Warriors play tough, fall to Bishops, 34-14
The PCHS football Warriors fell to undefeated Bishop Donahue, 34-14, in a first-round playoff game in Moundsville on Saturday afternoon.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
A sizable crowd of Warrior fans made the long trip to see their team play in its first playoff game since 2008. Fans and players alike enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day for the contest.
The Warriors won the toss and took the kickoff to their 32-yard line.
On third and 12 from the 30, QB Skylar Knisely handed off to RB Jesse Hoke, who broke through the line and raced 70 yards for a TD. Evan Rose's extra point was good and the Warriors took an early 7-0 lead.
Donahue took the kickoff to their own 45 and quickly got on the scoreboard. Bishop RB Bobby Richmond made 11 yards to the Warrior 29. On fourth and five at the 29, the Bishops went for it and QB Jordan Angalich completed to WR Andrew Sweirkos to the Warior 16 for a first down. Sweirkos caught a pass on the next play to the Warrior five and Richmond followed up with a five-yard TD rush.
At 7:06 in the first quarter, the game was tied, 7-7.
PCHS took the kickoff to their 36 and Hoke carried on first down to the 45. On first and 20 from the 36, Knisely completed for 12 yards to WR Tanner Graham, but a botched handoff lost 18 on the following play.
The Warriors were forced to punt and Hunter Grimes made a crushing stop on the Donahue return man at the Bishop 40-yard line.
On third and nine, Angalich completed to Cody Ballard for a first down to the Warrior 48. PCHS LB Michael Hensler sacked Angalich for a two-yard loss on second down, but Sweirkos caught a pass to the Warrior 35 for a first down on the next play.
Richmond scampered for 20 yards to the Warrior one and, two plays later, plowed in for a Bishop TD. Early in the second quarter, the Bishops held a 14-7 lead.
Hoke dashed for 42 yards to the Bishop 11 on the ensuing Warrior drive and David Kiner ran the ball into the end zone on a sweep from five yards out. At 7:11 in the second quarter, the Warriors had tied the game at 14-14.
Bishop Donahue, who outscored opponents 526-53 during the regular season, found themselves in a dogfight with the tenacious Warriors.ﾠ
Angalich completed passes of 22 and 41 yards on the next possession and quickly got the Bishops into scoring position. At 5:46 in the second quarter, RB Austin Coffield dashed in for a one-yard TD, giving Donahue a 21-14 lead.
The brawl continued through the third quarter as both teams played stingy defense.
Early in the third quarter, Kyler Doss picked off an Angalich pass, setting up the Warriors on their 40-yard line. But the PCHS offense could not capitalize and went three-and-out.
BDHS made four first downs on the ensuing drive but Devin Rose and Seth Doss made a great defensive effort to break up a pass play on fourth down. The Warriors took over on downs at their 13 with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
On third and long, Knisely completed to Kyler Doss to the Warrior 42-yard line.
On third and two, RB Noah Pugh picked up a big first down to the Bishop 45.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Kyler Doss made a 12-yard carry to the Bishop 33 and the Warrior crowd got excited as PCHS threatened to tie the game again.
But the 54-yard Warrior drive ended when a gang of Bishops stripped the ball from Hoke on a first down sweep. A Donahue defender recovered, taking the air out of the Warrior sails.
The Bishops did all the scoring for the remainder of the game.
TB Ollie Parker scored from two yards out with 8 minutes remaining to give the Bishops a 14-point lead, and LB Jordan Bonar snagged an interception deep in Warrior territory for a pick-six with just 12 seconds left in the game.
Angalich, who led the state with 31 TD passes in the regular season, threw for none against the Warriors, but completed 14 passes for 215 yards, including several for third down conversions. Richmond rushed 10 times for 63 yards.
PCHS workhorse Hoke carried 22 times for 173 yards, an average of 7.9 yards per rush.
The Warriors finish the season at 6-5, in third place in the Potomac Valley II conference.
The Bishops improve to 11-0 and will play Wheeling Central in a second-round playoff game on November 19.
Pocahontas coach Mike Knisely said urban private schools have a sports advantage over rural public schools.
"We're knocked out of the playoffs by a private school in a triple-A attendance area," he said. "Until the SSAC [Secondary Schools Activities Commission] decides to do something, they're just screwing the kids of the public schools around the state. You can quote me on that one.
"Our kids played very hard and I'm very proud of them."
Knisely said Pocahontas County should be proud of the Warriors, too.
"They should be proud of the way they represented Pocahontas County High School - not just individually, but as families, as a school and as an entire community," he said. "Their image and what they portray is the way they've been brought up and the people they're around. That's what's made them who they are.
"When we come out here, we all get compliments on how polite our kids are, how well they play the game - no cheap stuff. They do things the right way and that all is a reflection of where they're from. I'd like them to be proud of where they're from."
PCHS rushing: Hoke, 22-173-1; K. Doss, 2-16; Pugh, 2-6; Kiner, 2-10; Knisely, 2-5
PCHS receiving: Graham, 2-37; Doss, 1-28; Hoke, 2-12
PCHS passing: Knisely, 5-13-77-0-1; Kiner, 0-1-0
PCHS kick returns: Graham, 2-21; Pugh, 1-6
BDHS rushing: Richmond: 10-63-2; Parker, 7-21-1; Beiter, 5-16; Bonar, 4-12; Angalich, 4- minus 12.
BDHS receiving: Sweirkos, 7-77; Ballard, 2-53; Jones, 2-53; Yurisko, 2-26; Reidel, 1-17.
BDHS passing: Angalich, 14-25-215-0-2
PCHS rushing: 201
BDHS rushing: 95
PCHS passing: 77
BDHS passing: 215
PCHS total offense: 278
BDHS total offense: 310