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Mountaineers’ Donahue has a game to remember

October 9, 2018

West Virginia defensive lineman Reese Donahue (46) kisses his girlfriend Sarah Moore after proposing to her following the Mountaineers victory 38-22 over the Kansas in an NCAA football game against Kansas in Morgantown Saturday.

MORGANTOWN — Saturday’s game was one West Virginia University junior defensive end Reese Donahue will likely always remember.

Donahue, a former standout player at Cabell Midland High, got the start Saturday against Kansas. Although he did not record a tackle against the Jayhawks, he did make one unforgettable play on the field. It just came after the game.

Donahue proposed to his girlfriend, former WVU gymnastics team member Sarah Moore, at midfield after the game. Moore, a Texas native, said yes.

“It just worked out well because on my visit here we were playing Texas in 2015, the year before I earlyenrolled,” Donahue said. “The gymnastics team was recognized on the field. I saw her, but I didn’t know who she was. We had a class together and a couple of our other paths just merged together.

“What more of a perfect way to ask her to marry me than right where I saw her first?”

• West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen was not very happy with a Kansas fake punt attempt in the second quarter.

KU had the ball at its own 44-yard line early in the quarter facing fourth-and-2. The Jayhawks lined up in an odd punt formation and chaos ensued. Kansas snapped the ball seemingly across the field to Ryan Schadler, who ran the ball 8 yards for a first down.

Mount Holgorsen began to show signs of an impending eruption.

The play was challenged and the WVU coach pleaded his case with the officials near the Mountaineer bench, pointing to the replay on the Milan Puskar Stadium video boards while lobbying for an illegal snap call. It never came, and the KU drive would eventually stall.

Still, Holgorsen was not happy with how it all went down.

“I was under the impression that’s an illegal snap,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve never tried any high school stuff like that before, but my good friend (Washington State coach) Mike Leach did in game one this year.

He ran that same thing in game one like 10 times in a row and the very next week he was instructed to never do that again because it’s an illegal snap.

“If you pick it up and you pause for a second, that’s an illegal snap. That should have been called an illegal snap. We had safe punt on, but it caught us by surprise.”

• Bandit safety Toyus Avery missed Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, but WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said he expects him back on the field soon.“He’ll be good to go next week,” Gibson said after Saturday’s game.

• The Mountaineers, while somewhat stifled in the red zone Saturday against Kansas, did show off the ability of their running backs to catch the ball out of the backfield. Freshman Leddie Brown scored on a pass play in the first quarter, and junior Mar-tell Pettaway would do the same in the third quarter.

Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he has a lot of confidence in his running backs, as well as players such as tight end/fullback Travon Wesco and tight end Jovani Haskins — who had a touchdown catch of his own out of the backfield — to make those plays.

“We knew they struggled with guarding the back out of the backfield and we had a lot of different ones,” Spavital said. “That’s why Wesco was open on a lot of those. Across the board, we’re distributing it the right way. We just have to clean up a lot of things.”

• Sophomore defensive back Derrek Pitts might not be the only former South Charleston Black Eagle on the WVU roster for much longer. SC senior linebacker Drew Joseph announced Saturday he was accepting a preferred walk-on spot with the Mountaineers.

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