Warriors waylay Wildcats, 40-8
The Pocahontas County Warriors were firing on all cylinders Friday night with a 40-8 shellacking of their Potomac Valley Conference rivals, the Pendleton County Wildcats.
A large crowd of fans for both teams enjoyed a perfect evening for football. Despite the threat of rain showers, the weather remained cool, crisp and dry.
The Warrior defense played nearly flawlessly and PCHS controlled the game from beginning to end. The Warrior offense committed two turnovers, but was so far ahead when the errors occurred that it hardly mattered.
On the first possession, the Warriors completed a 55-yard TD drive in just three plays. On the third play from scrimmage, junior RB Kyler Doss took a pitchout around the right end and zigzagged through the Wildcats for 42 yards and a TD. An extra point attempt failed.
An aggressive Warrior defense set the tone for the game and gave up only one yard on the Wildcats' first possession, forcing a punt.
On the second Warrior possession, QB Skylar Knisley completed a swing pass to WR Spencer McCoy for 24 yards. On fourth down from the 25 yard line, the Warriors resorted to a little trickery. Knisley took the snap, lateraled to sophomore RB Devin Rose toward the left sideline, who passed to a wide-open WR Jessie Taylor in the end zone. Doss rushed for a two-point conversion. Warriors 14, Wildcats 0.
Pendleton fumbled a short kickoff and Rose recovered, setting up the Warrior offense on the Wildcat 35. On a second and 18, Knisley completed to big fullback Hunter Grimes, who plowed forward for 16. Doss picked up a first down to the Wildcat 23 and followed good blocking to the 12 on the next play. On second down from the 17, Doss cut back left against the grain, fought through heavy traffic and scored his second TD of the game. The extra point kick was good and the Warriors held a 21-0 advantage.
Things didn't get much better for the Cats. On a second and 10 at the Warrior 46, Wildcat QB Daniel Hevener dropped back and lofted a pass toward the end zone. PCHS DB Dillon Hovorka leaped in the air, snagged an interception and returned it to the Warrior 46. An illegal block penalty moved the Warriors back to their 25-yard line.
The Warriors lost a fumble at the Wildcat 38 to start the second half, but Pendleton went nowhere fast, thanks to the Warriors' smothering pass rush and stingy defensive backs.
Rose returned the punt to the Wildcat 45. A few plays later, Doss scampered for 13 yards to the Wildcat 24. But the Pendleton defense woke up and forced the first Warrior punt of the game. Rose kicked a beauty that landed with a thud at the Wildcat nine.
The Cats were playing with their backs to the wall and the Warrior defense smelled blood. On a second and eight at the Wildcat 26, Hevener threw short for RB Logan Raines, but Rose grabbed the errant pass and dashed 30 yards into the end zone for a pick-six. The extra-point missed, but the Warriors had seized a commanding 27-0 lead.
With less than a minute remaining in the half, Knisley completed to Rose for 24 yards to the Wildcat 12. On the next play, Knisley dropped back and hit Taylor in the end zone for the Warriors fifth TD.
As the teams streamed into their locker rooms at halftime, the Warriors were in complete control with a 33-0 lead.
The game had swirled out of control for Pendleton, but the Cats came out fighting in the second half. Pendleton ran the ball better and made some nice plays in the second half, but the Warrior defense continued to dominate.
Hevener completed to Raines for 46 yards in the third quarter, but the Wildcat drive petered out.
Midway through the fourth quarter, after both teams had inserted junior varsity players, Wildcat sophomore QB Luke Yokum passed short to RB Dustin Redman, who outran four Warriors to the end zone and avoided the shutout. Yokum shrugged off an arm tackle and punched the ball in for a two-point conversion. 40-8 would be the final.
In the fourth quarter, PCHS senior DB Sara Jonese made Warrior history when she played a series and became the first female to play in a football game for Pocahontas County.
Doss ran for 202 yards with three TDs of 42, 17 and 13 yards in the game. Taylor caught two TD passes of 25 and 12 yards. Knisley and Rose each threw a TD pass. The Warriors committed two turnovers, a lost fumble and an interception.
Pocahontas improves to 2-1 and Pendleton falls to 1-2.
The Warriors play the powerhouse East Hardy Cougars at Baker on September 16. The Cougars finished the regular season at 7-3 last season and defeated Tucker County in the first round of the state playoffs. The Cougars fell to Wahama in the second playoff round, 73-38.
East Hardy is 2-0 this season and defeated Craig County, Virginia and Auburn, Virginia.
The Cougars have a dangerous passing attack led by all-state, first team QB Kollin Foltz. The 5'11" 180-pound senior led the state last season with 2,483 yards and 21 TDs. All four of the Cougars' leading receivers returned this year, including all-state junior Josh Parker.
Kickoff is scheduled for September 16, 7:30 p.m. at Cougar Field in Baker. Game time forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-70s and dropping into the mid-60s.
Rushing: Doss, 26-203-3; Rose 6-43-0
Receiving: Taylor, 4-66-2; McCoy,3-42-0
Passing: 8-23-117-1; Rose, 1-1-25-1
Pocahontas rushing 258
Pendleton rushing: 69
Pocahontas passing: 158
Pendleton passing: 94
Pocahontas total offense: 459
Pendleton total offense: 228