It’s Like a Broken Record
GREENSBURG, Pa. – Zach Amedro became the leading passer in NCAA Division II history while fellow seniors Kevon Calhoun, Ryan Travis, and Clay Beeler all added a few more lines next to their names in the record books as West Liberty blasted Seton Hill, 82-36, on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Offutt Field.
Amedro completed 34 of 44 passes for 525 yards and a West Virginia Conference record eight touchdowns to break the previous NCAA Division II career record of 14,350 passing yards set by Jimmy Terwilliger of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) from 2003-06 as the Hilltoppers hung an NCAA Division II season-high 82 points on the scoreboard.
The former John Marshall High School all-stater set the all-time passing record – and went over the 500-yard mark for the day – on a 25-yard strike to senior Willie Walker at 10:58 of the fourth quarter. Amedro then whipped a 21-yard touchdown pass to David Carter – his eighth TD toss of the day – and headed to the sidelines for the rest of the afternoon.
Amedro pushed his NCAA Division II career record passing total to 14,377 yards and also moved up on several other national charts. It was his 29th 300-yard passing game and 28th 300-yard total offense game – both NCAA Division II records -while his career average of 334.3 passing yards per game is also an all-time NCAA Division II best.
The Hilltopper signalcaller is now No. 2 in the NCAA Division II record books in career completions (1,045), career touchdown passes (124) and total offense yards per game (331.5) and No. 3 all-time in total offense (14,253).
His eight TD passes shattered one of the oldest records on the WVIAC and West Liberty books. The previous WVIAC mark of seven TD passes was set by the Hilltoppers’ Mike Flannery in a triple-overtime game against West Virginia State in 1975.
The West Liberty QB had plenty of help on a day that saw the Hilltoppers (6-3, 5-2) spot the Griffins (2-9, 1-7) a 15-0 lead before the WLU offense had even touched the ball.
Calhoun rushed for 108 yards and two TDs on 13 carries and also topped the 100-yard receiving mark with four catches for 141 yards and another score. The talented tailback has now scored more touchdowns (44) and more rushing touchdowns (38) than any player in West Liberty history.
Travis padded his national receiving lead with 13 catches for a game-high 157 yards. His two first-quarter TD grabs pushed his school record total to 33 receiving touchdowns.
Beeler, a senior linebacker, was charted with a career-high 18 tackles to become only the fifth Hilltopper to break the 300-tackle barrier. He’s now tied with 2009 graduate Nick Harding for fifth place all-time at WLU with 314 stops.
Carter, a junior receiver, crashed the seniors’ record-setting party with four of his nine catches going for touchdowns. His four TD grabs tied a school record shared by Greg Dailer (1997) and Almonzo Banks (2007).
Seton Hill came out with all guns blazing on Senior Day, driving for touchdowns on their first four possessions to grab a 29-14 lead in the early minutes of the second quarter.
But the Griffins defense had no answer for the Hilltoppers offense, which reeled off three straight touchdowns to take a 35-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.
West Liberty opened the second half with back-to-back short scoring tosses from Amedro to Carter for a 48-29 lead.
Seton Hill tried to make a game of it with a 27-yard scoring pass from D.J. Lenehan to Zach Delo, cutting the gap to 48-36, just before the end of the third quarter but Calhoun snuffed any comeback hopes with a dazzling 58-yard TD gallop on the first snap after the ensuing kickoff.
After a defensive stop, Amedro opened the fourth quarter with a 20-yard TD pass to Calhoun before ending his day with the record-breaking TD pass to Carter. Backup QB Tyler Tucci added a 9-yard TD pass to reserve WR Alex Matviko in the waning minutes and sophomore DE Derrick Rovira closed out the scoring with a school-record 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown with just 26 ticks remaining.
The Hilltoppers close out the regular season on the road Saturday with a 1 p.m. kickoff at Concord.