PCMS Warriors Ax Lumberjacks 20-16
The Pocahontas County Middle School Warriors went nose-to-nose against Richwood, seizing a victory in the last 18 seconds of the game.
"That was one of the most exciting games I've ever been a part of. Two evenly matched teams going back and forth for four quarters. It came down to the last minute and we were able to make the plays to win the game," said Coach Doug Burns.
Still basking in the glow of last week's win against rival Western Greenbrier, the PCMS Warriors secured the county's second gridiron win over the Lumberjacks in the past week. Pocahontas County High School Warriors defeated Richwood 41-18 on Friday night.
The Warrior defense-led by Dalton Irvine, Chase Erlewine, Cade Walker and Ryan Dilley-kept Richwood shut out in the first half of the game. Chad Friel, Danny Kimble and Justin Hedrick took control of the Lumberjacks' second possession which included a pass break up by Dilley.
Pocahontas gave life to the score-board in the second quarter with an aggressive offensive line, allowing FB Erlewine and TB Walker to drive the ball downfield. On their third first down of the drive, Walker rushed 29 yards for the first Warrior TD of the night. Irvine completed an eight yard pass from QB Wyatt Workman for the two-point conversion.
Tyler Owens fielded the Lumberjacks' kick return for Pocahontas. He broke up a Lumberjack pass on their next offense and later took the Warriors to first down on a 20-yard pass from Workman. At the half the Warriors led the Lumberjacks by 8.
Morgan Mason, Tommy Gruelick and Hedrick kept Richwood in check early in the third quarter. Stops by Irvine continued the effort. Richwood later broke contain with a nine-yard TD run. The extra two points had the teams neck-and-neck, 8-8.
"Their QB is as good as anyone we will see all season. We did a good job in the first half of containing him, but in the second half, he was able to get it going," Burns said. "They like to spread you out and get him on the edge, and once he breaks contain, he is hard to handle."
Logan Davis fielded the kick return for Pocahontas and Mason took the Warriors 17 yards to first down. Erlewine broke tackle and rushed 35 yards, taking the Warriors just shy of the end-zone at the one-yard line.
Workman snuck it in for the TD, and Richwood trailed Pocahontas, 14 - 8.
The fourth quarter was a nail biter. Emotions ran high, hearts raced and tempers flared.
Mason and Erlewine put the stop on Richwood, but a facemask call against the Warriors put the Lumberjacks on first down. Friel and Walton upset subsequent plays. Yet on third down, Richwood found an opening and grabbed 37 yards for a TD and the two point conversion. With fewer than two minutes left in the game, Pocahontas trailed Richwood 16-14.
The Lumberjack defense was rampant. Erlewine fought for yards and a screen pass from Workman to Mason and then another to Dilley gave the Warriors a much needed first down. Mason had fans jumping to their feet with another pass completion of 34 yards and a second first down.
On fourth down, 18 seconds remained on the clock. As the Warriors took the field for their final play, confusion and mayhem came over the referees, coaches, players and fans.
Richwood disputed the downs and their offense took possession of the field. The dispute kept play suspended for several minutes. On edge, Warrior fans jumped for joy when they saw their QB re-enter the field. Workman stepped back with the ball, found Dilley in the end zone and let it fly. Dilley cradled the ball, giving the Warriors a four-point lead over the Lumberjacks.
"There was some controversy on the last series where we scored, but after reviewing the film, the officials got the call right and that's what matters," Burns said. ﾑWith two teams playing that hard, you would hate to have a call decide it the wrong way, but it was a good job by those guys. We now need to focus on this week's opponent, Tygarts Valley. They will be another tough team. They have two very good running backs and a solid quarterback. This will be another challenge for our team and another opportunity to see how we stack up."