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Dalton Lowther, a Senior for LCHS, prepares to catch the ball during football action Friday, October 14, against Liberty. (Photo by LCHS Senior Nathan White).

Nate Frazier, LCHS Senior, catches a pass in gridiron action against Liberty High School, Friday, October 14. (Photo by LCHS Senior Nathan White).

Minutemen Lose Heartbreaker to Mountaineers 35-34

      The Lewis County Minutemen football team traveled to Clarksburg on Friday night, Oct. 14 for a Big Ten Conference match up with the Liberty Mountaineers.
The Minutemen and Mountaineers both came into the contest with 4-3 records. Lewis County was looking to end a two game losing streak and both teams was seeking a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Lewis County got the football first and started their initial drive of the game at their own 38 yard line. A five yard penalty against the Minutemen would push them back to the 33 yard line and on the second down play Thomas Hogan would hook up with Nate Frazier for a 17 yard pass play to give Lewis County a first down at the 50 yard line. After Jacob White picked up 2 yards on first down and a Hogan incomplete pass on second down, White gained 14 yards to the Mountaineers 34 yard line and give the Minutemen another first down. The drive would come to an end and the Minutemen were forced to punt the ball to Liberty.
The Mountaineers would take over at their own 21 yard line and would use the running of Dalton Westfall and Broderick Lantz to go the 79 yards in 11 plays capped off when Lantz scored from 15 yards out and when Chance Howell added the extra point Liberty had the first points of the game and a 7-0 lead with 3:51 seconds left to play in the opening quarter.
The Minutemen would have good starting position on their next possession when they would start at the Liberty 43 yard line. Lewis County was unable to take advanage of the good field position and would once again forced to punt the ball back to the Mountaineers. Liberty would once again rid the tandem of Westfall and Lantz as the two would account for all 84 yards of the scoring drive and extend their lead to 14-0 when Westfall went in from 5 yards out and Howell added the PAT.
Lewis County then went to work on offense and drove 62 yards and score their first points of the game when Hogan hit Frazier for a 16 yard scoring pass and when Jared Griffith added the extra point to cut the Liberty lead to 14-7 with 7:20 left in the first half of play.
Liberty would strike quickly as Tommy Surock would take the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown and following another PAT from Howell the Mountaineers had their 14 point advantage back at 21-7.
Lewis County would not answer the Liberty score as their next drive ended when they were force to turn the ball over on downs. Three plays later the Lewis County defense would rise to the occasion and force a Liberty fumble that was recovered by Hunter Rexroad for the Minutemen.
Lewis County then went to work on the offensive side as Hogan hit Jacob White for 8 yards and Adam Cutlip picked the first down with a two yard carry. Then Lewis County got back to back big plays the first when White ran for 17 yards and a first down and Hogan connected with Dalton Lowther for a 30 yard pass play that set up the Minutemen with a first and goal to go at the Liberty 6 yard line. Three plays later Hogan would punch in from the one yard out and after Griffith added the PAT Lewis County once again cut the Liberty lead to seven points at 21-14 with just 49 seconds left in the first half. Liberty would run out the first half clock and go to the break with the 21-14 lead.
Liberty would have the ball to start the second half and would get their 14 point lead back when Seth McKinney hit Lantz with a 30 yard scoring strike and when Howell added the extra point Liberty had a 35-21 lead.
Lewis County would not quit as they would put together a 51 yard scoring drive of their own that was capped off by another Hogan scoring strike to Frazier this a 23 yard one and after Griffith added the extra point Lewis County was now down 28-21.
After Lewis County kick the ball out of bounds Liberty would start this drive at their own 35 yard line. Once again Liberty would stretch their lead to 14 points as Lantz and Westfall would gain all 65 yards on the ground as Lantz would cash in from 21 yards out and after another Howell PAT Liberty was back up 14 points at 35-21.
Liberty attempted an onsides kicks that would be recovered by Cole Barker for Lewis County at their own 48 yard line. A 5 yard pass from Hogan to Frazier, an 11yard run by, White, a 16 yard run by Cutlip and a 20 yard touchdown pass from Hogan to Cutlip and the extra point by Griffith and Lewis County was now down by 7 points again by a score of 35-28 with 11:54 seconds left in the game.
The Mountaineers would start their first possession of the final quarter at their own 26 yard line. Two plays into the drive they would fumble the ball that would be recovered by Jhordan Mayo for the Minutemen. A Hogan pass to Frazier for 14 yards and another pass connection from Hogan to Frazier for the final 18 yards and Lewis County was within 1 point from tying the game. But Griffith's extra point attempt would miss and Lewis County would be down 35-34 with just 10:51 left to play in the game.
Liberty would fumble the ball again on it's next possession and Devon Wagoner would recover it for Lewis County. But the Minutemen was unable to move the ball and punted the ball back to the Mountaineers.
Liberty would drive the ball from their own 26 yard line to the Lewis County 15 yard line when they stopped Westfall on a fourth down and 3 to take over the ball.
The Minutemen would have 86 yards to go with just 2:11 to cover the distance. Two straight completions from Hogan to Frazier moved the ball to the Minutemen 29 yard line. Following an incomplete pass Hogan hit Sam Bungsmuhr for a 1 yard pickup and Frazier for an 9 yard pass play to move the ball to the 39 yard line. From the 39 yard line Hogan threw a incompletion and connected with Bungsmuhr for 9 more yards and Lewis County was at the 48 yard line.
However the drive would end on the fourth down and 1 play when Hogan's pass would be intercepted by Liberty's Chandler Taylor. with just 29 seconds left to play. Liberty then when into victory formation and McKinney took a knee and Liberty had gained the win by a score of 35-34.
With the loss Lewis County fell to 4-4 while Liberty improved to5-3. Liberty held the edge in total offense 421 yards to 350 yards for Lewis County.
Lewis County had 124 yards rushing led by Jacob White with 92 yards on 12 carries. The Minutemen would have 226 passing yards from Thomas Hogan who would complete 19 of 35 passes with 4 touchdowns. Nate Frazier would lead Lewis County in receiving with 11 catches for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jhordan Mayo, Hunter Rexroad and Devon Wagoner had fumble recoveries for the Minutemen.
Lewis County will travel to Elkins this Friday night, Oct. 22 when they will face Elkins Tigers in another Big Ten Conference tilt with a 7:30 pm kickoff scheduled.

