A full moon hung over Bulldog Stadium in Mill Creek on Friday night, but the Pocahontas County High School Warriors came home howling with a 48-14 victory.
Despite their team’s lack of victories in recent years, a large crowd of loyal Bulldog fans filled the stands on a cool, clear autumn evening. A respectable contingent of Warrior fans arrived for the contest, as well.
Sophomore running back Jimmy Campbell had a breakout game against the Dogs. On the opening possession, the Warrior offense moved downfield with good rushing from Campbell and senior running backs Devin Rose and Judd Walther. Campbell scored the first touchdown of the game on a one-yard rush and Rose kicked a good extra-point.
On the next Warriors possession, Campbell set up another touchdown by catching a pass from senior quarterback Wesley Felton and fighting his way to the one-yard line. Walther scored on a one-yard touchdown plunge to give Pocahontas a 13-0 lead.
The Warriors forced Tygarts Valley to punt from deep in their own territory on the next series. The punt was short and the Bulldogs committed a personal foul on the play, giving the Warriors a first down on the Tygarts Valley 11-yard line. Walther took care of business again and plowed into the end zone from five yards out. A two-point conversion attempt failed, but midway through the second quarter, the Warriors had seized a 19-0 advantage.
Tygarts Valley executed some nice plays but were completely outmanned by the tough Warrior defense. On the next Bulldog possession, the Dogs made a first down, but Warriors linebacker Brandon Hamons intercepted a pass from Bulldog quarterback Owen Arbogast and sprinted down the sideline for an apparent touchdown. But the referee, with a clear view of the play, ruled that Hamons had stepped out of bounds on the Tygarts Valley 13-yard line, where the Warriors took over.
Two plays later, Rose scored a five-yard rushing touchdown and finished up by rushing in for a two-point conversion to give Pocahontas a 27-0 lead, which held up until the break.
The Warriors continued to dominate through the second half and both squads inserted junior players in the final frame. The scrappy Bulldogs never quit in the face of adversity and scored two TDs in the second half. But the Warriors scored three more after the break and chalked up a 48-14 win.
The Warriors improved to 3-5 and the Bulldogs dropped to 0-7. The Warriors have a decent chance to finish the season with an even record, but must win a tough road game at Man this Friday and a home game against rival Webster County on November 1.
Local sports analyst Jason Bauserman thinks the Warriors need to play better than they did against Tygarts Valley to finish with an even record.
“I’m glad we won, we certainly needed the win,” he said. “On offense, we had some bad snaps and miscommunication with the quarterback and the running backs. For the eighth game of the season, I really expected a better performance. We were just kind of lackadaisical out there. ”
The Hillbillies are 6-1, but their strength of competition has not been great. The combined record of Man’s opponents, so far this season, is a mediocre 20-32.
Kickoff in Man this Friday night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game time forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain and snow showers and temperatures in the 30s.