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Indians Open The Season

By Jeff Toquinto, 09/11/20, 12:45PM EDT

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Hopefully there is something to the saying, “The third time is the charm” as the Bridgeport High School football team is set to open its season tonight at Wayne Jamison Field against Liberty.

Way back before COVID became such a common word, the Indians were supposed to begin the season against Lewis County. That game was wiped out as the pandemic pushed back the start of the high school football season statewide.

Last week, the Tribe were mere hours from kickoff at Pony Lewis Field in Morgantown against the Mohigans when that game was scrapped because of Monongalia County’s red status on the county color warning map.

That shouldn’t be an issue today as Liberty and BHS as well as the rest of Harrison County is yellow, a color which only affects who can attend. Only parents of football players, band members and cheerleaders will be admitted.

Liberty has not defeated Bridgeport since 1983. Tonight’s game will kickoff at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 6 p.m.

“The kids want to play and we really need to play, BHS head coach John Cole said. “You want to see where you are. We are playing against a Liberty team that has already played a game and won. Coach (A.J.) Harman does a really good job and they have a game on film where they can dissect what they did wrong and correct it. We always say you see your best improvement from one to two and we are going to see that. It’s going to be a hard-hitting game and we are going to have our hands full.”

Harman and the Mountaineers opened up their season last week with a 38-0 win against South Harrison.

Sayveon Beafore and Raiden Childers each topped the 100-yard rushing mark against the Hawks and they combined for three touchdowns as Liberty’s stick-I offense put up 405 yards of total offense — all on the ground.

For many years, the stick-I defined Bridgeport football, this year just isn’t one of them. The Indians will finally unveil their new-look single-wing offense tonight against the Mountaineers.

“A.J. knows the stick-I inside and out but we aren’t running the stick-I this year so hopefully they have had a harder time preparing for us,” Cole said.

Cam Cole, one of the players expected to get a fair share of touches on offense for the Indians tonight, made his varsity debut against Liberty in 2019 and finished with 74 rushing yards in a 35-7 win for BHS.

Liberty’s lone score in last year’s meeting came on a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

It will also be senior night for the BHS football team tonight, bringing another unusual event to a 2020 season that has already been anything but normal.

“Friday night, our home opener and it is senior night,” Cole said. “That’s another first that will probably not happen again. It’s something that if you have the chance, you have to take it in a year like this. We want to recognize our players and we want to recognize their parents.”