SHORT GAP - Entering Friday night's contest between the Hampshire Trojans and Frankfort Falcons in Short Gap, the general sentiment was that this would certainly be a mismatch. Frankfort was firing on all cylinders with a 7-1 record, Hampshire, by contrast, was winless at 0-8.
By Chapin Jewell
SHORT GAP - Entering Friday night’s contest between the Hampshire Trojans and Frankfort Falcons in Short Gap, the general sentiment was that this would certainly be a mismatch. Frankfort was firing on all cylinders with a 7-1 record, Hampshire, by contrast, was winless at 0-8.
There was more to it than that, however, as Hampshire’s struggles extended beyond just being winless. The biggest problem is that the Trojans had been so decimated my injuries that they had cancelled junior varsity play just to bring enough kids up to fill a varsity roster.
It was no surprise then, that Frankfort would dominate Hampshire and dominate them from the opening kickoff. Once the game was firmly in hand, however, Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman appropriately dialed things back, as is obvious when comparing scoring from the first half as compared to scoring in the second half.
This is in keeping with Whiteman’s words leading up to the Senior Night contest in which he explained how much he sympathized with Hampshire’s plight. According to Whiteman, “We’ve had seasons like that and it’s unfortunate.”
The statistics will show that Frankfort dominated Hampshire 55-20 in Friday night’s win in nearly every statistical category, including the score, with the exception of yards through the air.
As a team, Frankfort rushed 29 times for 344 yards, an average of 11.86 yards per carry. Hampshire, by contrast, tallied only 65 yards on 25 rushing attempts, an average of 2.6 yards per rush. In the air, Hampshire did throw for 135 yards, going 14 of 23 through the air. For the Falcons, only three passes were attempted with one completion going for 13 yards. Frankfort accumulated 357 total offensive yards compared to 200 for the Trojans.
In amassing the 55-20 victory, the Falcons would earn two touchdowns each from JJ Blank and Nick Marley. In addition, Connor Parish, Jansen Knotts, Logan Kinser and Kolton Kelly would each find the endzone.
In the loss, Hampshire benefited from two touchdown passes from Alex Hott, one each to Trevor Sardo and Bryan Armstrong. Hunter Staub also rushed for a touchdown for the Trojans.
Frankfort would score 28 points in the first quarter, 20 points in the second and an addition 7 in the fourth quarter to accumulate their 55 points. Hampshire would score 14 points in the second quarter and an additional 6 points in the third.
The Falcons would get on the board first when JJ Blank scampered in to the endzone at the 8:01 mark of the first quarter to put Frankfort up 7-0 with the Brady Aldridge extra point. Just over two minutes later, Nick Marley would extend Frankfort’s lead to 14-0 with a three-yard scoring plunge and another Aldridge extra point.
Just 33 seconds later, Marley would again score, this time on a 15-yard run. Along with the Aldridge extra point, the Falcons were up 21-0 in the blink of an eye. With 2:05 remaining in the first quarter, Connor Parish pushed the Frankfort lead to 28-0 with a 16-yard scoring run and Aldridge extra point. The first quarter concluded with Frankfort leading 28-0.
A mere six seconds into the second quarter, Frankfort struck again with an 11-yard scoring run from quarterback Jansen Knotts; Aldridge’s extra point gave the Falcons a 35-0 lead.
Hampshire would finally get on the board when Alex Hott found Trevor Sardo on a 20-yard scoring strike. With the extra point attempt no good, the Falcons’ lead was cut slightly to 35-6.
At the 3:04 mark of the second quarter, Logan Kinser would extend Frankfort’s lead out to 36 points with an Aldridge extra point on a 10-yard touchdown scamper.
Hampshire responded with another Alex Hott touchdown pass, time good for 55 yards to Bryan Armstrong. Hott would find Sardo for the two-point conversion pass to cut the Frankfort lead slightly to 42-14.
JJ Blank responded for Frankfort by taking the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good and the Falcons would enter halftime leading the Trojans 48-14.
The third quarter scoring was limited to Hunter Staub’s 11-yard rushing touchdown for Hampshire, which cut the Frankfort lead to 48-20.
In the fourth quarter, Kolton Kelly would give Frankfort their final points of the game on a one-yard plunge. With the Aldridge extra point, his seventh successful in eight attempts, Frankfort’s lead would extend to 55-20 for good.
In the loss, Hampshire falls to 0-9 and will conclude their season at home on Friday against 2-6 Washington. The Trojans will strive to avoid their first winless season since 2007.
In the victory, Frankfort extends their regular season record to 8-1. The Falcons have won six straight since losing in overtime at Weir in week three. The Falcons moved up and are currently ranked seventh in the current West Virginia MetroNews Power Rankings.
More importantly, it looks as though the Falcons may leap into fourth position in the West Virginia class AA playoff ratings.
The Falcons will enter an all-important week of rest but perhaps more importantly preparation as Frankfort will travel to Keyser after the bye week to take on the Golden Tornado in the Mineral Bowl.
It is likely that both Keyser and Frankfort have all but clinched a playoff spot. What remains, the big question at this point, is how will things shake out in terms of seeding. The Mineral Bowl will essentially decide that.