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The Voice of West Virginia

Photo gallery: Spring Valley halts Martinsburg’s win streak at 57 games

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Photos from Spring Valley’s 22-20 win at Martinsburg.

(Photos courtesy of Christopher C. Davis/@EP_BigCameraGuy)

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Herd runs over Appalachian State to improve to 2-0

By Dave Walsh

HUNTINGTON – Marshall capitalized on the chance to defeat a ranked opponent, knocking off 23rd ranked Appalachian State 17-7 Saturday afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. 

Marshall’s last win over a ranked opponent came back in 2003, when Marshall defeated Kansas State. Until Saturday, Marshall had not defeated a ranked opponent at home since it beat Miami (OH) at Fairfield Stadium in 1976.

“This is something we can talk about the rest of our life,” said Knox, who carried 28 times for 138 yards and capped the opening possession score with a 2-yard run. “Not many people get to do that.”

Marshall rolled up 216 on the ground controlling the line scrimmage throughout the contest. The Herd also limited Appalachian State to use 96 yards rushing on the day.

“We established our identity,” Knox said. “We kept it the rest of the game.

Appalachian State scored on its first possession, answering Marshall’s opening possession score. Quarterback Zac Thomas connected with Jalen Virgil for an 11-yard scoring toss to tie the game 7-7 in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Herd placekicker Shane Ciucci connected on a 29-yard field goal with 6:08 left to put the home team ahead to stay, 10-7.

Marshall Quarterback Grant Wells struggle at times through the first two quarters of the game but started to hit his stride in the second half. Wells led a two-play, 79-yard drive for a touchdown in the third quarter that turned the momentum and extended the lead to 17-7.

The redshirt freshman from Charleston found tight end Xavier Gaines wide open down the middle of the field for a 67-yard gain down to the Appalachian State 12-yard line. On the next snap, Wells faked a handoff to Knox on the run-pass option and headed around the left untouched 12 yards as those fans watching live or on television didn’t know he had the ball.

“It certainly helped turn the mo (momentum),” Wells said. “I could feel them losing it. One of the keys was to get their safeties involved in coverage. We knew the play would work. We had to choose when we run it. We set up (the TD) in the red zone. We kind of knew what to do. That one play didn’t win it. We still knew we had to finish.”

Thomas finished with 268 yards passing, but many came in the fourth quarter when the Mountaineers were playing catchup and the Herd knew they had to keep them out of the end zone.

Linebacker Tavante Beckett led the charge for Marshall with a career-best 16 tackles, 8 solo and 8 assists along with a forced fumble.

“I preach to my teammates play your game,” Beckett said. “Everyone did their job. That’s why they scored just seven points. I trust my teammates and I trust the calls made.”

Herd coach Doc Holliday relished the outcome.

“I said this team has a chance to be special,” Holliday said. “Nothing changed my mind today. This is huge for our school, our community.”

Appalachian State missed on multiple chances to change the tone of the game. In the first quarter, Daetrich Harrington had a 76-yard touchdown run called back after a review showed his knee was down.

In the fourth quarter, on a fourth-and-1 at the Herd 46, Thomas faked a handoff, pulled in the defense and found a wide-open Mike Evans down the middle for a 41-yard gain. The Herd’s Brandon Drayton ran down Evans, knocked the ball free and Nazeeh Johnson made the recovery in the end zone for the touchback to end the threat.

With 2:54 left, App State kicker Chandler Staton missed a 26-yard field goal wide right for the visitors.

The game was Marshall’s first on CBS nationally since the 1992 and the I-AA title game against Youngstown State. Officials from the Big 12 Conference worked the game.Marshall is in Conference USA. The Mountaineers are in the Sun Belt Conference.

The two schools once were rivals in the I-AA Southern Conference. Appalachian State now leads the series 14-9 with three more games scheduled in the future.

Marshall improved to 2-0 with the win, but now does not have another game scheduled until Oct. 10 at Western Kentucky.

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School COVID-19 map: Six counties in red or orange for next week; 3 counties in new gold category

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Six West Virginia counties remain in the red or orange counties in the newly released state Department of Education COVID-19 map requiring remote learning only in those counties for at least the next week.

The Saturday evening map had Kanawha, Putnam, Mingo and Fayette counties in the “red” category which means substantial community transmission while Monongalia and Boone counties are in “orange” with a heightened community transmission status.

Update: The Saturday, September 19, 2020, School Alert System Map is below. You can also view at https://t.co/lSu7Fi4R58.

For more details: https://t.co/JjakJslyuk. Again, due to heavy traffic, the WVDE website may load slowly for some visitors. We thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/XqPVoenPSF

— WV Dept of Education (@WVeducation) September 19, 2020

Red counties cannot have extra-curricular activities including no practices while orange also allows no extra-curricular activities but does allow for sports conditioning. The new map means Kanawha County willl start a third straight week of school without in-person instruction and sports competition.

