West Frankfort, winless since early [2nd game] 2009, was riding a 19 game losing streak and Massac County notched its first win of 2011 in its opener.
The Redbirds, however, have shown improvement under first year coach Brian Beery and were able to roll to a 42-13 win over the Patriots who have been unable to stop the opposing team’s offense and have barely managed last minute scores against their last three foes.
Friday’s game was eerily similar to Massac’s last three games as West Frankfort scored on some clever ballhandling by quarterback Hadin Restivo who carried in an option play himself from the 18 yard line with 9:53 left in the first quarter.
Massac’s first possession ended with the ‘Birds taking over on downs when Massac’s rush attempt on 4th and 1 came up inches short.
A couple of major penalties enabled West Frankfort to hold onto the ball and drive down to Massac’s goal line where Restivo snuck in for his second TD of the early evening.
Massac threatened to make a game of it when they drove down to the ‘Birds 15 yard line where they had a first and 10 with just less than two minutes left in the first quarter.
A Malcom Amos to Shaq Moore pass on 4th down netted the Pats their first score. The kick failed and Massac trailed just 14-6.
But as has happened too often here lately, the kickoff after Massac’s score went badly as the Birds fielded the short kick and Charles Leach returned it 58 yards for a touchdown.
The second quarter was a virtual standoff with neither team threatening until Frankfort backed Massac up against its own goal line with 3:06 seconds left in the 2nd quarter and Nic Korolenko recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for the ‘Birds fourth touchdown and a 28-6 lead which stood till half time.
West Frankfort scored twice more in the second half and Massac turned a big kickoff return by Lamar Tyson and some strong running by Tyson, Nate Hillebrand and Moore into their final score with 4:00 left in the game.
Massac is in action Friday night at home against the Bulldogs from Harrisburg.