The Times West Virginian

October 26, 2013

Fairmont Senior lights up B-U: PHOTOS

By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — A broken light at East-West stadium threatened to delay Fairmont Senior’s game against Buckhannon-Upshur on Friday.

But the problem was resolved, and the Polar Bears (6-2, 5-1 in the Big 10) proved that nothing was wrong with the scoreboard either, as they lit it up with seven touchdowns in a 49-7 blowout win over the Bucs (2-7, 2-4 Big 10) on Senior Night.

“There’s two nights you always want to win: Senior Night and homecoming,” Fairmont Senior coach J.L Abbott said. “These senior have stuck with this program for four years and put in a lot of hard work. They’ll always remember they won on Senior Night.”

Quarterback Austin Norman will especially want to remember this one. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth, all during the first half.

After struggling to get the ball out in rhythm at times last week, he said the coaches emphasized quick drops and releases at practice.

It showed Friday when he was on time and on target.

“This might be the best we looked passing the ball all season,” Abbott said of his quarterback, who was 11-for-14 for just under 200 yards.

Neil Scherich was on the receiving end of two of the touchdown passes. He also sniffed out a screen play and snatched an interception for a pick-6.

“I just read it, and instinct and all that took over,” Scherich said.

Ryder Skarzinski and Luke Hrapchak hauled in the other two touchdown passes from Harmon. And in the third quarter Malik Boddy rushed for a 6-yard touchdown to stretch the Polar Bears’ lead to 49-0.

Buckhannon scored a late-game touchdown on a 42-yard run by Tyler Demastes to spoil the shutout.

The only other piece of bad news for the Bears was that senior running back and leading rusher Noah Harmon went down with a knee injury early in the first quarter. He left the stadium on crutches.

“We’re hoping it’s not as bad as it looked,” Abbott said. “It’s going to get looked at tomorrow.”

After losing two of four on a road stand earlier this season, the Polar Bears have now won two straight home games. Norman said it feels like Fairmont Senior is back on track.

The Polar Bears will host Lincoln at Fairmont State University next week before wrapping up the season at East-West Stadium against East Fairmont.

“A win tonight gets our momentum back going into next week,” Norman said. “We know Lincoln is going to give us a fight, especially coming off a loss. They’re going to be hungry for a win.”

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.