Hilltoppers Close Season

WEST LIBERTY – West Liberty University closes out the season at 1 p.m. at home Saturday when it welcomes Notre Dame (OH) to Russek Field.

It’s the first meeting between West Liberty (3-7 overall, 3-5 MEC) and the Falcons (4-6, 3-5).

West Liberty will observe Senior Day on with 14 members of the Hilltoppers team being honored in a pregame ceremony before taking the field for the final time.

Coach Roger Waialae would like to send those seniors out with a victory.

“Senior Days are tough on coaches,” Waialae said, “especially when you’re wrapping up a season that hasn’t been as successful as you would like.

“The great thing about this group is that they’ve done the job in the classroom. A couple of them will graduate in December with the rest on track to finish up in May. As a coach, you feel bad that their final season didn’t go as planned so you want to give them one more positive memory.”

West Liberty is coming off a frustrating 24-13 loss at UVA-Wise last week as the Cavaliers scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit. It was the Hilltoppers’ fourth consecutive loss.

There were some bright spots on the Virginia trip. The Hilltoppers posted their first 200-yard passing game of the season with Dylan Lagarde completing 24 of 39 passes for 215 yards. Dylan Potts had a career-high 139 receiving yards on nine catches while Bryan Arbes booted two more field goals, pushing his school-record season total to 17.

Notre Dame, in its fourth season as a varsity program, is coming off a 30-14 loss to Concord. The Falcons feature one of the league’s more balanced attacks but were held to a season-low 213 yards of offense by the nationally ranked CU defense. Quarterback Ray Russ completed 23 of 35 passes for 175 yards but TB Pedro Powell, who entered the game as the MEC rushing leader, was held to a season-low 40 yards on 18 carries.