FAIRMONT—The East Fairmont Bees did something on Friday that they hadn’t done since October 20th, 2017: win a football game. Unfortunately, the Bees’ ability to break their 13-game losing streak was at the misfortune of the Grafton Bearcats, who were coming off a win against Arch Coal Bowl-rival Philip-Barbour the week prior.
East Fairmont dual-threat QB Dom Postlewait finished the contest with 154 yards passing and 2 touchdowns while adding 93 yards rushing and another TD as the East Fairmont Bees won their first varsity football game in 685 days.
“These seniors have gone through a lot in the last three years,” said first-year East Fairmont head coach Shane Eakle. “They’ve battled and stuck with us when they didn’t have to, and our seniors made plays when we had to have plays. I can’t be prouder of my senior group right now.”
The Bearcats actually moved the ball well early in the contest, but a stalled drive in East Fairmont territory saw the Bearcats’ first series come away with zero points.
After a Joey Dingeldein punt on the first drive resulted in a touchback, East Fairmont dual-threat quarterback Dom Postlewait took off running from the EF 27-yard-line for a 73-yard touchdown with 7:55 left in the 1st quarter. After a successful extra point, East Fairmont led 7-0.
The second offensive series was similar to the first for the Bearcats, as they again moved the ball with mostly a combination of quarterback Logan Beltner passes and running back James Hoskins rushes, only to see the drive again result in a Dingeldein punt in East Fairmont territory.
After an exchange in possessions which saw East Fairmont lose a fumble and then Grafton punt, Postlewait hit the air this time for a 57-yard TD pass with 10:05 left in the 2nd quarter which put the Bees up 14-0.
The score would remain 14-0 in favor of East Fairmont going into halftime.
To start the third quarter, Grafton held off East Fairmont on the Bees’ first possession of the half and forced a punt. The Bearcats’ Dylan Williams returned the punt to the 40-yard line where the Bearcats put together an 11-play offensive series which saw Grafton turn the ball over on downs deep into East Fairmont territory.
A stalled East Fairmont drive gave the ball back to the Bearcats and Grafton again put together a long drive, this time with another 11-play offensive series which consisted of mostly rushes again by Hoskins. That drive ended with a Hoskins’ 5-yard touchdown run with 9:11 to go in the 4th quarter which brought the Bearcats within seven points after a successful PAT from Dingeldein.
After trading possessions, Postlewait again hit a lengthy pass for an East Fairmont touchdown, this time a 32-yarder to teammate Aiden Slusser to give the Bees a 20-7 lead before a failed PAT.
Grafton added a late 32-yard touchdown pass from QB Logan Beltner to teammate Braeden Nose to bring the Bearcats to within six points with 2:38 remaining in the contest.
After an onside kick was recovered by East Fairmont, the Bees were able to run out the clock and celebrate their first conference victory in 1,048 days.
“Our kids stepped up and made plays when we needed them,” said Eakle. “They battled to the end. Grafton did a nice job, but these kids have earned this.”
On the other sideline, GHS’s Bord felt that his team got better as the game went on, but it was just too little too late. “I thought defensively we played well at times, and the offensive line buckled down and played well in the second half, it just wasn’t soon enough or consistent enough,” explained Bord.
In addition to being disappointed with his team’s inconsistent play, a couple of questionable non-calls throughout the contest did not sit well with the long-time Grafton coach as he couldn’t explain why the flag wasn’t thrown on the home team on two different occasions.
“I have to say, I’m not pleased with the officiating tonight,” voiced an extremely frustrated Bord. “Two touchdowns that were scored by East Fairmont should have been called back. On their first touchdown run, Braeden Nose was absolutely ran over from behind and nothing was called. Then on their passing touchdown in the 4th quarter, East Fairmont had a lineman deep downfield. Their left tackle was about 10 yards away from their receiver when he caught that TD pass. Why they didn’t call those two penalties, I don’t know.”
Regardless of the officiating, Bord was still appreciative of East Fairmont QB Dom Postlewait’s skill set and what he brings to the East Fairmont team.
“He was the difference in the game, both with his feet and his arm,” stated Bord. “He was a threat to score at any time.”
Grafton running back James Hoskins finished the contest by rushing for 102 yards on 33 carries with a touchdown. It’s the second-consecutive week that the sophomore has topped the 100-yard mark, as he rushed for 168 yards against Philip-Barbour in Week 1. GHS senior quarterback Logan Beltner finished the contest by throwing for 86 yards on 8-15 passing with 1 TD and 1 INT.
The Bearcats will return to action on Friday, September 13th as they travel to Shinnston to take on the Lincoln Cougars (1-1). The Cougars are coming off a 62-0 loss to perennial power Fairmont Senior this past Friday.
“Lincoln ran into a chainsaw Friday night,” said Bord. “They have a majority of their kids back though. We are both coming off of losses so it will be like two wounded cats going at each other.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm at Stydahar Field.