By Mike Bowen
For the Times West Virginian
The first week of the high school football season is in the books for West Virginia and the Big 10 conference came out of the gate swinging.
All 13 conference teams were in action during the opening week and five were able to get that much-anticipated first win out of the way early.
There were plenty of outstanding individual performances over the weekend, but one stands outs among the rest.
Philip Barbour’s Dylan Johnson rushed for 150 yards on just 11 carries in the Colts’ win over Grafton. He also scored a pair of touchdowns in the victory heading up an impressive week for Big 10 athletes.
In Week 1 well over 80 players carried the ball in the Big 10 conference. And while Johnson’s 150 yards was the standout performance of the week, his rushing total was eclipsed by another.
Elkins’ Morgan Kelly leads the conference after the opening slate of games with 160 yards rushing.
In all, four conference players broke the century mark in addition to Kelly and Johnson.
Fairmont Senior’s Noah Harmon and Liberty’s Jaylen Bartley both had 135 yards rushing, Lincoln’s Ty Seibel had 116 yards and Liberty’s Logan Robey finished with 105.
East Fairmont was led by newcomer Fontain Nelson with 58 yards in the Bees’ opening victory and North Marion was paced on the ground by Chase Banker with 84 yards.
Other performances to note: East Fairmont’s Ronnie Mills, last season’s starting QB, finished with 18 yards on two carries; Robert C. Byrd’s Ben D’Annuzio, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last year, had 74 yards on 20 carries before leaving with a possible broken collar bone; and Luke Hrapchak, who was East Fairmont’s leading rusher last season before transferring to rival Fairmont Senior, had just one carry for four yards.
East Fairmont’s Jake Delaney, who took over the signal caller duties from the aforementioned Mills, was the league’s top passer in Week 1.
Delaney completed nine of his 14 attempts for 203 yards and two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
He was the only Big 10 quarterback with multiple touchdown passes this week.
Lincoln’s Jarrod Kellar, who led the league with more than 2,000 yards through the air last year, finished with 122 yards while completing 50 percent of his passs (8 of 16) and a TD.
Fairmont Senior’s Austin Norman was third with eight yards on 7-of-13 passing with a touchdown and an interception. He only threw for 194 total yards last season and a TD.
Banker led North Marion with 46 yards after the Huskies switched back to a run-heavy offense. In comparison, the Huskies’ leading passer Levi Cyphers had 270 times for 1,543 yards last season.
No quarterbacks other than Delaney, Kellar and Norman had a touchdown pass this week.
East Fairmont’s Scotty Shroyer was the breakout receiver in Week 1.
The speedy senior hauled in a league-high eight catches for 195 yards against Liberty.
Those eight catches were better than the season total of 78 players in the Big 10 in 2012.
Lincoln’s Dillon O’Dell is second with five receptions for 75 yards. O’Dell was the conference’s leading receiver in 2012 with 63 catches.
Fairmont Senior’s Neil Scherich led the Polar Bears (3-47) and North Marion’s Ryan Elliott paced the Huskies with three catches for 20 yards.
Nine players had multiple touchdowns in the first week: Bridgeport’s Anthony Bonamico and A.C. Caldera; Fairmont Senior’s Harmon; Philip Barbour’s Dylan Johnson, Al Johnson and Dillon Newman; East’s Nelson and Shroyer; and Lincoln’s Seibel.
North Marion’s Dylan Leary nailed two field goals for the Huskies in his team’s loss to Frankfort with a long of 24.
Lincoln’s Emily Knight was the only other kicker with a field goal, a 19-yarder.