GLENVILLE, W.Va. – Turning the ball over four times in the first half is never ideal.
Fumbling the ball four times in the first half — twice inside the red zone — may be even less ideal.
That was the reality though for Glenville State (1-0) in its season opener Thursday night against visiting Concord (0-1). The other reality, however, was that the Pioneers were winning at halftime.
Glenville State’s defense held the Mountain Lions to just three points in the first half, as Concord settled for a pair of second-quarter field goals, including one that was missed in the final seconds of the first half.
Mike Kellar’s team never led by more than seven points, but was able to regain the lead in the fourth quarter after Concord tied the game with less than 15 minutes to play.
The Pioneers picked up the win, 17-10, to open the season with a ‘W’.
Wide receiver Javon Butler had a monster game for Glenville State, hauling in 11 catches for 147 yards.
Glenville State was able to move the ball well at times during the first half, but twice the Pioneers coughed up the football inside the Concord 20 yard line.
Amazingly, none of the four Glenville State turnovers led points for the Mountain Lions.
The Pioneers ushered in a new starting quarterback, in Deandre Clayton, Thursday night. Two of the early fumbles came on quarterback-running back exchanges while he was in the game. Clayton exited in the first half with what appeared to be a hand or a wrist injury.
Clayton was replaced by Tim Heltzel, who completed 14 of 25 passes for 208 yards and touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter.
Heltzel connected with Tre Gulley for a 25 yard touchdown strike with 8:45 remaining in the game. That gave Glenville State a lead they never relinquished.