Crunch Time Week 8; Keep your darn helmet on

BUCKHANNON – Emotion and sports go hand in hand. Sometimes it can lead to unequivocal highs, and as we saw on Thursday night, it can lead to heartbreak if not kept under control.

Last night, we saw WVU quarterback Garrett Greene throw a pass to Hudson Clement who rumbled 50 yards and a touchdown on a fourth down play to give the Mountaineers a 39-35 lead with 12 seconds left.

Following the play, Greene decided to take his helmet off to celebrate the score, which is a 15-yard penalty, which was marked off on the kickoff.

We all know what happened next, with that extra 15 yards: Houston threw an underneath pass which set up the 50-yard Hail Mary pass which gave them a 41-39 win.

Now, it is tough to say that a game featured over 140 plays, that one ‘thing’ decided the game, but this one ‘thing’ certainly played a huge part in the outcome.

At least Greene accepted the blame in the post-game press conference, saying, “That’s 100 percent on me,” he said. “For us to be a really good football team like I know we are, the quarterback can’t make [dumb] mistakes like that. I messed that one up. If they’re 15 yards back, that last play probably doesn’t happen.”

After the game, Mountaineer fans were up in arms, calling for head coach Neal Brown to be fired again.

How much blame does Brown deserve for Greene’s actions? I will note that this isn’t the first time this has happened. Remember CJ Donaldson taking his helmet off after a touchdown run against Pitt earlier this year? At least the penalty didn’t hurt the Mountaineers like Greene’s did.

You can blame Brown if you want, but you don’t think the coaches tell players repeatedly to keep their helmets on?

A frustrated Brown said this about Greene’s penalty, “The rule is clear — don’t take your helmet off. It’s not hard,” Brown said. “Keep your helmet on. We can celebrate all you want to on the sideline. I’m not saying that decided the game, because maybe they throw a little deeper out cut, but that’s ridiculous. There’s probably nothing I’m more upset at than that.”

WVU was one play away from being 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big XII…this one is going to sting for a while.

In our weekly showdown, Monica won the week at 5-2, but I closed the gap on Brian by a game. Things are tightening up as we head down the home stretch.

A quick check of the My Buckhannon staff standings.

Name              Week    Overall

Brian                   3-4         36-13

Duane                 4-3         35-14

Beckie                 4-3         31-18

Monica               5-2         31-18

Katie                   4-3         29-20

In the Scoreboard Showdown this past week, we had three readers tied for the lead with a 5-2 record. They were MARY ELLEN BILLER, JERRY ABEL, and JEREMY STRADER. Congrats to that trio on a great week! This week’s games can be found here. Get your picks in before the games kick off Friday night.

Now, onto our games this week:

Buckhannon-Upshur (2-5)  at Oak Hill (5-1)

The WVU game, notwithstanding, B-U’s loss to Lewis County last week was pretty painful to absorb. B-U dominated the first half only to see a 17-point lead slip away. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs respond. Oak Hill is 5-1 but probably has one of the worst SOS’s of any Class AAA team. Our Bucs could be in for a rough night in Oak Hill.

Duane: Oak Hill; Brian: Oak Hill; Beckie: Buckhannon-Upshur; Monica: Oak Hill; Katie: Oak Hill.

Parkersburg South (4-2) at Morgantown (5-1)

Parkersburg South is licking their wounds after a 48-13 loss to Bridgeport. Parkersburg South is a good team; they have a 72-34 win over University, but if they can’t compete with Bridgeport, I am not sure they can keep up with Morgantown. Still not sure how Wheeling Park upset Morgantown a few weeks ago.

Duane: Morgantown; Brian: Morgantown; Beckie: Morgantown; Monica: Morgantown; Katie: Morgantown.

Lewis County (4-2) at North Marion (5-1)

This has turned into a huge game in Class AA. North Marion is ranked two, while Lewis County moved up to No. 11. A lot at stake in this game, but I think North Marion will pull out the win.

Duane: North Marion; Brian: North Marion Beckie: North Marion; Monica: Lewis County; Katie: North Marion.

The Final Four:

Robert C. Byrd (1-5) at Philip Barbour (5-1)

Duane: Philip Barbour; Brian: Philip Barbour; Beckie: Robert C. Byrd; Monica: Philip Barbour; Katie: Robert C. Byrd.

West Liberty (4-2) at West Virginia Wesleyan (0-5)

Duane: West Liberty; Brian: West Liberty; Beckie: West Liberty; Monica: West Liberty; Katie: West Liberty.

Marshall (4-1) at Georgia State (4-1)

Duane: Georgia State; Brian: Georgia State; Beckie: Marshall; Monica: Marshall; Katie: Marshall.

USC (6-0) at Notre Dame (5-2)

Duane: USC; Brian: USC; Beckie: USC; Monica: Notre Dame; Katie: Notre Dame.

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