The Cavaliers of Greenbrier West charged onto the rain slick turf of Warrior Field, fought a tough battle with the Pocahontas County Warriors, and escaped with a 21-7 victory Friday night. The game was tied 7-7 at halftime, but West would score the only points in the second half.
Both defenses played well in the first quarter, but West capitalized after pouncing on a Warrior fumble late in the opening frame. Getting the ball on the Warrior 40, West capped the drive with a one-yard TD plunge by senior Jordan Tincher to take a 7-0 lead.
Thanks to an excellent Stephen Simmons punt and a great defensive series, PCHS got good field position late in the second quarter. Taking a punt and starting at the West 47-yard line, PCHS drove to the Warrior 23, where they faced a fourth and three. PCHS QB Wyatt Workman pitched out to Dalton Irvine, who completed a 23-yard TD pass to Cary Robertson, who was wide open in the end zone. Simmons’ extra point tied the game at 7-7. The big play swung the momentum in the Warriors’ favor, which carried over into the second half.
Getting the ball first after the break, PCHS made a nice drive to the West nine-yard line, where they lined up for a 26-yard field goal attempt on fourth and one. The kick had plenty of distance but smacked into the right upright and bounced back into the end zone. Although the game was still tied at seven and West had the ball deep in their own territory, the momentum swung back for West. Starting at their nine, West capped an impressive 91-yard drive with a one-yard TD rush by RB Derek Coryell. West’s two-point attempt failed, but the Cavs had seized a 13-7 lead in the soggy defensive battle.
With just a six-point deficit, the Warriors had an opportunity to take the lead with a TD and an extra point. But the West defense smelled blood in the water after getting a lead and played more aggressively, shutting down the Warrior offense for the reminder of the second half. But the Warrior defense also played an excellent game. The Cavaliers blocked a Warrior punt at the end of the third quarter, putting the turkey on the table for West at the Warrior 23. But the stingy Warrior defense did not allow one yard in four downs. Taking over on downs, the Warrior offense couldn’t move the ball either and the line of scrimmage was still at the the Warrior 23 when PCHS punted.
West took the punt on the first play of the fourth quarter and started off on their 42. This time, they were able to make some headway against the Pocahontas defense. Tincher finished a 58-yard drive with a four-yard TD rush. Cav QB Dustin Yoakum reversed field and got out of trouble to make a good two-point conversion, giving West a 21-7 advantage. Ten minutes remained in the game, but the lead was insurmountable due mostly to the excellent Cavalier defense, but also due to slippery field conditions. PCHS running backs slipped in the backfield several times during the game.
The Cavaliers improved to 6-1 and jumped up two spots to #3 in state single-A football with the win. The Warriors fall to 3-4 and dropped one spot to #23 with the loss.
Check back later for video clips and stats from Friday night’s game. See Thursday’s print edition for a full report.