WARRIOR TEAM CAPTAINS Brody Buzzard, Dalton Hendrick, Dustin Fitzgerald and Dillon Shinaberry carry the #65 jersey of Honorary Team Captain Coltin Luikart out on the field for Friday night’s coin toss. Luikart, a player for Marlinton Middle School, passed away September 29. C. Broce-Kelley photo

Aaron Pugh
Contributing Writer

After rolling against the Richwood Lumberjacks at the mid-season mark the Pocahontas County High School Warriors came up against an extremely stout opponent in the 4-1 AA Shady Springs Tigers. The senior heavy and well-rounded team has had only one loss, and that was by a mere two points.

The Warriors fought valiantly and physically, but in the end fell 10-24.

After starting out the first quarter with a back and forth slug fest on the dusty field at Shady Springs, the Warriors found success. After PCHS’s defense penned the Tigers deep in their own territory and forced them to punt out of their own end-zone, Junior #24 Logan Ryder returned the ball to the Tiger 23-yard line. Four plays later the Warriors sent in the Field Goal unit and Junior #14 Jacob Davis kicked a 33-yard field goal.

Score 3-0 Warriors

After another bout of defense, the Warriors began marching down the field early in the second quarter, but threw an interception that set up a drive by the Tigers that culminated in a screen pass for a 25-yard touchdown by #9 Haven Chapman; point after by #2 Erick Bevil was good.

Score 7-3 Tigers

The third quarter saw the most scoring. After receiving the kickoff the Tigers immediately struck. On offensive play number-one of the second half, Chapman went for a 66-yard touchdown; Bevil point after was good.

Score 14-3 Tigers

Minutes later the Warriors stalled out a Tiger drive and held them to a 22-yard field goal by Bevil.

Score 17-3 Tigers

The Warriors would not go quietly into the night and set up another drive deep in their own territory. On play three, Senior QB #6 Dillon Shinaberry connected with Junior HB #32 Jacob Barkley, for a 30-yard reception, and Barkley found another gear and kicked up dust for the remaining 55 yards, scoring an 85-yard touchdown; Davis’ kick after was good.

Score 17-10 Tigers

The song of too little to late was sung by the Warriors as the Tigers rallied and drove home the final score of the night on the next series. Chapman capped off a drive with a 10-yard touchdown; point after by Bevil was good.

Final Score 24-10 Tigers

The night did not go the way the Warriors wanted, but they remained squarely in the game throughout; playing a tough, physical game against a good opponent.

The Warriors had 205 yards total offense to Shady Spring’s 262. The ground game had 82 yards led by Shinaberry with 16 attempts for 53 yards; Junior #10 Keaton Baldwin had 6 carries for 27; Sophomore #5 Cage Burdette had 1 for 6; and Senior #83 Brody Buzzard had 1 for 5. The air game did a bit better, with 123 yards in the air vs Shady Spring’s 92. Shinaberry was 8 of 14 for 123 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Receiving was split among Barkley who had 1 for 85 yards and a touchdown; Senior #88 Dalton Hendrick with 2 for 18; Baldwin was 1 for 9; Burdette was 1 for 8 yards; and Buzzard was 3 for 3 yards.

The Warriors will next travel to face the Greenbrier West Cavaliers on October 11.

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