The new map does have three counties (Logan, Ohio, Wyoming) in the new “gold” category which allows for in-person school instruction with increased mitigation including mandatory masks from grades 3 and above at all times. Extra-curricular activities can occur but is limited to competition against schools within the same county or with teams in other gold counties.

MORE High school schoolboard for next week

Saturday’s map place 26 counties in the “yellow” increased community transmission category. The counties can continue to have in-person instruction and can continue to play sports.

Twenty counties are in the “green” category.

The #COVID19 Data Review Panel today reviewed data from a public health perspective to determine the accuracy and reliability of the data to ensure they are a true indication of what’s occurring among counties across West Virginia.
Read more here: https://t.co/i3ZAcwLKRY pic.twitter.com/xD3iShQLq2

— WV DHHR (@WV_DHHR) September 19, 2020

The COVID-19 review panel which begins its review of data with a cut-off of 11:59 p.m. on Thursdays made a handful of changes following its review:

Cabell County: Moved from gold to green as the percent positivity is less than 3%.

Lincoln County: Moved from gold to yellow since there were less than 20 aggregate cases over 14 days. Lincoln County was assessed with a 14-day average rather than a 7-day average due to the number of cases being below 20.

Pocahontas County: Moved from gold to green due to the exclusion of linked and contained cases who are now recovered.

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21 games canceled in Week 4, teams in gold counties can schedule new opponents

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — 21 high school football games next weekend has been taken off the schedule as a result of Saturday’s COVID protocols map, which has been posted on the WVDE website.

Fayette, Kanawha, Mingo and Putnam counties are red, bringing all extracurricular activities to a halt. Boone and Monongalia are orange, meaning that teams are allowed practice on a limited basis.

The new gold category, which was introduced on Tuesday, covers three counties. They are Logan, Ohio and Wyoming. These teams are allowed to play schools within their own county or play against schools in other gold counties.

Games canceled for Week 4 (September 25 & 26):

  • Steubenville, Oh. at Wheeling Park
  • Ripley at Oak Hill
  • Capital at Huntington
  • Hurricane at St. Albans
  • Spring Valley at South Charleston
  • Sissonville at Herbert Hoover
  • Wayne at Nitro
  • Musselman at George Washington
  • Jefferson at Riverside (Sat.)
  • Mingo Central at Poca
  • Mount View at Tug Valley
  • Woodrow Wilson at Morgantown
  • University at Fairmont Senior
  • Chapmanville at Scott
  • Logan at Winfield
  • Buffalo at Williamstown
  • Summers County at Midland Trail
  • Meadow Bridge at South Harrison
  • Sherman at Ravenswood
  • Van at River View (Sat.)
  • Independence at Westside (Sat.)

(Reminder: Teams in the gold category can reschedule games against schools in the gold category only)

Of note: Logan County schools will remain virtual for next week, meaning no teams can play as of yet. This will eliminate the previously scheduled game between Man and Wheeling Central Catholic.

Wheeling Park, Wheeling Central and Westside could elect to schedule other ‘gold’ county schools if they choose to.

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Fairmont State food worker, eight students test positive for coronavirus

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont State University officials on Friday confirmed a food service worker has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The person, who works for a third-party vendor, will have to remain away from campus. The Marion County Health Department reported there are no other safety concerns following the department’s contact tracing work.

The number of students who have tested positive has also increased to eight. Students are quarantined at a Bridgeport hotel.

Fairmont State University will be transitioning Pence Hall to a dedicated quarantine facility. Students living in the hall will be relocated to another location.

The majority of students in quarantine were exposed to someone with the coronavirus. A person will remain in quarantine until a contact tracing investigation is complete.

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Huggins navigating schedule shuffle for 2020-2021 season

— Story by Taylor Kennedy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Bob Huggins is entering his 14th season guiding the WVU men’s basketball program. The upcoming 2020-21 season will be the most unusual season Huggins has encountered.

WVU was scheduled to start the upcoming season on November 10th against Fairleigh Dickinson. The NCAA announced Wednesday that both men’s and women’s basketball seasons can begin on November 25th. Huggins is confused as to what to expect for a start date for him and his team.

“They [NCAA] say 25 games. All of a sudden we can get back to playing, at least we think we can, 31 like we always do. Now, we are at 27. We have had four different start dates. I do not know,” says Huggins. “It is really sad to say because it is embarrassing.”

Huggins mentioned that he and WVU athletic director Shane Lyons were trying to figure out what each other thought about everything going on. Both said that they were confused with all the different news surrounding college basketball. 

“We are going to play 27 games. I can promise you that,” says Huggins.

There have already been games moved around and cancelled. Huggins mentioned that one of WVU’s bigger non-conference games has been moved from its original location. 

