FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State picked up its first victory
of the season with a 25-20 win over West Liberty on Saturday afternoon at
Bobby Vega completed 34-of-67 attempts for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Vega's 67 pass attempts were a school record and the 361 yards tied for the seventh most in a single game at Fairmont State.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the WVIAC. West Liberty falls to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Fairmont State rolled up 386 yards of total offense compared to just 161 for West Liberty. Chris St. Hilaire led the FSU receivers with a career-high 12 catches for 123 yards and a score. C.J. Goodwin also went over the century mark with three catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, including an 83-yard TD reception. WLU's L.D. Crow completing 21-of-43 passes for 145 yards and a pair of interceptions. Darrell Stanley hauled in six catches for 45 yards. Isiah Moody had eight carries for 24 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively the Falcons were led by Garret Davis, Bryan Wilson and Jephte Leveille who each had six tackles. The Falcons
defense also recorded five sacks and recorded a safety. Bryan Wilson and Trevor Malnick each recorded interceptions for the
Andrew Faraimo and Matt Betz each recorded eight tackles for West Liberty. Betz also recorded a pair of sacks. Jovontae Johnson, Rod White and Marco Ricchetti each recorded interceptions for the Hilltoppers. Johnson
also had a 22-yard fumble return in the game.
Fairmont State started quickly scoring the game's first 19 points. Johnny Dearstine opened the scoring with a 36-yard field goal, and Anthony Domcio later recorded a safety taking down Crow in the end zone to make it 5-0. Off the free kick, Fairmont State would travel 46 yards in eight plays with the drive being capped by a 13-yard touchdown reception by Chris St. Hilaire to make it 12-0 early in the second quarter. The FSU defense forced a three-and-out, and then made it 19-0 on a five-yard TD reception by Matt Wilmer.
The Hilltoppers would get back into the game late in the half. WLU took advantage of an interception by Marco Richetti that he returned to the FSU five-yard line. The 'Toppers punched it in two plays later but missed the extra point. WLU added another score late in the half to make it 19-13 at the break.
West Liberty seized the momentum of the game on Fairmont State's first possession as Jovontae Johnson scooped up a FSU fumble and rumbled 22 yards for the score to put the 'Toppers in front 20-19. WLU pinned FSU on its own 13-yard line late in the third quarter, but that's when Vega found C.J. Goodwin for an 87-yard bomb. The Falcons failed on the two-point conversion.
The Falcon defense forced WLU three-and-out on its first two possessions of the fourth quarter and Wilson picked off Crow on their third possession. However, FSU could not add a score to ice the game, giving West liberty one last chance to win taking over with 2:35 to go. The Hilltoppers, who were 0-for-14 on third down before starting their final drive, converted on one third down and one fourth down to take the ball to the FSU 27. The defensive line harassed Crow into a sack and a hurried throw to end the game and seal the Falcon victory.
Fairmont State will be back in action next week on the road at Charleston at noon.