Warrior Football ~ JV Avengers at Bath

With The JV’s win over Bath, and all the pomp and pride of spirit week, the Pocahontas County High School Warriors didn’t need much more to get pumped up for week seven – but the prospect of pairing off against a strong rival, the Greenbrier West Cavaliers, put things into overdrive. Cynthia Broce-Kelley photo

Varsity shuts out West at Homecoming

Aaron Pugh
Contributing Writer

After the varsity fell to the Bath County Cavaliers in week six, the junior varsity squad traveled to Bath County October 8 to introduce themselves. One of the challenges of a coach is to think what we’re going to do when we graduate such awesome athletes. But, year after year, that question is answered when we see young players perform well in junior varsity and just imagine what they will become with a little growing, lifting and learning.

The young Warriors showed how much they had learned and matured before they ever left the state, sitting in groups on the bus studying playbooks and readying themselves for their first test. When they got off the bus and marched down the steep hill to start the game, it was all business.

The night started out with a shot of electricity when freshman running back #5 Cage Burdette, nephew of famed Pocahontas running back Jesse Burdette, took the opening kickoff for 10 yards to the Warrior 35 yard line, and then, on the first offensive play, decided to rush to the Charger 11 for a 54 yard gain. The next play freshman quarterback #2 Cash Keating kept the ball and punched in an 11-yard touchdown, score 6-0.

Following the kickoff the defense stopped the Chargers after a six play drive to get the ball back, signs that this young team was stout when defending. The following quarter they managed to stop the chargers on the one yard line, preventing a touchdown, but a bobbled snap caused the Warriors to have a safety, the only points Bath would have all night, score 6-2.

After another stop on defense the Chargers had to punt and another up and comer, sophomore transfer running back #24 Logan Ryder fielded the punt on the Warrior 25-yard line and plunged up the field for a 54-yard gain. Neither team scored again in the first half. After one series and a punt, Ryder would do a repeat and fielded the ball and returned this one for a 26- yard gain to the Chargers 34, following one play for a loss, Burdette got back in the action plowing ahead for a 44-yard run and a touchdown, score 12-2.

The next score came late in the fourth quarter, this time with Keating keeping it on play four of their drive for a 17-yard touchdown and two point conversion run by Burdette. Final score, 20-2, Warriors.

On the night the young Pocahontas team ran for 168 yards behind the line consisting of first year senior Chris Wells, juniors Devon Young and Isaac Evans, sophomores Ty Cochran and John Fitzgerald, and freshmen AJ Madison and Foye McElmore. Passing was limited to one completion to freshman wide receiver #3 Sean Beverage for 21 yards and one interception by freshman #80 Frankie Burgess.

PCHS Varsity vs. Greenbrier West Cavaliers

With a good start to the week with the JV win and all the pomp and pride of spirit week, the Varsity squad didn’t need much more to get pumped up for week seven, but the prospect of pairing off against a strong rival in the Greenbrier West Cavaliers put things into overdrive.

The Cavaliers have had a rough year, with just one win, but have played very tight in all their matchups over the season, and were not an opponent to take lightly. The 3-3 Warriors were in a scenario that makes every game a playoff game, to guarantee bonus games in November. Keep winning, and the playoffs can happen – lose and it’s going to take a lot of luck to make the season last past week 11.

The Warriors, facing the bulldozer that is West’s single-wing offense and the talent and speed of their defense, rose to the challenge. The first quarter was a slug fest between two strong defenses with neither team scoring. The Warriors received the kickoff and were stopped after five plays, then repaid the favor stopping the Cavs in a four-and-out, followed by an eight-play drive by the Warriors and a six-play drive by the Cavs. In drive five of the night, early in the second quarter, the Warriors drew blood. Capping off a 10 play with a one yard QB sneak by #6 Dillon Shinaberry, topped by a kick by him to make the score 7-0.

The next offensive series by the Warriors saw Shinaberry show more talent with a 30- yard field goal to get points after a four play drive, score 10-0.

The Warriors finished out the first half with a missed field goal from 25 yards out by Shinaberry.

Coming into the second half the game was one of powerful defense versus powerful defense until late in the fourth quarter when the Warriors rallied. The Warriors had to punt from their own 31-yard line. Shinaberry put one down the field that stalled on the one-yard line. When #22 Kaiden Pack decided to pick it up and try to get better position he was immediately met, and had his leg nearly ripped off by junior #83 Brody Buzzard to pin the Cavs on their two-yard line. Four plays later, Pocahontas got the ball back after a three-and-out and a short punt from West from their own end zone. The Warriors put together a six-play drive starting at the Greenbrier West’s 24-yard line, capping it with nine-yard touchdown by Shinaberry. The Warrior defense would finish the night holding the line and shutting out the Cavaliers, final score 17-0.

The night may not have been high flying, but the Warriors defended their home at homecoming in style.

The Warriors had 199 yards of total offense. Pocahontas ran behind the firm of Fitzgerald, Kelley, Bostic, Workman, Lucabaugh and Barkley for 150 rushing; and went to the air with wide outs Sharp, Hedrick, Buzzard and Kiner for 49 passing. The Warrior ground game was led by Shinaberry with 20 attempts for 63 yards, followed by senior running back #34 Jacob Jones with 13 for 46 yards, sophomore running back #10 Keaton Baldwin 15 for 38 yards and senior wide out #1 JD Sharp with one for three yards. Passing between Shinaberry and senior wide receiver #8 Cody Kiner netted two passes for 49 yards. Kiner had one kickoff return for 44 yards, Sharp had two punt returns for 32 yards.

Pocahontas held the Cavs to 118 total yards – 91 rushing and 27 in the air. Leading the defense was Jones with nine tackles and Baldwin with eight, three for a loss. JD Sharp gave the passing game headaches including one interception on the night.

The Warrior Varsity has a bye in week eight and will next travel to Summers County October 19. Kickoff at 7 p.m.

more recommended stories