“As far as I know, our Purdue game is still on. It has been moved from Madison Square Garden to the Barclays Center to now the Mohegan Sun,” says Huggins.

.@CoachHuggs talks with @TonyCaridi, @BradHowe07, and @HunterWvu88bgn about the Battle 4 Atlantis being cancelled, and who has caught his eye early on at team activities. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/xRSFasLzeL

— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 18, 2020

The Mountaineers, along with seven other teams, were supposed to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. There were reports stating that it would be moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Battle 4 Atlantis twitter page posted a tweet stating that the tournament would be cancelled, and that the reports about it being moved was false.

Huggins did not have any answer as to what will happen with the Battle 4 Atlantis field.

“I do not know if all the teams that were scheduled to play in South Dakota are going to play. There are rumors that some of them are going to play. Jon Rothstein [CBS Sports] mentioned that Duke may do something for social justice and bring teams in and do its own in-season tournament,” says Huggins.

Another key non-conference game for WVU is the game against the Pitt Panthers. The Mountaineers have faced and beat the Panthers the last three seasons. Huggins was asked if Pitt is still on the schedule, and he did not have an answer.

“Good question, we do not know the answer to that either. I think if you were to call me in about a week or so hopefully I could have some answers for you. We do not know. We were having a hard time with the date, and they are being asked by the ACC to hold 3-4 day blocks. We are being asked by the Big 12 to hold 3-4 day blocks. It seems like it wouldn’t be hard to fit a game in. It has been very difficult trying to fit a game in,” says Huggins. “We will play anybody.”

Besides the schedule confusion, Huggins likes what he is seeing so far from this year’s team. He is impressed with how everyone is buying in and continuing to get better.

“They have been very tentative. They have really worked at it. Some spend the majority of their time in the gym working on their game. There really is not really anything to be upset about. It has been really, really good,” says Huggins.

The shooting was not the prettiest for the Mountaineers last season. WVU shot 42% from the field and 29% from the 3-point line. Huggins could not choose one guy for who has shot well during team activities.

“Some days it is Taz [Sherman]. Some days it is Sean [McNeil]. Some days it is JB [Jalen Bridges]. Sometimes it just depends on the day,” says Huggins.

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Covid numbers improve slightly, but 11 deaths reported

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported 191 new cases of Covid 19 in the past 24 hours. The day’s positive rate was 3.13 percent and West Virginia currently has 3,411 active cases.

The agency confirmed 11 new deaths blamed on the virus. They included: a 67-year old male from Cabell County, a 62-year old female from Raleigh County, a 79-year old female from Raleigh County, an 81-year old male from Putnam County, a 93-year old female from Putnam County, a 71-year old female from Kanawha County, a 78-year old male from Kanawha County, a 72-year old male from Kanawha County, a 66-year old male from Mercer County, a 79-year old male from Mercer County, and a 48-year old male from Hardy County.

The state’s death toll from Covid 19 is now 308.

There are 169 people hospitalized and 58 of those are in intensive care. Thirty-two victims are on a ventilator.

The county alert system map today has only one county in red, that’s Mingo County indicating a case load of greater than 25 cases per 100,000 residents in a rolling seven day average. Kanawha, Putnam, and Fayette Counties fell out of the red status from Friday to orange and they join Boone and Monongalia County in that category.

Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Wyoming, and Pocahontas Counties are gold status today. The rest of the state is either green or yellow.

The official Department of Education map which dictates the status of school, extra curricular activities, and nursing home visitation for next week will be released at 5 p.m. by the West Virginia Department of Education.

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Alderson-Broaddus acknowledges 4 serious incidents tied to university

PHILIPPI, W.Va — Alderson Broaddus University has issued a statement regarding two sexual assaults and a sexual harassment incident on the Philippi campus in recent days.

According to the statement two sexual assaults and the sexual harassment are under investigation by local law enforcement and the university is fully cooperating with the probe. The school released few details about any of the incidents and gave no indication if the three might be related.

The statement further revealed an investigation into an aggravated assault incident involving an officer with the Philippi Police Department.

“AB expects its students to behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies, and adhere to state and federal laws,” University officials said in the statement. “AB’s top priority is always the safety and well-being of our students and campus family.”

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Body found in Monongalia County

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A report from the Mon County Sheriff’s Department says human remains were found in the Trope Hill area Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Mon County deputies, members of the Granville Fire Department and Mon COunty Emergency Services recovered the body and sent it to the state medical examiner who is expected to positively ID the subject.

No other information is available at this time.

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Man dies in tractor accident in Taylor County

GRAFTON, W.Va. — Authorities say a man died when a farm tractor rolled over an pinned him underneath Friday in Taylor County.

State Police and local emergency crews were called to the incident on McDonald Drive just off U.S. Route 50 between Bridgeport and Grafton.

The operator, who was not identified, was dead at the scene.

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