CLARKSBURG — Two different teams, two separate interviews, but the same answer came from both Robert C. Byrd coach Josh Gorrell and Frankfort coach Kevin Watson when asked for their impressions of Friday night’s game.
“Tale of two halves.”
The first half went according to script for the visiting Falcons: Two early forced fumbles and a 14-7 lead.
“I thought we played some good, solid football in the first half,” Watson said. “We were making the gang tackles we needed to. We were running the ball really well and executing.”
“We had some alignment issues,” Gorrell said.
The second half? Well, that was more the Flying Eagles’ speed: Ghovan Davidson dragged several tacklers into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Frankfort 3 for the go-ahead score and Robert C. Byrd (2-1) pulled away, scoring the final 28 points of the game to win, 35-14.
“I think my coaching staff did a great job at the half making adjustments and getting us where we needed to be, and the guys stepped up and made plays. It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take the win.”
“It just wasn’t there,” Watson said. “We gave up the big plays. We didn’t gang tackle. We didn’t make the first downs. I’m going to blame it on myself as a coach. I’ve got to have them ready to play in that second half, and I feel like I let them down.”
Davidson, fresh off of a four-touchdown performance against Lincoln last week, found the end zone three times this time around and was a huge key in helping RCB protect a one-touchdown lead on its final offensive drive, finishing with 222 rushing yards.
RCB looked like they would score on their opening possession, but fumbled, with Kolton Kelly recovering for FHS.
“We shot ourselves in the foot, but we faced adversity, and we overcame it,” Gorrell said.
Frankfort (1-2) then punted, but a fumble on the ensuing return gave the Falcons dream field position at the RCB 7.
Two plays later, Dalton Pollock scored on a 3-yard run; the kick was no good, but Frankfort led, 6-0, with 8:09 left in the first quarter.
“That was huge,” Watson said. “Those turnovers are a major momentum change.”
RCB took its first lead late in the first quarter.
Facing third-and-19, Xavier Lopez connected with Andrew Sponaugle for a 16-yard gain, then Tre Junkins’ 32-yard run set up Davidson’s first TD of the night from five yards out.
RCB led, 7-6, after Ryan Longerbeam’s made PAT with 54 seconds left in the first quarter.
Frankfort then drove into the red zone, but Bryson Lucas picked off Wyatt Yates at the RCB 7.
Davidson romped for a 40-yard gain, but the Eagles eventually turned the ball over on downs at the FHS 43.
Pollock hauled in an 11-yard pass, and, on third-and-6 from the RCB 38, rushed the rest of the way.
Yates found Jacob Strawderman for the 2-point conversion, and Frankfort led, 14-7, with 2:56 to go in the half.
RCB scored on its third offensive play of the third quarter as Malcom Johnson sprinted 66 yards to the end zone.
The extra point was no good, keeping Frankfort in front, 14-13, with 6:14 left in the third quarter.
Davidson rushed for first downs of 26 and 35 yards after a Frankfort punt, then got the call on the game’s biggest plan.
The Falcons had him slowed at the RCB 5, but the strong junior kept his legs moving, carrying several FHS defenders into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night.
“He’s a horse. And we’re going to feed that horse,” Gorrell said. “We’ve got to be able to throw the football, though, and we know that.”
“Gang tackles. It’s all about gang tackles,” Watson said. “You just can’t be a part of a pile. You’ve got to want to be that main guy that’s driving them backwards. (Davidson) has a low center of gravity and just drives his feet and gets in the end zone.”
Lopez passed to Junkins for the 2-point conversion, making it a 21-14 game with eight seconds left in the third quarter.
Both teams traded punts, then Frankfort moved as far as the RCB 40 before punting again.
Starting from his 14, Davidson ran for 14, 18, 7, 2, 9, 3, -2, and 9 yards,
Junkins then took the direct snap and ran for a clinching 14-yard touchdown with 1:08 left.
Davidson widened the margin with a 57-yard interception return.
Johnson finished with 92 yards on eight carries and a score, while Junkins carried seven times for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Lopez completed 6-of-9 passes for 45 yards for RCB, while Yates hit on 7-of-13 throws for 64 yards for FHS.
Pollock contributed 17 rushes for 87 yards and two touchdowns and also caught three balls for 26 more yards.
Nick Marley was Frankfort’s leading rusher with 17 carries for 127 yards.
“The sophomore keeps plugging away,”