Late Interception Dooms Hilltoppers

WEST LIBERTY – Brian Kennedy’s 4-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining lifted Concord to a 32-29 victory against upset-minded West Liberty on Saturday afternoon in the Hilltoppers’ final home game of the season at Russek Field.

West Liberty’s 2-minute offense tried to answer, driving well into Mountain Lion territory only to see Concord (6-3 overall, 6-1 WVC) linebacker Jeff Greenway come up with a game-saving interception at the Mountain Lion 30 with 34 seconds remaining.

It was the fifth interception and sixth turnover of the day for the hard-luck Hilltoppers (1-9, 1-7), who racked up more yards and scored more points against the WVIAC’s No. 1-ranked defense than any team this season only to come away without a victory.

“Blown opportunities,” West Liberty coach Roger Waialae said. “That’s been the story of our season. We give away too many easy points and don’t take advantage of our own opportunities. We had three turnovers on their side of the 50, missed two field goals and didn’t convert a pair of extra points. That’s a lot of points to leave on the field.”

Oddly enough, West Liberty scored the only offensive touchdown of the first half a 5-yard run by Brandon Davis at 9:33 of the second quarter but still found itself on the short end of a 21-14 count at intermission.

West Liberty completed 33-of-49 passes for 374 yards and 2 TDs with Schroeder (12 catches for 180 yards) and fellow WR Tyler Tucci (12 catches for 114 yards) each setting career-highs.

The Hilltoppers finished with 24 first downs and 404 yards of total offense while holding Concord to just 14 first downs and 225 yards of total offense.

West Liberty closes out the season on the road next week with a Saturday afternoon game at UNC-Pembroke.