The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

November 16, 2013

Fairmont Senior explodes early to rip Keyser, 49-28: VIDEO AND PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — It was business as usual for Fairmont Senior (9-2) as the Polar Bears hosted Keyser (7-4) at East-West Stadium Friday night.

The Polar Bears were able to ride a strong first half to a 49-28 victory over the Golden Tornado in the first round of the Class AA playoffs.

Fairmont Senior, no stranger to fast starts, jumped out to a 42-0 lead before Keyser would score its first points of the game late in the second quarter.

“The way we played the last four weeks, the way they practiced the last four weeks, everything offensively has been clicking,” Fairmont Senior coach J.L. Abbott said of his team.

The clicking Abbott was referring to could’ve been the clicking of points on the scoreboard.

Austin Norman and Neil Scherich got things going early, and the Polar Bears never looked back.

After senior Luke Hrapchak put Fairmont Senior on the board first with a 13-yard rumble, Norman threw four first-half touchdown passess to put the Polar Bears on top, 42-8 at the break.

Two of those passes were to Scherich for scores.

“He played like an animal,” Hrapchak said of the senior wide receiver. “I know he can do it.”

Keyser, which was without its top running back Danny Fife, couldn’t seem to get things going on the ground in the first half.

While some large bursts were there, the Fairmont Senior defense seemed to stifle anything and everything coming their way.

“We just didn’t come out and play,” Keyser coach Sean Biser said of his team’s first-half performance. “By the time our kids decided it was time to play, we were already down so much. They were just blitzing. We tried to get outside early on and we turned the ball over and missed our play-action passes. They just crowded the box on us.”

The defense, led by Hrapchak in the middle, allowed 140 yards of total offense in the first half to Fairmont Senior’s 378.

Norman completed 11 of his 14 first-half passes for 223 yards and the four scores. Scherich caught four of those balls for 107 yards and two scores.

Keyser didn’t have an answer for either of them.

“That kid was money,” Biser said of Norman’s play. “He was putting it on the money and to their credit, they were making plays.”

The second half saw the Polar Bears slow things down after they lost Norman on a play in the third quarter.

The senior quarterback was hit in the backfield and was taken from the field via ambulance with an ankle injury.

Norman finished with 253 yards on 12-of-15 passing and four touchdowns to go along with 29 yards on the ground and another score.

Keyser would find some strength, though, in the second half.

After being held on seven plays from inside the 10-yard line, Keyser was finally able to pound the ball in with Coleten Rodeheaver from the one-yard mark, cutting the Polar Bears lead to 27.

The Golden Tornado would then snag an interception and take the ball 88 yards on the ensuing drive before capping it off with a 17-yard scamper from quarterback Cody Eversole to bring the game within a slight reach.

The clock would not be their friend, however.

Despite the loss of their quarterback, and a push by the Keyser offense, Fairmont Senior hung on for a 21-point victory.

Scherich added 163 yards on the ground to go along with his 107 receiving yards. He scored three total touchdowns.

“This has been a first for me. It’s just been getting better,” Scherich said of his performance. “We needed it, so I guess I rose to that level.”

With the win, the Polar Bears will advance to play Bridgeport, which made short work of Roane County, on the road next week in the second round of the playoffs.

Bridgeport beat Fairmont Senior, 37-14, back in the fifth week of the season, but coach Abbott believes his boys can take game two.

“We’ve just got to come to work next week. Celebrate this and let it go. Come back Monday and go to work,” Abbott said.

And it’s back to business as usual.

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

Text Only
Prep Sports
  • Post 17 stays alive in American Legion state tournament

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Filed in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.

    July 29, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

  • JAMES UNDER RAINBOW -TS.jpg Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game: PHOTOS

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: Beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.
    After beating Bridgeport, 11-8, Fairmont secured a spot in next week’s state tournament. But with one challenge down, Fairmont moved on to the next: Playing itself into an area championship game.

    July 27, 2014 14 Photos

  • Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.

    July 26, 2014

  • Post 17 #20-Post 2 #12-ts.jpg Late rally douses Post 17’s flames: PHOTOS

    It ain’t over till it’s over.
    Post 2 Morgantown proved that against Post 17 Fairmont Friday night in the second day of action in the Area II American Legion tournament, Fairmont falling, 7-6, late to Morgantown.
    After Fairmont found itself leading 6-5 heading into the eighth inning, momentum shifted hands.

    July 26, 2014 8 Photos

  • Post 17 falls late to Morgantown

    It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

    July 25, 2014

  • POST 17 #22 BPT CATCHER  H copy.jpg Mohr leads Post 17 past Bridgeport into winner’s bracket: PHOTOS

    Sometimes breaking out of a slump at the right time can really lift a team.
    As Post 17 Fairmont was trying to get the sour taste of a defeat against Morgantown out of their mouth from earlier in the week, so, too, was Fairmont’s Bailey Mohr.

    July 25, 2014 12 Photos

  • Tough decision leads Bolander to Garrett

    For East Fairmont’s James Bolander, deciding between playing soccer and baseball at the collegiate level was no easy task.
    But in the end, Bolander went with his gut and one deciding factor.

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
Prep Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos