By Nick Cammuso
Times West Virginian
After three straight road games to open the year, Fairmont State’s football team plays its first home game of 2012 when it takes on West Liberty at 1 p.m. today.
The game will be the first for the school’s new high-definition video scoreboard.
FSU is coming off a 24-17 overtime loss at the hands of Bowie State last week. The Falcons squandered a 17-point fourth-quarter lead as the Bulldogs managed the victory in overtime.
West Liberty won its WVIAC opener last week against West Virginia Wesleyan, 33-16. Quarterback L.D. Crow tossed TD passes to three receivers.
Here’s a brief look at today’s matchup:
This season: FSU 0-3; West Liberty 2-1.
Coaches: FSU — Mike Lopez (fifth season); West Liberty — Roger Waialae (eighth season).
Key players: FSU — Bobby Vega, QB; Chris St. Hilaire, WR; Trevor Malnick, LB. West Liberty — Kenjay Trueblood, RB; Bo Whitney, WR.
FSU notes: Starting running back Daniel Monroe won’t play today due to injury ... Ryland Newman’s 57-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown was the sixth score of his career without ever having played a down on offense. Newman has three interception returns for a touchdown and two punt returns for a touchdown to go with his blocked field goal return. ... Bobby Vega’s touchdown pass was his third this season. ... Mark Sampson’s 87 receiving yards were a career high. ... Middle linebacker Garrett Davis made his season debut against Bowie State and returned to make nine total tackles (seven solo) and recorded one tackle for a loss. ... Last week, Fairmont State lost for just the third time when leading after three quarters under Lopez.
West Liberty notes: Trueblood leads West Liberty with 171 yards through the first three weeks. ... Crow has completed 44-of-77 passes for 462 yards on the season. Crow has thrown four touchdowns passes and has two interceptions. ... Whitney is tied for 17th in the country averaging 7.33 receptions per game. ... The West Liberty defense is ranked second in the WVIAC in both total defense (271.7) and rushing defense (70.7). The Hilltoppers are also best in the conference in pass efficiency defense (108.6).
Series notes: Fairmont State owns a 38-36-5 lead in the all-time series. Fairmont State won last year’s meeting, 41-12, to snap a six-game losing streak against West Liberty.
Email Nick Cammuso at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter@ NickCammusoTWV.