Hilltopper football looking for big win at UVA-Wise 

By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
The West Liberty football team will travel to Wise, Va. to take on the Cavaliers of UVA-Wise in a Mountain East Conference battle. The game is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff and these 2-1 teams will be battling to stay above .500 early in the season. 

Last week, the Hilltoppers came away with a huge 9-6 victory against the Charleston Golden Eagles in a tightly contested game at West Family Stadium. It came down to the final seconds, when Charleston’s kicker missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired. The Hilltoppers were coming off of their first shutout loss since 2000, and they bounced back in a huge way, beating a very good Charleston team that was fourth in the nation in average rushing yards per game. West Liberty is currently 2-0 at home and 0-1 on the road, so they will be looking to get their first win away from the hilltop this weekend. 
For the Cavaliers, last weekend wasn’t as kind as they also played in a low scoring affair, but they were on the wrong side of the shutout against Concord. The only score of the game came late in the fourth quarter when an interception got returned for a touchdown, giving Concord the 7-0 lead and victory. In weeks one and two, Wise put up video game numbers, winning 41-29 on opening day and 34-24 against West Virginia State in week two.
Last season when West Liberty and UVA-Wise faced off at West Family Stadium on homecoming, the Hilltoppers fell just short in a brutal 27-28 loss. A touchdown run by running back Tyler Peterson, two passing touchdowns from Dakota Conwell and an 84-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown lead to the high scoring affair but a missed extra point was the deciding factor in front of a packed house on the hilltop. 
Players to watch for in the this matchup for the Cavaliers include redshirt sophomore quarterback Brycen Lee, throwing for over 250 yards in every game so far this season, and senior running back Carlton Griffith, leading the team with three rushing touchdowns. 
For the Hilltoppers, quarterback Brenton Colabella will be trying to lead his team to their third victory of the year, with new found weapon standing beside him in the backfield, redshirt freshman Savion Johnson, after getting 11 carries for a hard fought 40 yards on the ground in the win over Charleston. Johnson will surely be getting more carries in the weeks to come. 
The stellar defense continues to prove that they are one of the best in the Mountain East Conference after holding a high powered Charleston offense to just 302 yards last week. 
If you can’t be at the game, be sure to watch it on WLU-TV14 and read the post-game recap here on the Trumpet Online. Also, make sure to grab next week’s issue of the Trumpet for more game previews and player profiles. 
Photo credits: Megan Sayre