Falcons have their way with Moorefield in season opener

SHORT GAP, W.Va. — If Frankfort football coach Kevin Whiteman had any doubts as to whether his team was ready to begin the 2022 season Friday when it played host to Moorefield, they were put to rest early.

John Anderson returned the game’s opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown, the Falcons forced turnovers on each of the Yellowjackets’ first two plays and three of their first eight, and Frankfort raced to a commanding 51-0 victory.

“We’ve talked about not having any returns for touchdowns on kickoffs or punts last years, so to get that one right off the bat was huge,” Whiteman said. “It gets the crowd into the game and it gets the kids electrified.”

Anderson’s kick return gave the Falcons all the momentum early, and they never relinquished it. Although Frankfort was unable to score off a Landon Kinser interception or Tyrique Powell fumble recovery that occurred on Moorefield’s first two plays from scrimmage, the Falcons forced a three-and-out and upped their lead to 10 when freshman Rhett Sensabaugh made a 33-yard field goal.

Anderson’s interception of a Tyson Arnold pass with 3:27 left in the first quarter led to Falcons’ quarterback Luke Robinette reaching pay dirt on a 5-yard run that upped the Frankfort lead to 17-0.

“We had a lot of big plays. I know Moorefield is young and they’ll get better,” Whiteman said. “Their coaches work hard and we have to put this one behind us now, move on and get ready to play Hampshire.”

Although Moorefield didn’t turn the ball over again in the opening half, it never developed any offensive rhythm, and a punt on its ensuing sequence allowed the Falcons to take over at the Yellowjackets’ 41.

Seven plays later, Powell reached the end zone on a 1-yard run, giving Frankfort a 24-0 lead 5:50 before halftime.

“All your possessions are going to be limited and your time is going to be limited, so if you don’t take advantage of the offensive possessions that you have, you’re automatically putting yourself behind,” MHS coach Matt Altobello said.

That 24-0 score stood until the intermission, which Moorefield entered with 19 plays for 12 yards.

“I don’t know if we were shell-shocked, but as far as execution, it came down to the missed assignments on routine stuff,” Altobello said. “Come back to field position, turnovers and missed assignments, and if you have all three of those, you’re not going to win.”

The Falcons picked up where they left off to start the second half, forcing a three-and-out and then using Anderson’s 40-yard punt return to set up a 4-yard TD run by Parker VanMeter.

A high snap on Moorefield’s next punt attempt allowed the Falcons to start at the MHS 6, and VanMeter covered that distance on the first play, making it 38-0 at the 7:36 mark of the third.

Kinser’s 2-yard run late in the third quarter and Jason Fontenot’s 32-yard run with 10:27 remaining marked Frankfort’s final two touchdowns in its resounding win.

While Whiteman was relatively pleased with the performance that produced his desired outcome, the veteran coach wants to see his team  cut back on its penalties after committing seven against Moorefield.

“The penalties were the main negative,” he said. “I was pleased our aggressiveness. Don’t get me wrong, we missed a lot of blocks and did some dumb things we have to clean up, but really we can’t have those penalties.”

More Sports

Cabell Midland's Jack Michael hopes to maintain recent high level of play at West Virginia Amateur
Michael advanced through a U.S. Open local qualifier last month at Parkersburg Country Club and tied for low medalist honors last week in a state amateur qualifier at Guyan Golf & Country Club.
May 27, 2023 - 12:48 pm
For Monarchs, leadership and play of Pettit, Blake vital to finishing season on top
John Marshall pitcher Kadence Pettit and shortstop Ava Blake were instrumental in leading the Monarchs to a state championship in South Charleston.
May 26, 2023 - 3:36 pm
Tampa Bay Pro Combine presents opportunity for small college players to showcase skills
Two-day event will be held at The Bridge Sports Complex and Fairmont State's Joe Retton Arena.
May 26, 2023 - 12:22 pm
Pressure proves no problem for Monarchs: John Marshall overcomes Cabell Midland to win Class AAA
The Monarchs failed to close out the Knights in their first game Thursday, before Kadence Pettit and Ava Blake helped spark a 6-2 win that gives John Marshall its third championship and first since 2012.
May 25, 2023 - 11:00 pm