The Pocahontas County High School Warriors have had a great season and the fans have been behind them all the way – all the way to the playoff game Saturday where they took on the Tug Valley Panthers.
By all accounts, it was a nail-biter, but in the end – and the game was decided at the end – the Warriors came up just shy of a win with a 29-30 score.
There was nothing “losing” in their performance.
The Warriors didn’t waste any time getting on the board in the first quarter when Shane Peacock scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown. The extra point was good, and the Warriors were first on the board, 7 – 0.
But just minutes later, the Panthers answered with a TD, but the two-point conversion failed. Score – Warriors 7, Panthers 6.
Still in the first quarter, Peacock added another TD for the Warriors. The extra point was good, bringing the score to 14 – 6.
Briar Wilfong connected on a pass to James Sharp in the second quarter, and, although the extra point was no good, the Warriors were still in the lead 20-6.
Late in the second quarter Tug Valley scored another TD and added a successful two-point conversion, but the Warriors took a 20-14 lead into the locker room at the half.
Things began to get tight and interesting in the third quarter as the Panthers tied the score 20-20 with a TD, and went ahead 20-22 with another two-point conversion. A second TD and two-pointer in the third put the Panthers up 20-30.
With just under a minute left in the third quarter, Dillon Shinaberry kicked a 25-yard field goal narrowing Tug Valley’s lead, 23-30.
In the last minute of the fourth quarter – the last minute of the game – Briar Wilfong scored with a rushing TD to bring the Warriors within one point of a tie, 29-30.
Taking a chance for the win, the Warriors went for a two-point conversion, but were not successful.
The community showed its support going into the playoffs with Warrior maroon and gold, players’ names and numbers displayed around the county and a banner flying on Main Street in Marlinton.
The PCHS Football Boosters generated the momentum, and businesses, community members and parents chipped in to let the team ride in style on a chartered bus from Quick’s Bus Company in Staunton, Virginia.