Frankfort pounds the North Marion Huskies 36-19
By Chapin Jewell
SHORT GAP - Cole Hiett led a prolific Falcon rushing attack, grinding out 196 yards on 13 carries and scoring three rushing touchdowns as Frankfort used an old-school, ground and pound approach to snare the North Marion Huskies 36-19 Friday night.
In total, the Falcons scored five touchdowns, all on the ground, and accumulated 411 yards on 53 carries, an average of 7.8 yards per rush. In addition, the Falcons went three for three passing for an additional 51 yards to tally a total of 462 total yards compared to 342 total for the visiting Huskies, who had 202 yards through the air and 140 on the ground.
Frankfort won the battle in the trenches, despite being outsized by North Marion, the Falcons pushed North Marion’s defenders off the ball play after play to dominate with their Wing-T offense.
“I always challenge them to win the physical game, and I like being known as a physical football team, and we were physical tonight. I can’t say enough about the effort, it was just an all-around effort in all three phases of the game, I thought it was pretty good,” Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman stated.
It was a clash of styles, North Marion’s more flashy, run-pass-option spread attack compared to Frankfort’s three yards and a cloud of dust approach. Except that statistically, is was more like 7.8 yards and a cloud of dust.
North Marion threw the ball 28 times compared to only 24 rushing attempts. By contrast, of Frankfort’s 56 total offensive plays, 53 came on the ground and only three through the air.
According to Whiteman, “I like the clash of styles. You still have people that bash on that old Wing-T, but that old Wing T does us good. I’m proud of the fact that we want to throw the ball more, but we win when we pound the ball and pound it well and that old Wing T helped us win another game.”
Whiteman was impressed by Hiett’s 196-yard, three touchdown performance to lead the Frankfort offense, “He had some nice runs. There were a couple there where I thought his extra effort sprung him forward, and I’m proud of his effort and they way that he kept churning his legs.”
After Hiett, Frankfort was led offensively by Peyton Clark with 114 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Jansen Moreland followed with 52 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries. In addition, Andrew Westfall toted the rock five times for 31 yards, Parker Vanmeter six times for 24 yards, and Colton McTaggart one time for one yard.
McTaggart completed two passes on only two attempts for 39 yards, one to Cole Hiett for 26 yards and the other to Brock Robinette for 13 yards. Robinette also hauled in a 12-yard pass from Andrew Westfall on the last play of the first half.
After an exchange of possessions to start the game, Peyton Clark capped off a nine-play, 55-yard drive, scoring on a nine-yard run at the 4:44 mark of the opening frame, that, along with Corey Brieloff’s kick, gave the Falcons the early 7-0 lead.
North Marion would respond with a 3:12, 68-yard drive, punctuated by a one yard quarterback sneak from Brody Hall to tie the game 7-7 with 1:26 remaining on the first quarter clock.
Then Cole Hiett took over. In a two-minute span just inside the second quarter, the speedy senor ran off two touchdown runs, each of exactly 27 yards. After the first, Frankfort’s Parker Vanmeter converted a two-point conversion to put the Falcons up 15-7. After the second, Brieloff’s kick extended the Frankfort lead to 15 points (22-7)
North Marion opened the second half with perhaps their most impressive drive of the game. The Huskies went 83 yards in just over five minutes, scoring on a Gavan Lemley 11-yard run off the right side. With the two-point conversion attempt unsuccessful, the Frankfort lead was cut to 22-13.
Outside of a meaningless touchdown scored literally in the waning seconds of the game, the stingy Frankfort defense contained North Marion’s spread offense the rest of the way, as it had done so successfully in the first half.
“Our defensive coaches worked very hard preparing them. We knew they were going to throw and run, the quarterback does a nice job. I thought early in the game, he hit some nice ones, some RPOs, and I felt like we did a better job after the first few series of doing a better job against those RPOs,” Whiteman stated.
After North Marion cut the Frankfort lead to 22-13, Frankfort responded and in a big way to put the game out of reach. Taking over on their own 35-yard line, the Falcons drove 65 yards and scored on a five-yard plunge by Jansen Moreland that, with Brieloff’s kick, extended the Frankfort lead back out to 29-13.
After holding North Marion to a punt on the ensuing possession, the Falcons took over at their own 30-yard line. After advancing 16 yards on a few plays, Cole Hiett took one to the house, a 54-yard touchdown just nine seconds into the final frame that with the kick pushed the Frankfort lead to 36-13.
With the game fully in control, North Marion did score with only 17 seconds remaining on a Gavan Lemley 25-yard touchdown run to place the final tally at 36-19 in favor of Frankfort.
In the winning performance, Frankfort was nearly perfect. There was only one or two very minor penalties, and most importantly, no turnovers, something that has plagued the Falcons at time.
“I’m impressed with that, it was a great effort. Especially having no turnovers, you know, we’ve really been working hard on our turnovers. I don’t feel like we’ve been playing a complete game all year, and I painted ‘48’ on our practice field Monday. I just tried to drive it into their head, we’re going to play for 48 minutes, we’re going to play for 48 minutes,” Whiteman explained.
According to Whiteman, “And, I thought we played for 48 minutes, that was a nice win against a quality football team and we needed that. I know coming in, we were the underdog, people didn’t think we could win. It was just a nice win for us.”
The Falcons entered the contest with a murderer’s row slate of three teams remaining, with North Marion, Oak Glen and Keyser all ranked in the top eight of West Virginia’s class AA. The victory over North Marion serves to increase the Falcons’ confidence for the final two contests.
“It has to help our confidence. You come into a game like this, two teams ranked in the top five or six in West Virginia AA, and you pull off a win, it can’t do anything but help your confidence.”
“We have to have a strong finish, we have to stay focused and we’ve just got to keep working hard. It’s so hard to get teenage boys to understand how important it is to stay focused and work hard every day of the week, and then come out on Friday nights and play for 48 minutes, Whiteman explained.
Frankfort (7-1) hosts Oak Glen (5-1) Friday night in Short Gap at 7 p.m.