By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
East Fairmont and North Marion have had one thing in common this season: They both have an offensive player who seems to be a do-it-all guy.
East Fairmont’s Scotty Shroyer has been playing all over the field this season for the Bees.
When the season started, he was split out at wide receiver and also in the backfield at times. As the season grows and the Bees tinker with their offense, Shroyer has become one of the biggest components offensively.
Last week, Shroyer racked up 128 total yards, with 84 coming on the ground and another 44 coming through the air.
So far this season, Shroyer has given life to a sometimes dead East Fairmont offense.
In the first game of the season when the Bees overcame a seven-point deficit, it was Shroyer who Jake Delaney found in the end zone on back-to-back drives, one coming at the end of the game and one coming in overtime, to give the Bees the victory.
After catching the game-tying touchdown pass, Shroyer pumped up his team, and the crowd that had traveled to see the Bees play, and stepped up again in overtime.
“It made me drive forward,” Shroyer said of the first game of the season.
In that game Shroyer had 33 yards on the ground and a whopping 195 receiving yards.
As the season has progressed, Shroyer has become the go-to guy for Delaney, and the two have seemed to have a good connection.
“He claims that I’m his Tavon Austin,” Shroyer joked.
But in reality, that’s a pretty decent comparison.
When the team is in a tough situation, Delaney usually drops a short pass into Shroyer’s hands and lets him pick up the tough yards, which he usually does.
“I just go out there and do my thing,” Shroyer said. “I don’t let people get in my head.”
So far this season, Shroyer has 168 yards on the ground and 318 yards receiving, which is the third most in the Big 10 Conference.
That’s saying a lot seeing as how Delaney and backup quarterback Sam Swiger only have 48 total completions through the first four games of the season.
Off those numbers, Shroyer is also averaging 13.2 yards per catch this season. He’s third in the Big 10 in receptions, with 24.
To cap it all off, Shroyer has totaled at least 110 yards in three of the Bees’ four games this season.
The North Marion Huskies have a similar player in running back Ryan Elliott.
Elliott, who had 121 yards rushing last week, is a guy the Huskies have liked to get the ball to.
The 121 yards that he had last week account for almost half the yards he has all season, which is 343.
That number leads North Marion and is good enough for 11th in the Big 10 Conference.
In addition to his 100-yard rushing game, Elliott added a 29-yard score on the ground and a seven-yard touchdown through the air. His two scores accounted for both of the touchdowns North Marion scored.
“I just like to know that my team can count on me to get in there and do what I can do,” Elliott said of his use in the offense.
In the beginning of the season, quarterback Drew Harker was sidelined with an illness, which limited the Huskies’ offense.
After moving Chase Banker from receiver to quarterback, the team took to a more running type of offense.
When North Marion played Fairmont Senior, the Huskies took a wildcat style of offense, with Elliott at the reins.
During that game, Elliott ran the ball 19 times for a total of 119 yards. He even threw a pass for 15 yards and caught a pass for 9 yards in the game.
With a number of different issues and injuries in the early part of the season for the Huskies, Elliott has been nothing but consistent.
Elliott admitted he liked to get the tempo going fast at the start of the game.
“Any momentum we can take is big,” he said.
He’s had rushing games of 121, 119, 73 and 42 so far this season, and he’s helped out wherever he can, hauling in seven passes for 38 yards this season in a run-first offense thus far.
“I definitely want to be involved in the running game,” he said. “The more we can get the running game going, the more it’s opened up other things like play action.”
Even though the Huskies have been searching for that first win, Elliott has been a bright spot as he and his team continue to attempt to overcome the odds that have been stacked against them.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.