MOOREFIELD - Frankfort had outscored Moorefield by a combined 89-7 over the last two seasons when the Falcons took to the field in the South Branch Valley Friday night. With Moorefield thought to be a much improved team under second year coach Matt Altobello, however, the Falcons knew not to expect a cakewalk.


By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
MOOREFIELD - Frankfort had outscored Moorefield by a combined 89-7 over the last two seasons when the Falcons took to the field in the South Branch Valley Friday night. With Moorefield thought to be a much improved team under second year coach Matt Altobello, however, the Falcons knew not to expect a cakewalk.
True to prediction, a bit of a slow start for Frankfort, coupled with an inspired performance by Moorefield, saw the Falcons in a bit of a fight early, leading only 15-3 at halftime.  As sometimes  happens, however, Frankfort worked a few things out in the locker room, then finished strong by outscoring Moorefield 20-0 in the second half to earn an impressive 35-3 victory.
“We struggled early on offensively with some things but we kept battling and worked through the issues we were having. It was nice to see the kids fight through adversity and not quit. I like that we played as a team and stuck together,” Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman explained.
The Falcons would get on the board first with a Nick Marley touchdown from 12 yards out with 6:55 to go in the first quarter. The extra point was no good, giving the Falcons an early 6-0 lead. A mere 1:07 later, the Falcons would again get on the board, this time with a safety, upping their lead to 8-0 with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter.
After a 12-play drive, Nick Marley would plunge into the end zone from one yard out, four seconds into the second quarter, to extend Frankfort’s lead to 15-0. Moorefield would get on the board with 1:20 remaining in the half on a beautiful 49-yard field goal by Atikilt Tamiru. The teams would enter the locker rooms with the Falcons on top 15-3.
‘I give Moorefield a lot of credit because they were taking things away from us. I like Moorefield’s team, they are much improved and are going to win a lot of games this year. They were very well prepared for us and I liked how aggressive they were. I see nothing but good things for them the rest of the season,” Coach Whiteman stated.
Up by only two scores at halftime, the Falcons improved their play in the second half, dominating the Yellow Jackets the rest of the way, outscoring their home standing opponent 20-0 over the third and fourth quarters.  
Coach Whiteman gives credit for Frankfort’s improved second-half performance to productive time spent in the locker room at halftime, “We had some nice discussions at halftime and ironed things out.”
Nick Marley’s third touchdown of the game at the 6:11 mark of the third quarter, along with the made extra point, pushed Frankfort’s lead to 22-3. Just prior to time expiring in the third period, JJ Blank tacked on another Falcon touchdown from six yards out, which; with the extra point no good, Frankfort would take a 28-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
With 3:25 remaining in the contest, Jansen Moreland would cap off a nine-play, 55-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run that, along with the made extra point, extended the Falcons’ lead to 35-3 for good.
The Falcons outgained Moorefield in total offense 292 yards to 125.  Frankfort rushed for 265 yards compared to 88 for Moorefield.  Through the air, the Yellow Jackets edged the Falcons 37 yards to 27.  Frankfort led in first downs 12 to 6, and had a slight edge in time of possession (24:48 to 23:12)
Frankfort was penalized nine times for 75 yards compared to four penalties for 30 yards for Moorefield. In what is perhaps the most telling stat of the game, Moorefield committed four turnovers compared to zero for the Falcons.
Individually, Nick Marley led Frankfort with 16 carries for 84 yards and three touchdowns; Matthew Jenkins led the Yellow Jackets with 61 yards on 18 carries.  Moorefield’s Brent Moran led in passing with 37 yards coming from five completions on nine attempts; Jansen Knotts completed two of six passes for 27 yards for the Falcons.
In addition to Marley’s three touchdowns, Frankfort also earned touchdowns from JJ Blank and Jansen Moreland.  
Despite the 32-point win, Coach Kevin Whiteman noted several key areas in need of improvement for the Falcons, “We definitely need the most work on our offense. We did a lot of good things but we also struggled with certain aspects.  Most of the things we made mistakes on are easy to correct, and I take responsibility for those mistakes.”
If Frankfort struggled a bit offensively, defensively, they put forth a tremendously successful effort, forcing four turnovers and limiting Moorefield to 125 total offensive yards, no touchdowns, only 6 first downs, and a third down conversion rate of only 11 percent.
Frankfort and Moorefield have produced many competitive games to open the season over the years.  A much improved Moorefield team kept this game competitive through the first half. With a few tweaks, but more importantly some productive conversations in the locker room at halftime, Frankfort hit the ground running in the second half with a strong performance that would earn them a well-fought 35-3 victory.
Moorefield (0-1) must now travel to Pocahontas County (1-0) on Friday to take on a Warriors squad that trampled Tucker County 54-6 in week one action.
Frankfort (1-0), will host another Hardy County opponent, East Hardy (0-1), in their home opener on Friday in Short Gap.  East Hardy fell to Strasburg, Virginia 35-13 in their season opener.