By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
It was a tale of two halves as the East Fairmont Bees battled back to beat the Grafton Bearcats, 28-27, Friday at McKinney Field.
The Bees turned things around after a dismal first half and went back to their old offense for the win.
East Fairmont opened the game sloppily, going three-and-out and then turning the ball over three times. But quarterback Jake Delaney, who threw two early interceptions, bounced back and threw two scores to Myles Johnson to keep the Bees alive.
“We turned the ball over three times in the first half. You can’t do that,” East coach Bill Haddox said.
Grafton provided a balanced attack with long drives to put points on the board in the first half.
Tight end turned running back Tyler Keener ran the ball 10 times in the half for 30 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 21-13 halftime lead. Keener finished with 62 yards on the ground.
“We weren’t ready for that,” Haddox said. “We had to change. Our kids make mistakes, but they try real hard.”
The second half proved to be a different outcome for East Fairmont.
It would be a battle to the finish, though, as Grafton would take a 27-22 lead late in the fourth quarter behind the arm of Cole Collins, who fired a 32-yard pass to Nate Moses. The freshman finished with 191 yards passing and two touchdowns on the night.
East Fairmont would respond with a long kick return and two passes before Delaney found Johnson once again for the go-ahead score. Delaney completed eight of 13 passes for 113 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson led the Bees in receiving with three catches for 48 yards and three scores.
“I’m proud of our boys,” Haddox said. “They ran an offense tonight that they haven’t run in three weeks. It was frustrating for a while, but when it came down to it, we did it.”
The Bearcats drove down the field once more with under a minute left, but the Bees forced a fumble to seal the game, 28-27.
“Our kids gave it all they had,” said Haddox.
The Bees improved to 2-6 on the season. They will play Philip Barbour at East-West Stadium next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.