Toppers host their first Saturday game of the year

By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
The West Liberty University football team will be welcomed back to the hilltop for their first Saturday home game of the season as they will face off against the University of Virginia’s College at Wise on Sept. 22. The game is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. at West Family Stadium. 

The Hilltoppers come into the weekend with an overall record of 1-2 and a conference record of 1-2 as well. West Liberty’s only victory came against West Virginia Wesleyan College two weeks ago in their only home game so far this year. 
After starting the season 0-2, the Cavaliers got their first win of the season last week against Concord University. The Cavaliers are now 1-2 overall and 1-2 in Mountain East Conference games. So far, UVa-Wise has only played one road game and they came out on the losing end, a 33-12 game against West Virginia State University. 
This weekend’s game will be the Hall of Fame Game hosted by West Liberty every year. It is a day where former Hilltoppers get inducted into the West Liberty Hall of Fame. It will be a special day on the hilltop and the football team will be looking to get back to .500 and jumpstart their season. 
Last week, West Liberty played another Thursday night football game and they had to travel down to Charleston, W.Va. to take on the Charleston Golden Eagles. Charleston came away with the victory over the Hilltoppers by a final score of 24-10
West Liberty struggled to get anything going on the ground, rushing for -35 yards and ten combined sacks. West Liberty threw for 192 yards and found the end zone once. The Hilltoppers held the lead until the Golden Eagles put up 14 points in the third quarter. 
On the flip side, UVa-Wise got their first win of the season over the Concord Mountain Lions. They scored 35 points and rushed for 335 yards while throwing for an additional 290 yards. 
Players to watch for on the Cavaliers offensive side of the ball will be running back Jamorya Cousin, who has rushed for 418 yards in just three games and he has scored one touchdown. Senior wide receiver, Kaian Duverger scored three touchdowns in the victory over Concord and he has 355 receiving yards so far this season. 
The Hilltoppers defense will have to step up big if they want to stop the high powered Cavalier offense. Clifford Clark leads the defense with 27 tackles on the season and Joshua Ojo has three interceptions and seven pass deflections. 
The offense for West Liberty has struggled at times this season and with Zach Phillips leading the offense as a junior quarterback. He has thrown for 365 yards and three touchdowns. The football team is averaging 22 points per game this season and against a high powered offense, they will be looking to increase that number against UVa-Wise. 
Traveling might become a factor for UVa-Wise as they have to take a long bus ride of over six hours to get to West Liberty. That could be something to watch for if the Cavaliers come out sluggish and not ready to play.
Next weekend, the Hilltoppers will have to travel to take on the Notre Dame College Falcons. That game will also begin at 1 p.m.
Kickoff against the UVa-Wise Cavaliers is scheduled for 1 p.m. at West Family Stadium. 
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