The embattled Pocahontas County High School Warriors traveled to Baker Friday night, hoping to rebound from two close losses, but, instead, suffered a third.
After falling 9-8 to the Moorefield Yellow Jackets, and 21-14 to the Pendleton County Wildcats, the final score of Friday’s game was a close 12-6 loss. Three games lost by a combined 14 points total.
This week’s loss followed injuries that have rearranged the Warriors line-up. Some faces were back, but still recovering from previous injuries. But the one absence that truly stung was offensive and defensive leader Senior Guard and Defensive End #51 Reese Kelley who had a season ending shoulder injury. The cost of not having such a valuable player is plain on paper; what is less plain is the loss of his indomitable leadership and heart on the field. He is a player who encapsulates what it means to be a Warrior as much as any that I have ever coached or known.
After the kickoff the Warriors commenced a game of hard- nosed defense vs hard-nosed defense. The trouble started when the Cougars picked off Senior QB #6 Dillon Shinaberry in Warrior territory, setting them up for a short field and #2 Alex Miller capitalized two plays later on a seven-yard touchdown, but #3 Noah Lang was denied the point after.
Score 6-0 Cougars.
Early in the second quarter, East Hardy struck again. This time on a 54-yard touchdown, when #11 Cole Pusl connected with #9 Brayden Ritchie for a touchdown. Lang’s kick was no good.
Score at halftime 12-0.
The Warriors would not go quietly into the night and continued to fight.
In the second half, the Warriors shut out East Hardy and claimed a score of their own when Shinaberry finished a seven-play drive with a seven-yard touchdown. A bad snap denied the Warriors the point after. But it would be the last score of the night, and too little, too late.
Final score 12-6.
The night was a rough one for the Warriors with turn-overs, a few young faces in key positions and some luck on the side of the Cougars in their passing game leading to an agonizing loss for the Warriors.
The Warriors were held to 87 yards of total offense. The Cougars kept the Warriors air game grounded, holding them to 15 yards of passing; and only 49 rushing.
The stake to the heart on the night for the Warriors was five turnovers; two fumbles and three interceptions.
The Warriors hope to break this streak Friday when they face the Richwood Lumberjacks for homecoming at PCHS.
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