Score By Quarters
Lewis County 0 14 7 13 - 34
Liberty 7 14 14 0 - 35
Team Statistics LC LIB
First Downs 18 18
Rushing Yards 124 354
Passing Yards 226 67
Total Yards 350 421
Passing 19-35-1 3-4-0
Punts 2-29.5 0-0
Fumbles 0 4
Fumbles Lost 0 3
Penalties 8-50 8-80
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Lewis County: Jacob White 12-92; Adam Cutlip 4-27; Drew Potter 2-1; Isaiah Burciago 2 - 9; Jon Gum 1- 0; Thomas Hogan 4-(-5); Totals 25-124
Liberty: Dalton Westfall 34-167; Broderick Lantz 23-188; Seth McKinney 1-0; Team 1-(-1); Totals 59-354
Passing: Lewis County: Thomas Hogan 19 of 35 for 226 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception
Liberty: Seth McKinney 3 of 4 for 67 yards with 1 touchdown
Receiving: Lewis County: Nate Frazier 11-145; Sam Bungsmuhr 4-26; Jacob White 2-5; Adam Cutlip 1-18
Liberty: Broderick Lantz 3-67

LCHS Senior Soccer players were honored Saturday, October 15, during the final home game of the season. Pictured left to right are: Ian Young, Duncan Flint, Garrett Clemons, Emilee Spangler, Abbie Dodson, Ian Jewell, Sy Darquenne, and Nick Atchison. (Photo by LCHS Senior Nathan White).


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