It was a win 18 years in the making and East Fairmont relished every minute of it.

With fireworks going off over the scoreboard at Pony Lewis Field, Bee quarterback Carter DeVault lined his team up in the victory formation and took a knee to close out East’s 28-14 win over the Morgantown Mohigans Friday.

“It’s a big, big win,” DeVault said. “We were coming off that loss to University and wanted to come out with some intensity and get this win. And we did.”

While DeVault got to seal the win with a knee, it was L.T. Harbert and Garrett Carder that provided the scoring, just like last week against Nicholas County.

Harbert had a Noel Devine-like performance, rushing for 148 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries. Carder had the other score, a 20-yard interception return just before halftime, his second in two weeks.

“This is like a dream come true,” Harbert said. “The wide receivers did a great job blocking tonight, and my two guards Pat and Morgan Murphy. It was awesome to get outside and see those guys getting great blocks to give me some room.”

East Fairmont, who becomes the first North Central Athletic Conference team other than University to defeat the Mohigans since 1996, started the scoring on their second possession.

After a 17-yard pickup by Aaron Moore, Harbert broke a 34-yard run down the Morgantown sideline, outrunning the defense to the end zone. His extra point kick was good, putting East ahead 7-0 early.

Morgantown seemed undaunted.

The Mohigans answered with a 13-play, 77-yard drive, capped by Anthony Vecchio’s 9-yard touchdown run, to knot the score.

“This was a very big win,” East Fairmont head coach Bill Haddox said. “They have a great program and have been one of the best for the last 12 years. Everyone did great out there tonight.”

East went back ahead in the second quarter, thanks to a turnover forced by DeVault.

Morgantown quarterback Ben Miller was leading his team down the field, when he connected with a receiver over the middle at the Bee 30-yard line. DeVault delivered a punishing hit to the wideout, jarring the ball loose, and East’s James Mascaro pounced on it for the recovery.

“That play lifted the whole defense up,” Harbert said.

“That’s what I am supposed to do,” DeVault said about the hit.

It apparently gave Harbert a spark on offense as well.

On the first play from scrimmage, the senior running back broke off a 67-yard touchdown run that saw him criss-cross the field to avoid Morgantown defenders to put East up 14-7.

“After he scored that second touchdown I said ‘I knew there was a reason I loved him,’” DeVault said with a laugh. “We’ve got a better line than most people think, and our receivers blocked great tonight. I think we’ve got the best two guards in the state, and I wouldn’t trade them for anybody.”

East sent Morgantown into the locker room at halftime on another sour note when Carder picked off a Miller pass and returned it 20 yards to paydirt to give East a 21-7 lead with under a minute remaining.

Morgantown got the ball first in the second half and went on a 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive that left only six minutes on the third quarter clock. Zach Deem caught a 25-yard pass from Miller to pull MHS to with a score, 21-14.

East answered with its own long drive — 82 yards in eight plays — capped by Harbert’s third score, this time from 24 yards out.

The Bees’ defense took over from there and sealed the game.

“L.T. is tough,” Haddox said. “He’s a football player. When he has room he’s dangerous. And when you have a halfback like him, he doesn’t need a lot of room.”

Harbert led all players with 148 yards on eight carries and three scores. DeVault had 76 yards on 17 carries, and Moore finished with 25 yards on four totes to lead East.

Daniel Strosnider led Morgantown with 51 yards on 14 carries. Miller finished 11-of-18 for 134 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

“I don’t even think I was this happy when we made the playoffs last year,” Harbert said. “This is a great feeling beating these guys up here.”

The Bees (3-1, 2-1 in the NCAC) will be back in the friendly confines of East-West Stadium to host undefeated Bridgeport next week.

Morgantown (2-2, 1-1 in the NCAC) will travel to take on 1-3 Preston.

E-mail Mike Bowen at mbowen@timeswv.com.

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