FAIRMONT — The Polar Bears raised their helmets high and hummed the tune as the Fairmont Senior band broke out into the alma mater in the end zone at East-West Stadium.
After a four-game road stand in which Fairmont Senior lost two straight, it was good to finally be home again. And it was even better to get back in the win column with a 52-6 rout of Braxton County.
“The last two weeks have been rough,” Fairmont Senior coach J.L. Abbott said. “We got our bell rung a couple times the last couple weeks.”
The band, as an encore, could have played “Happy Birthday” to Noah Harmon. Instead, he did his celebrating on the football field.
The senior eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau and scored three touchdowns on the day he turned 18 years old. He accounted for 136 of Fairmont Senior’s 241 yards on the ground.
Abbott said the team set individual goals before the season. Breaking the four-digit mark was one of Harmon’s top priorities.
While Harmon was proud to reach the mark, he isn’t satisfied yet.
“It was a goal (to reach 1,000), but I’d really like to see 1,500,” he said. “I don’t want to settle for 1,000. I wish I would have had 1,500 already. My goal is 2,000.”
He would have had a few more opportunities to pad his total if not for the blowout. Neil Scherich, Malik Boddy, Ryder Skarzinski, Luke Hrapchak and Michael Toothman also scored touchdowns in the rout.
Fairmont Senior’s defense, meanwhile, held the Eagles to a dismal 13 yards of total offense, including negative-32 on the ground.
The score could have been even worse if not for nine touchdowns being called back due to penalties. In total the Bears were flagged 15 times for 125 yards.
“(Heck) you probably think we coach them (to commit penalties),” Abbott said. “It’s going to cost us. It would have cost us tonight if Braxton would have been a much older team.”
Fairmont Senior returns to East-West Stadium next Friday to play host to Buckhannon-Upshur. But for now, the Bears will enjoy the victory— and Harmon’s birthday.
One final question: How’s Harmon going to celebrate the birthday and the big victory?
“Wake up tomorrow and lift and get ready for Buckhannon.”
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or Follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.