CONTINUING THE TRADITION, an Air Evac helicopter delivers the game ball to Warrior Field for Senior Night Friday night. The Pocahontas County High School Warriors chalked up a win against the Summers County Bobcats. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Broce-Kelley

Aaron Pugh
Contributing Writer

The Pocahontas County High School Warriors have had a hard season – first with a series of near losses then rattled to a couple of dominant programs in the last two weeks. They hoped to change that trend when they hosted the Summers County Bobcats October 25.

They achieved this goal, sending off the class of 2020 on Senior Night with their first win against the Bobcats during the tenure of Coach Doug Burns.

The night started out with a gut check for the Warriors. After a muffed snap on a punt attempt, the Warriors gave the Bobcats possession on the Pocahontas 4-yard line. The Warriors stiffened though and forced Summers to use all four downs, when #32 Trent Meador found the end-zone from one yard out on fourth down. Their two-point conversion was stopped by sophomore Corner #5 Cage Burdette.

Score 6-0 Bobcats

In the second quarter, the Warriors rallied, scoring 19 unanswered points in a variety of ways. This exceptional run started when Summers muffed their own snap on a punt that flew high and was downed on the Bobcat 16-yard line. The next play, junior RB/QB #10 Keaton Baldwin took advantage of the great field position and found a seam off-tackle on the right for a 16-yard touchdown; point after by junior Kicker #14 Jacob Davis was good.

Score 7-6 Warriors

A few minutes later the Warriors’ punt team and defense got in on the action. Baldwin, at punter, had his kick go 58 yards and settle one foot from the Bobcat’s end-zone. Smelling blood, Matt Buzzard’s defense penned their ears back and put the heat on the Bobcats. Three plays later, Baldwin and freshman D-Tackle #71 Austin Morgan pounced on Meador and forced a safety.

Score 9-6 Warriors

Following a kickoff from their own 25 yard line, the Bobcats faced a new wrinkle in the Warrior offense with Baldwin, at QB, flanked by senior #83 Brody Buzzard and junior #9 Haiden Gladwell, with senior #6 Dillon Shinaberry stepping up as H-Back to aid the offensive line. First play after the kick, Baldwin connected for a 55-yard touchdown to Burdette to continue the rampage by the Warriors; point after by Davis was good.

Score 16-6 Warriors

The Warriors would take possession again late in the second quarter and, driving to the end-zone, would run out of time. Davis and the field goal unit took the stage and would drive a 40-yard field goal in with 0:03 seconds to go.

Score at halftime 19-6 Warriors

The second half would see the Bobcats make adjustments and make a fight out of it. Their first strike would be a 23-yard dash by #8 Markis Crawford, but, once again, the Warriors would stuff the two-point conversion attempt.

Score 19-12 Warriors

Late in the third quarter the Warrior offense would stall out, and with a 40-yard field goal already under his belt, Davis took the field again, this time punching in a 24-yard field goal with relative ease.

Score 22-12 Warriors

Early in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats found success on a series of missed tackles by the Warriors, when Crawford found the end-zone after a 39-yard run up the middle for a touchdown and would follow that with a two-point conversion.

Score 20-22 Warriors

The Warriors, now in desperation mode, worked their butts off to score again early in the fourth quarter on a seven play drive starting at the Bobcat’s 43 yard line. The first play of the drive was a 37-yard pass by Baldwin to senior WR #88 Dalton Hendrick. Six plays later, junior #9 Haiden Gladwell (making his season debut after moving back to Pocahontas County) scored on fourth down from six yards out; kick by Davis was good.

Score 20-29 Warriors

The Bobcats would not go quietly into the night however, and following a 12-play drive, six of them inside the Warrior 11-yard line, they scored on a one-yard run and the two-point conversion by Crawford good.

Score 28-29

The Warriors regained possession after the Summers County kickoff, got a first down and were able to let time expire to claim a hard-fought victory over the Bobcats.

On the night, the Warriors had 213 yards of total offense to Summers County’s 233. Rushing was the name of the game, as the Bobcats had 205 yards and Pocahontas had 121. Leading for the Warriors on the ground was Baldwin with 14 attempts for 47 yards and a touchdown, Shinaberry with 5 for 43, Gladwell with 10 for 28 and a touchdown, Buzzard with 1 for 13 yards.

Passing was marginal for the Warriors. Shinaberry was 0 for 5 on short passing game. Baldwin on the other hand was 2 for 2 for 92 yards. With Burdette receiving one catch for 55 yards and a touchdown and Henrick with the other for 37 yards and setting up a Gladwell touchdown.

Davis got into the game in a critical way with three extra points, and two field goals for 40 and 24 yards for 9 points.

The Warriors will travel to Mill Creek to face the #10 ranked Tygarts Valley Bulldogs on November 1. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.

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