Warrior football runs over Tucker, 24-8
PCHS running back Jesse Hoke rushed for 264 yards on 35 carries and three TDs Friday night to lead the Warriors to a 24-8 road victory at Tucker County.
Tucker took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter after the Warriors fumbled the ball away on the first play from scrimmage, but the Warriors settled down and took control for the rest of the game.
The Mountain Lions got the ball on the Warrior 30 after the Warrior fumble and QB Logan Snyder scored a few plays later at 7:30 in the first quarter. Snyder completed a pass to tailback Forrest Walker for a two-point conversion and Tucker took an early 8-0 lead.
A strong Warrior defensive effort prevented any further Tucker points. The Warriors held the Mountain Lions to 24 yards total rushing. Snyder completed 10 passes for 123 yards, but the Lions would not score after PCHS put the turkey on the table for them in the first quarter.
Warrior linebacker Seth Doss had an outstanding game and made several tackles, along with fellow linebackers Hunter Grimes, Noah Pugh and defensive end Tanner Graham.
Safety Zach Chestnut broke up six pass attempts and intercepted a Snyder pass at 7:10 in the fourth quarter, sealing the deal for the Warriors.
The Warrior defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, anchored by the strongest player on theﾠ team, junior nose tackle Brandon Gloshen, who benchﾠ presses and squats more than anyone on the team. Defensive tackle Evan Rose set up camp in the Lions' backfield and disrupted many plays.
Gloshen said the summer workouts were key to success during the regular season. The tackle said he expects the Warriors to continue dominating in the trenches.
"We're stronger than most of the people we go up against," he said.
Hoke was the workhorse for the Warrior offense, scoring TDs in the first, second and third quarters. The running back said he liked running over defensive players more than than running through holes.
"My first priority is to see if I can run over them and, if not, then I start moving around," he said. "Once I break through the line and get in the open, then I'll think about juking."
Hoke said he was surprised to be named West Virginia Metro News Player of the Week.
"I think it's pretty amazing," he said. "I had no idea until I got on the radio and heard it."
Sophomore running back Kyler Doss rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries and prevented the Tucker defense from concentrating entirely on Hoke.
Junior Skylar Knisely had a solid game at QB. The center-QB exchanges were nearly flawless with only one botched snap in the game. Handoffs were clean and the Warriors committed just one turnover in the game. Knisely attempted one pass, which was incomplete.
In just his second start as varsity QB, Knisely said he felt confident.
"I feel very confident just controlling the game, the speed and watching the play clock to make sure we don't get any penalties," he said.
Special teams played well for the Warriors. All-state punter Evan Rose backed up Tucker return men on two punts. Devin Rose returned three punts for 41 yards and the Warrior kickoff coverage team allowed only 36 yards on four returns.
Next up for the Warriors is a road game at Parkersburg Catholic on Saturday.
Head coach Mike Knisely said the Warriors would need to play nearly perfect football to come home with a win.
"They're a well-coached team," he said. "They're a younger team. They've lost about four or five kids that started for them the previous three years. They're going to have nine or 10 things they do and do extremely well. It's a situation for us - the most perfect game we've got to play all year is against them. They do not make mistakes."
Wirt County, playing at home, narrowly defeated the Crusaders last Friday, 12-7, with an improbable 95-yard TD pass with just 83 seconds remaining in the game.
Kickoff on Saturday is at 1:30 p.m. at Big Red Field at Parkersburg High School, where Parkersburg Catholic plays its home games. The forecast is for sunny skies with a high temperature of 75 degrees.
Warrior total offense: 410
Tucker total offense: 183
Warrior rushing: 345
Tucker rushing: 24
Warrior passing: 0
Tucker passing: 123
Warrior turnovers: 1
Tucker turnovers: 2