Frankfort, Moorefield competitive in first and only scrimmage
By Chapin Jewell
MOOREFIELD - Something happened in Moorefield on Friday night that has happened for the last 11 straight and 23 of the last 24 years - Frankfort and Moorefield met on the gridiron to do battle in either the last week of August or first week of September.
It most certainly has become a tradition, this highly anticipated opening week battle between two programs that have enjoyed a lot of success.
This year things were a little different. As a result of the West Virginia High School football season getting pushed back, what was supposed to be an actual game this year could only be a scrimmage. But it was something, and this year getting something is like getting everything.
There were no fans beyond just parents, a few school officials, and a handful of media guys. There was no band, no fanfare, but there was real, hard-hitting football action between two schools, something we thought we wouldn’t see, and it was great.
“It felt really good because I didn’t think it was going to happen. If I was a betting man, the whole summer I would have bet that moment would have never come. It was just a really enjoyable night. I love going to Moorefield. The bus ride, the whole evening I had a good time and it was just great to be there,” Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman stated.
As every school and program in the Mountain State has been affected in the same ways, there is a real sense this year that we’re all in this together, an esprit de corps if you will. Both coaches wanted to assess their squads for sure, you know, the x’s and o’s. But there was real sense that everybody really wanted to make this work and work well for one another.
“Moorefield was an outstanding host. I love the people down there. I have a lot of friends down there. It’s amazing, just through coaching, if you open yourself up to people, the relationships you can develop, even with fans,” Whiteman stated. “I have fans down there that I talk to, even throughout the year, and they’re always great. That’s another reason I love going down there, it’s beautiful the whole way down there, but the way you get treated is great. They’re just good people.”
Frankfort has actually won 14 of the last 17 matchups between the two, but it doesn’t feel that lopsided.
This traditional opening week matchup between Frankfort and Moorefield is always much anticipated. It’s a good gauge for the two schools on where they stand, the games are competitive, and in the case of this year’s scheduled matchup, there was a feeling that the game really had all the makings of a spectacular matchup. The scrimmage was good. An actual game would have been amazing.
Whiteman agrees,“It would have been awesome. I’ve thought about that since last year. I knew they had a lot of good players coming back that started varsity for numerous years, and I think it would have been a classic, great battle, down to the wire. I think it could have went either way. They have a good football team, and I think it would have been a coin toss game that would have been won in the fourth quarter.”
The scrimmage began with each play getting a series of 10 offensive plays. Those 10 plays in reality turned out to be about 13 apiece. Frankfort actually scored on their 10 play series with Jansen Moreland plunging over the goal line and Corey Brieloff making the extra point kick. Moorefield had its 10/13 plays or so halted without a score.
Then the two began the “game play” portion of the scrimmage, which lasted for a full three quarters. Moorefield would tally 14 points on the scoreboard, Frankfort only 7. Counting Frankfort’s earlier touchdown, however, it essentially worked out to be a draw.
Matthew Judy got Moorefield on the board first in game play with a touchdown run in the first quarter. Yellow Jackets quarterback Bryson See then found receiver Coleman Mongold on a passing strike in the third quarter to extend Moorefield’s game play lead to 14-0.
Frankfort quarterback Luke Robinette, who followed Colton McTaggart as the signal caller in the third quarter, connected with Peyton Clark on an 80-yard touchdown pass, a catch and run, to bring the final score in game play to 14-7. Again, however, both teams had touchdowns total on the day.
“I was pleased with our defense because the amount of time we’ve had to practice defense and work on different things like pass coverage has been limited. I think that for the amount of time that they had, they did pretty good, Whiteman explained.
“Offensively, and I knew it wasn’t going to be beautiful because we’ve had limited time there too, the turnovers killed us. We’ve got to hold onto the football, that’s the bottom line. We had some missed assignments, and I knew that was going to happen, that’s going to happen week ten, Whiteman stated. “We just have a lot to talk about at the coaches meeting and hopefully we can fix some of it, but the turnovers were the biggest disappointment.”
It wasn’t the game we all have wanted and had been anticipating since last season. It was, however, a well-ran, very productive scrimmage and that allowed the Frankfort/Moorefield early season tradition and connection to continue. It was something, and this year, something is everything.