Warriors blank Hillbillies, 21-0
The hard-hitting PCHS defense prevented an offensive score for the second game in a row as they shut out the visiting Hillbillies of Man, 21-0, Friday night in Dunmore.
Two key players - LB/RB Jesse Hoke and LB/OL Seth Doss - returned to the starting lineup after recovering from injuries and played excellent games. LB/FB Mike Hensler continued outstanding defensive play with a sack and a fumble recovery.
The defensive effort was accompanied by excellent offensive production by the Warriors.
Hoke, who missed most of a month, returned to form with 12 carries for 116 yards and rushing TDs of four and five yards. QB Skylar Knisely achieved his first 100-yard passing game with four completions for 109 yards. Speedy RB Kyler Doss caught two passes for 84 yards and a TD, and rushed for an additional 50 yards. Evan Rose and Matt Arbogast were perfect with three extra points.
The Warriors took the kickoff and moved the ball well. Kyler Doss caught a pass for 25 yards and the Warriors approached the red zone. But with 9:00 in the first quarter, a Man DB snagged an interception at the Man 20 and returned it past midfield. A facemask penalty on PCHS put the turkey on the table for the Hillbillies at the Warrior 30.
But the swarming Warrior defense would not allow a first down. Audacious Man went for it on fourth and six at the Warrior 36, but Hensler sacked Billie QB Shane Browning for a loss and the Warriors took over on downs.
The result was another sustained Warrior drive, capped by a 4-yard Hoke plunge into the end zone at 3:09 in the first quarter.
Man took the kickoff and started off at their own 35. Failing to make a first down, the Billies punted from their 38 and the Warriors took over on their 31-yard line.
Two plays later, Knisely took the snap, dropped back and lofted a perfect pass to Kyler Doss, who scampered 67 yards for a TD, at 11:49 in the second quarter.
Both teams' defenses would settle down and play good ball into the middle of the third quarter.
At 6:34 in the third quarter, desperate Man went for it on fourth and three, but an incomplete pass gave the ball to the Warriors on their own 45.
Hoke took a handoff and dashed like lightning for 50 yards to the Man 5, and followed up by plowing through the middle for a 5-yard TD with 5:36 in the third quarter.
Man would threaten to score in the later frames but the Warrior ball control offense and dominating defense made a Man comeback impossible.
Late in the third quarter, the Hillbillies used a passing attack to reach the red zone, but Hensler forced a fumble and recovered at the Warrior 14.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Man would threaten again, with a first down pass completion to the Warrior two. But the hard-hitting PCHS defense knocked the ball out and RB/DB Devin Rose recovered and ran 98 yards for an apparent TD. But an illegal block penalty brought the ball back to the Warrior 46 and the teams exchanged punts for the remainder of the game.
The Warriors improve their record to 5-4 and keep their playoff hopes alive with the victory. Prior to the win, the Warriors occupied the 18th spot in the statewide Class A rankings, with the top 16 teams moving on to the state playoffs.ﾠ But two teams directly ahead of the Warriors:ﾠ No. 17 Richwood and No. 16 Tucker County, won on Friday night, while No. 15 Parkersburg Catholic enjoyed a bye week.ﾠ
The WVSSAC playoff rankings for week nine had not been updated as of press time.
The Hillbillies drop to 3-5 with the loss, but had some fine individual performances. Billies RB Derek Lomax finished with 20 rushes for 117 yards. Browning was 7-13 passing for 86 yards and Cody Owens made three catches for 41 yards.
Up next for the Warriors is the final regular season game at Webster Springs. The Highlanders are 0-8 and field a 48-man roster with only 6 seniors. Webster will be looking for revenge against PCHS for last year's 34-0 shellacking at Warrior Field.
Kickoff is scheduled for October 29, 7:30 p.m. at Highlander Field in Webster Springs. Gametime forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the 40s.