"Great defenses have confidence in each other, want to play side by side, and not let each other down. We are starting to get that level. We are gaining."
State defensive back William Merritt, a sophomore from Cincinnati, OH, was all over the field, recording a game-high 15 tackles, including five solo, and added an interception.
"William is a guy we will scheme off of defensively," Anderson said. "He just plays with so much passion. He is all over the field. William is what we are looking for in our defensive players. He sets the tone and it's fun to watch him continue to progress."
Neither team could do much of anything offensively on the muddy field, combining for seven turnovers. West Liberty threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles while averaging 3.61 yards per play. State threw two interceptions and lost one fumble while gaining 2.73 yards per play. The Yellow Jackets didn't get a first down until midway through the second quarter.
Senior running back Le'Floyd Phillips led the way with 66 yards on a tough 15 carries, but starting quarterback Tyler Seals was just 5-for-13 passing for 32 yards and two interceptions.
"We knew going into the game that the footing would become bad and the ability to throw was negated because of the field," Anderson said. "We had that in mind when we saw the forecast knowing it would be wet and raining.
"You saw that on both sides. Both team's offenses struggled with low yards and high turnovers. That is what grass does to you, especially on such a muddy field. Anymore, spread and high-powered offenses can be equalized on grass very easily."