By Mike Bowen
Times West Virginian
The high school football season is quickly coming to a close.
Most teams around the state have only three regular-season games left on the schedule.
Of the 13 teams in the Big 10 Conference, five would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
Lewis County would be the lone AAA participant, while Bridgeport, Fairmont Senior, Philip Barbour and Lincoln would make the Class AA field. Robert C. Byrd is just one spot outside of making the playoffs in AA.
This week, just like any other, had plenty of memorable performances from around the league, but one stood out as the most dominant.
Preston’s Josiah Nuse almost single-handedly led the Knights to a victory over East Fairmont during the Bees’ homecoming at Fairmont State University.
Nuse, a junior running back, scored six touchdowns, had a pair of two-point conversion runs and rushed for 204 yards on 21 carries in the contest.
The 40 points put on the board by Nuse was more than East Fairmont scored in the game (39).
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Bridgeport’s Anthony Bonamico is still the Big 10’s leading rusher with 1,194 yards on the season, but he has company in the 1,000-yard club.
Fairmont Senior’s Noah Harmon broke into triple figures in the Polar Bears’ win over Braxton County. He now has 1,026 yards on the season. The last Bear to break 1,000 yards rushing in a season was Trevor Malnick (1,108) back in 2011. With three games left, Harmon has a very good chance of topping that mark.
Lincoln’s Ty Seibel is third with 947 yards and Nuse continues his climb up the leaderboard, sitting in fourth with 831 total yards.
Lewis County’s Mark Metzgar rounds out the Top 5 with 770 yards.
North Marion’s Ryan Elliott leads his team with an even 500 yards and is ninth in the conference in rushing.
East Fairmont is paced by Scotty Shroyer with 257, which is 23rd in the Big 10.
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Lincoln’s Jarrod Kellar leads the conference with 1,613 passing yards so far this season.
East Fairmont’s Jake Delaney moved up to second with 1,252 yards followed by rival Austin Norman of Fairmont Senior (1,202).
The 1,000-plus yards passing by the two Marion County quarterbacks puts them in elite company.
Only eight Marion County signal-callers have broken that plateau for their careers in the past five years.
Just this season alone so far would make Delaney the seventh-best quarterback in the past five years. Norman’s season-to-date total would put him in ninth.
Preston’s Scott Stone has 1,010 yards passing in fourth and Dillon Gaudet of Buckhannon has 708 yards in fifth place.
North is led by Kyle Elliott with 143 yards passing.
Norman leads the Big 10 in touchdown passes with 13. Delaney and Stone both have 10 on the season and Kellar nine. Grafton’s Cole Collins has seven.
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Shroyer and Philip Barbour’s Al Johnson continue to battle it out on the conference’s reception leaderboard.
Shroyer maintains the edge with 47 catches on the season for 551 yards, and Johnson has 43 for 542.
Shroyer is 20 catches away from tying the East Fairmont season reception record of 67 set by Travis Nuzum in 2010.
Lincoln’s Dillon O’Dell is third with 36 receptions but leads the league with 880 receiving yards. Grafton’s Tyler Moore moves up to fourth with 24 catches, and Lincoln’s Anthony Gemondo is fifth with 20.
Fairmont Senior is led by Luke Hrapchak with 17 receptions, and North Marion’s Chase Banker has eight to lead the Huskies.
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Nuse’s big day against East Fairmont has catapulted him into the Big 10 scoring lead.
The Preston running back is the first player in the conference to break 100 points and sits atop the leaderboard with 108.
He also has a conference-high 17 touchdowns.
Lincoln’s Seibel is second with 96 points, followed by Bonamico (90), P-B’s Johnson (70) and FSHS’s Harmon (66) in the Top 5.
All have over 10 touchdowns on the season; the other two players with 10 are Bridgeport’s A.C. Caldera and Lewis County’s Metzgar.
East Fairmont is led by Shroyer with 48 points, and North Marion is paced by Ryan Elliott with 18.
The Big 10 kicking lead still belongs to Bridgeport’s Brennan Duarte with 38 points, though Lincoln’s Emily Knight is just a PAT behind at 37.
Knight has kicked a league-high five field goals this season with a long of 32.
The longest field goals of the season belong to Grafton’s Zach Rowand and Lewis County’s Riley Gunter. Both have booted a 37-yarder this season.
West is led by Dakota Mouser with 23 points, East is paced by Colin Harvath with 16, and Dylan Leary leads North with 12.