by Duane Cochran for FightingFalcons.com
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State sophomore linebacker Garrett Davis and senior strong safety Greg Underwood turned in stellar performances Saturday afternoon against visiting Glenville State College at Duvall-Rosier Field, but in the end their standout play wasn't enough to keep the Falcons from falling 36-30 to the Pioneers in triple overtime.
The loss was the first of the season for FSU which saw its bid to start the year 3-0 for the first time since 1981 come to an end. The Falcons are now 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the WVIAC. Glenville State, on the other hand, improved to 1-2 overall and to 1-0 in the league.
Davis, a 6-3, 215-pound inside linebacker, recorded a career-high 18 tackles in the loss. He had nine solo tackles and nine assists. Three of his tackles were for negative yards.
“I feel like we played our hearts out, but we just came up short,” said Davis, who leads the Falcons in tackles this season with 33. “The effort was there. I wouldn't trade anyone on this team if I could. I'd much rather be with this team in defeat than any other team in a victory today.
“I'm not going to lie this loss hurts a lot, but the best thing we can do right now is use it to learn from and to get better. I believe we'll use it as fuel and energy to improve ourselves this week and get ready for West Liberty.”
Underwood, who ended up with 16 tackles Saturday including a game-high 10 solo stops, agrees.
“Obviously this was a tough loss for us to take,” said Underwood, who now has 25 total tackles on the year. “We went out there and played with a lot of confidence. It was kind of a crazy game. We were up, they were up and then we battled back and got the lead again and then they tied it at the end of regulation. We really wanted this win, but hats off to Glenville. They never quit. You can't fault their effort. We battled each other all day and in the end they made one more play.
“I'm a senior and I hate for our younger guys to have to experience this. I hate for myself to have to experience it because as a team we have very high expectations for ourselves. The good thing is we still do have high expectations. I told my fellow players after the game we've got to stick together and keep doing what we've been doing but try this week and in the future to do everything, including all of the small things, better.”
FSU's defense was on the field a total of seven minutes longer than Glenville's and was forced to defend a whopping 100 offensive plays by the Pioneers in the loss. By comparison, Fairmont State ran just 65 offensive plays in the game.
The Falcons also got eight tackles and a key fumble recovery which led to a touchdown by junior free safety Dewey McDonald, seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery from senior defensive end Devin Johnson and seven tackles from senior linebacker David Pack.
St. Hilaire Shines
Chris St. Hilaire continues to show progression for Fairmont State as a receiver. The true sophomore from Tallahassee, Fla. enjoyed his best day in a Falcon uniform in Saturday's triple-overtime loss.
He caught a career-high nine passes for a career-high 186 yards and one touchdown against the Pioneers. For the season St. Hilaire, who is battling a knee sprain, leads the Falcons with 12 catches for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
“Honestly I'm surprised that my numbers were that good,” said St. Hilaire after the game. “I came in with a mindset today (Saturday) to try to dominate. Actually, that's been the mindset I've been trying to have all year.
“Give Tim Orange (FSU's junior receiver who has 10 catches for the season for 109 yards) a lot of credit. He came in here as a transfer (from Florida State) and has been a great leader for all of us receivers. He definitely pushes me to improve and get better and I'd like to think that I push him too.
“The other thing is we've got some good guys with experience like (Mark) Sampson and (Matt) Wilmer, who are solid and then our second group of receivers are all young and talented. In the near future here I think you're going to start to see them contribute more. Those young guys push me every day in practice and make me work harder and that's a good thing.”
Moore Settles In
After a rough start throwing the ball in the season-opening victory over Clarion (Pa.) University sophomore quarterback Logan Moore has settled in and played well the past two weeks for Fairmont State.
In a week two win over WVU-Tech Moore completed 14-of-25 passes for 167 yards and a pair of scores. He was picked off twice. He also ran for 76 yards in that game.
Saturday against Glenville State Moore enjoyed his best outing of the season completing 17-of-28 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted once by the Pioneers deep in Glenville territory in the third quarter to halt a potential FSU scoring threat.
For the season Moore has completed 36-of-74 passes for 514 yards and four touchdowns. He's been intercepted three times. He also has 141 rushing yards on 22 attempts – an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
“I was hanging my head pretty low coming off the field Saturday after the loss, but at some point during that walk back to the locker room something clicked in my mind,” said Moore. “We're only three weeks into the season with a long way to go. This one's over and as much as it hurts we just have to put it behind us and get ready for another great opponent next week in West Liberty. We have to correct the mistakes we made this week, come out next week in practice and work harder.
“Sitting in our locker room and looking around after the game a lot of guys were hurting and showing emotion. That's good. Losses are supposed to hurt. We've got some great senior leadership on this team and I don't think they'll let us break.”
FSU Heads To West Liberty
Fairmont State will travel north to West Liberty Saturday, Sept. 24 for a 1 p.m. meeting with the Hilltoppers at Russek Field.
West Liberty is off to an 0-3 start this season, but seventh-year Hilltoppers head coach Roger Waialae has never lost to Fairmont State.
The Falcons' last win in the series between the two schools came in 2004.