wide receiver Anton McCallum that went to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown. That touchdown cut the lead back down to one, but unfortunately there was still time on the clock and West Virginia State got one more possession before halftime. With 48 seconds left, they drove down the field and kicker Anthony Herrera made a season long 45-yard field goal to go up 24-20 at halftime.

Juawan Etheredge ran for his second touchdown of the day, but this one came from 2-yards out and that put the Yellow Jackets up 31-20 early in the second half. On the next drive for the Hilltoppers, Monteroso found the end zone for his second touchdown reception of the day and this one came from 54-yards out. After the Christian Morris extra point kick, the new score at West Family Stadium was 31-27 in favor of the Yellow Jackets. The final touchdown in the game came in the third quarter and West Virginia States wide receiver Tyrell Henderson caught his second touchdown pass of the day from 16-yards out. The extra point was blocked which made it a 10 point game and hope was still alive for the Hilltoppers on senior day.

img_2647In the fourth quarter there wasn’t much scoring and the Hilltoppers were unable to capitalize on a few Yellow Jacket fumbles. Christian Morris scored the only points, as he kicked a 37-yard field goal to cut the score down to seven early in the fourth quarter.

The game at West Family Stadium finished and West Virginia State came away with the 37-30 win on senior day. Dakota Conwell ended the game with 435 yards passing and four touchdown passes. Dan Monteroso caught eight passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Senior linebacker, Kevin Melder led the defense with 9.5 tackles.

The Hilltoppers finish the season with a 4-7 record overall and 4-6 in Mountain East Conference play. Thank you to all of the fans that attended the games this season and be sure to keep following all West Liberty sports in the Trumpet as game previews and player profiles will be in the paper each week.