Fairmont Senior hands North Marion first loss in 54-36 shootout

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Junior quarterback Brody Whitehair needed just 9 completions to pass for 275 yards and 4 touchdowns as No. 3 Fairmont Senior knocked No. 2 North Marion from the list of unbeaten teams, 54-36 Friday evening at East-West Stadium.

The Polar Bears never trailed but needed to thwart several North Marion comeback attempts in the second half to improve to 5-1 with their second consecutive victory.

“However the flow of the game went, we were able to handle it. That’s just gutsy play by a lot of different guys to be able to come out with a hard-fought victory,” said Fairmont Senior head coach Nick Bartic.

“We were balanced on offense but obviously as a D-coordinator, you don’t like that they score 36 points. We’re going to have to try to address that also. Those are two really good teams battling it out.”

Whitehair tossed touchdown strikes to Damani Johnson [52 yards], Cannon Dinger [31 & 3 yards] and Navaughan Jones [9 yards]. He also rushed for a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Whitehair has climbed to fifth place on the FSHS career passing touchdowns list.

Senior Dylan Ours scored a pair of rushing touchdowns a week after playing limited snaps while recovering from injury.

“This week, he looked pretty good. It was just a matter of seeing what he could tolerate. He’s tough as nails. You got to see that out of him tonight, playing through exhaustion.”

With the Polar Bears leading 21-14 late in the second quarter, a North Marion drive stalled out inside the FSHS 10-yard-line. Fairmont Senior quickly scored on a Whitehair-to-Dinger touchdown pass to give the Polar Bears a 28-14 halftime lead.

The Huskies (4-1) trimmed their deficit to 13 points late in the third quarter. But a pair of touchdowns from Dinger and Johnson early in the fourth quarter secured the victory for the Polar Bears.

“You don’t know when that one play is going to be the one play that makes a difference. We get the stop on fourth down on the goal line, that’s always important especially in big games. We put a lot of focus on that and our guys executed on D. Then we came right back on offense in the two-minute drills. That’s how you want to run it at the end of the half.”

North Marion had 453 yards of total offense. Casey Minor tossed three touchdown passes for the Huskies. Landon Frey [10 yards], Landon Cowger [23 yards] and Brock Martin [62 yards] were on the receiving end of those touchdown tosses. Aaron Hoffman [54 yards] and Trevor Mullet [8 yards] had rushing touchdowns for the visitors.

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