Jerry Kelly cutline

West Fairmont’s Jerry Kelly (right) slips the grasp of a Robert C. Byrd defender during last Friday’s 21-7 loss.

This wasn’t the way West Fairmont’s highly anticipated season was supposed to start — a stunning 21-7 opening loss to Robert C. Byrd.

To make matters a little worse, the Polar Bears’ talented junior tailback Jerry Kelly went down with an injury late in the first half.

However, it’s not as bad as head coach J.L. Abbott feared on Friday night.

“Jerry has a slight AC sprain (in his shoulder),” Abbott said Monday.

Playing linebacker on defense, Kelly landed hard on his shoulder during a pile-up at the end of a play. After leaving the game, Kelly was then taken to Clarksburg’s United Hospital Center for X-rays, which resulted in the sprain.

Offensively, Kelly carried the ball only seven times for 38 yards — and he was West’s leading rusher.

The Polar Bears play their second consecutive road game Friday night against intracounty rival North Marion. Abbott, though, is not certain on whether or not Kelly will suit up.

“It’s still up in the air,” he said. “We’re just taking things one day at a time.”

Meanwhile, West returned to the football field Monday in its first practice since the season-opening loss.

Obviously frustrated with the setback, Abbott didn’t make any excuses for himself, his coaching staff or the players. And he wasn’t about to blame it on overconfidence.

“Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call,” Abbott said. “There was a lot of hype surrounding our team, and they hadn’t earned it. They still haven’t.

“It’s my fault for letting them get the big heads. The kids were more disappointed than the coaches, and we’re totally disappointed. I think this knocked us down to reality.”

Simply put, RCB was the better team in Week 1.

The Flying Eagles’ defense limited the Polar Bears’ rushing attack to just 71 total yards while gaining 215 on the ground themselves. The only place RCB lost was in the turnover category (4-3).

“I told the guys we win and lose together,” Abbott said. “We didn’t have 11 guys doing 11 jobs together. Some of our timing was off. We had some receivers open and couldn’t get the ball to them. We had a chance to run the ball and the line couldn’t sustain blocks.

“So there’s no excuses. But the kids responded well (Monday) and we had a positive practice.”

Huskies air it out

The tradition at North Marion is a powerful running game with the occasional pass to keep the defense honest.

Well, that wasn’t the case early against University High.

The Huskies came out throwing the football and did so on 11 of their first 15 offensive plays from scrimmage. North Marion threw the ball only six more times the rest of the way en route to a 46-13 loss to the Hawks.

“Our short passing game can be effective,” said head coach Gerry White, who remains two wins shy of 100. “We just didn’t execute. We had some dropped balls that hurt us and actually stopped our best drive in the first quarter.”

Junior quarterback Josh Harvey completed 7-of-17 for 78 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His longest connection was a 39-yarder to Jason Jones on the last play of the first half.

“Josh threw some good balls,” White said. “But I did see him throw off his heels a few times, and you just can’t do that. That’s where you get in trouble.”

No QB controversy

Junior Carter DeVault seemingly emerged as East Fairmont’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season — or at least one would think so.

All DeVault did was account for four of the Bees’ six total touchdowns during their 38-18 win at Elkins.

Two of those passing scores went to senior Derek Sevier, who started and split time with DeVault under center. DeVault and Sevier hooked up on a 48-yard TD connection in the second quarter followed by a 16-yarder in the third quarter.

DeVault also hit Zach Boone on a 64-yard strike to start the Bees’ scoring and began the second half with a 10-yard scoring completion to Zach Eakle.

Now the Bees take their potent 1-2 passing punch and speed running game with L.T. Harbert (eight carries for 121 yards and 2 TDs) against University High at East-West Stadium.

E-mail Andrew Manzo at

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