MEC opener for Glenville State

GLENVILLE – Coming off what could’ve been a huge upset victory last weekend at VMI, the Pioneers of Glenville State head coach David Hutchison are ready to go for their Mountain East Conference opener at 1 p.m. Saturday against host West Liberty at Russek Field.

Like the Pioneers, who lost 34-27, the Hilltoppers are also coming off a tough opening week non-conference road setback after falling 10-9 at Catawba.

“They were pretty down on the ride home. It was obviously a tough loss, but we’re now focused on West Liberty,” said Hutchison, whose team failed to score after having a first-and-goal at the Keydet 3 inside the final minute.

Nonetheless, the G-men received a two touchdown performance from sophomore tailback Rahman Lee, who toted the pigskin 23 times for 146 stripes and also hauled in three passes for 79 yards.

West Liberty’s only offense came from kicker Bryan Arbes, who hit a trio of field goals, but missed his longest attempt from 42 yards out.

“They are very, very strong on defense and they run well,” Hutchison said of ninth-year head coach Roger Waialae’s program. “A year ago we were up 14-0 (won 17-14) and did a lot of good things and we didn’t have any success after the first quarter. Offensively, they are better up front then they were a year ago and they got a lot of good skill.

“We have to try and put pressure on their quarterback and have him get the ball out quick. Coach Waialae looks like they are trying to run the ball more than in the past.”

Hilltopper signal-caller Dylan LaGarde missed on 23 of his 43 attempts and passed for just 172 yards. Dylan Potts (7-60) was his favorite target and Dominic Cooper amassed 74 yards on 15 carries in the ground game.

Glenville State didn’t have a turnover against VMI and also played with Steffen Colon at quarterback. Colon was 22 of 38 for 310 yards and hooked up with Delvon Purvis (7-82) for one of his two touchdowns.

Sophomore tight end Jake Harper also got involved in the pass game with four catches for 75 yards.

GSC’s Quin Thornton had a kickoff return for a touchdown called back last week.

No Pioneer player reach six total stops on defense, but James Johnson led the way with 5.5 tackles and was followed by Manny Hernandez and Terry Reese with five apiece.

Avery Goff, a second team Class A all-state selection last year at Williamstown, is listed as the No. 2 right tackle for West Liberty and saw his first career action in last week’s contest.