By Mike Bowen
For the Times West Virginian
The thing about the Big 10 conference is that for the most part, the teams are pretty even talent-wise.
If you look back at the old NCAC, there was a large gap between the Morgantowns and Universitys and the Elkins and Buckhannons.
And that is never more evident than when you look at the statistics.
Lincoln and Philip Barbour are right there with the larger teams of Bridgeport and even Class AAA Robert C. Byrd.
This week’s standout performance helps illustrate that point.
Lincoln, who has one of the conference’s best quarterbacks in Jarrod Kellar, has turned to Ty Seibel to lead the team this year.
Seibel had 224 yards rushing last week and scored three touchdowns in the Cougars’ win over East Fairmont.
Seibel is now second among conference running backs and leads the league in both scoring and touchdowns.
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Despite the fact that Noah Harmon and the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears were on a bye last week, the senior running back still holds the conference rushing lead.
Harmon has 557 yards on 30 carries, but Seibel closed the gap significantly and now has 542 yards on the season.
Bridgeport’s Anthony Bonamico has also broken the 500-yard plateau and sits at 509 on 55 carries. Philip Barbour’s Dylan Lucas rounds out the Top 5 with 471 yards.
North Marion is paced by Ryan Elliott with 222 yards and the East Fairmont Bees still have not had a back eclipse 100 yards on the season.
Scotty Shroyer now leads the Bees with 85 yards on 23 carries.
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Lincoln’s Jarrod Kellar, last season’s leading passer, has retaken the Big 10 lead in passing yards.
Kellar has completed 49 of his 91 attempts for 751 yards and three touchdowns.
Preston’s Scott Stone has moved into second after leading his team to its first victory last week.
Stone has 622 yards on the year and six touchdowns.
Last week’s leader Austin Norman of Fairmont Senior fell to third while on the bye week. He has 610 yards and still leads the Big 10 with seven touchdown passes.
Philip Barbour’s Dillon Newman (359) and Grafton’s Cole Collins (330) finish out the Top 5.
East Fairmont’s Jake Delaney is in sixth among conference QBs with 328 yards passing. And North Marion, which switched from a pass-happy 2012 offense back to a more traditional Husky ground and pound, is paced by Kyle Elliott with 126 yards.
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The Big 10 has had some outstanding receivers over the years and Philip Barbour’s Al Johnson is etching his name right beside them.
Johnson leads the league in receptions with 29 for 384 yards. Not to be outdone, Lincoln’s Dillon O’Dell is nine catches behind at 20, but leads the Big 10 in receiving yards with 404.
East Fairmont’s Scotty Shroyer is third with 16 catches, followed by the Cougars’ Anthony Gemondo (12) and a trio of players tied with 10 (Preston’s Austin Newsome, Grafton’s Tyler Moore and Lincoln’s Seibel).
Those seven are the only Big 10 receivers out of 80 to catch a pass this year to reach double digits so far.
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Seibel leads the conference in scoring with 48 points on the season, just ahead of Johnson with 44.
Bridgeport teammates Bonamico and A.C. Caldera are tied for third with 42 points each and Buckhannon’s Seth Cutright has 38 points.
FSHS’s Harmon has 36 points and East Fairmont is still led by Fontain Nelson with 18 points.
North Marion’s Chase Banker leads his team with 12 points.
Emily Knight is still the Big 10’s top kicker with 18 points. Bridgeport’s Brennan Duarte and Grafton’s Zach Rowand are both close behind with 17 each.
East Fairmont’s Colin Harvath and Fairmont Senior’s Dakota Mouser lead the Marion County kickers with eight points each. North’s Dylan Leary has seven.
Roward leads the Big 10 with a 37-yard field goal, but Harvath is close behind with a long of 35.
Seibel has a league-high eight touchdowns on the season.
Bonamico, Johnson and Caldera all have seven and Cutright and Harmon have six each.
The Big 10 has had 76 players reach the endzone so far this season, 31 of which have done it multiple times.