POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — It wasn’t a close encounter of the first kind.
The Point Pleasant football team churned out 494 yards of total offense and scored 56 points over the middle quarters en route to a dominant 63-14 victory over visiting Philip Barbour in a 2017 Class AA opening round playoff game Saturday night at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field.
The seventh-seeded Big Blacks (9-2) had a bit of a slow start in their first-ever meeting with the Colts (8-3), but the hosts overcame both the cold weather and an early turnover before claiming a 7-0 cushion through one period of play.
The Red and White followed by forcing three turnovers and scoring on five of their next six possessions while turning a one-score lead into a sizable 42-point halftime advantage — with all of that damage occurring in the second quarter alone.
Point Pleasant scored on its opening possession of the second half for a 49-0 advantage and eventually led by as many as 56 points while taking a 63-7 cushion into the fourth.
Hunter Mason — who accounted for both of Philip Barbour’s touchdowns — completed the scoring with a 2-yard run with 2:29 left in regulation, wrapping up the 49-point outcome.
The Big Blacks — with the victory — secured their fifth straight postseason with at least one win at home and will now travel to Bluefield to face the second-seeded Beavers (11-0) in the second round of playoff action.
Bluefield — which defeated PPHS by a 42-13 margin earlier this season — will host Point Pleasant again, this time at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Point Pleasant produced its second-largest point total ever in the postseason, behind only a 66-40 win over Oak Glen back in 2011.
The hosts churned out 256 rushing yards — with Justin Brumfield amassing 211 of those yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries — while also finishing the evening plus-1 in turnover differential.
Given the elements — temperatures were in the low 30s by kickoff — 11th-year PPHS coach Dave Darst was pleased with the overall effort, particularly with his defense and the performance by his senior tailback.
“For it being such a cold night, I thought our kids played very well.” Darst said. “We came out and played exceptional defense in the first half and Brumfield had a heck of a night. We were able to just keep feeding him the ball and he definitely stepped up with a pretty good night.
“We had a few too many turnovers, but overall I thought we put together a pretty good game in all phases of the game. I’m proud of the effort and now we have to start getting ready for a rematch with Bluefield.”
The 10th-seeded Colts — who were making their first playoff appearance since 2013 — mustered nothing on their opening drive of the game, then Point Pleasant marched right down the field to set up a first-and-goal at the nine less than a minute into regulation.
The Big Blacks, however, coughed up the football on the ensuing play, and Joseph Collier recovered the fumble at the PBHS 10 — giving the guests possession with 11:04 remaining.
Point forced another punt on the ensuing drive, then covered 60 yards in 11 plays as quarterback Cason Payne capped things with a 2-yard run — giving the hosts a 7-0 advantage with 2:16 left in the opening canto.
After another quick three-and-out by the Colts, PPHS put together a seven-play, 88-yard drive that went into the early moments of the second canto. Brumfield scored on a 6-yard scamper with 11:14 left in the half, making it a 14-0 contest.
Philip Barbour went backwards on its next drive and again had to punt, giving the Big Blacks possession at the PBHS 49.
Brumfield capped a five-play, 49-yard drive with a 4-yard run at the 6:35 mark, making it a 21-0 contest.
Both squads traded turnovers over the next three offensive possessions, which put the ball back in Point’s hands at the Colts 9-yard line.
Payne found Tucker Mayes with a 9-yard scoring pass on the ensuing snap, allowing the Red and Black to up the advantage to 28-0 with 5:32 remaining before halftime.
Philip Barbour followed by committing a turnover on its third straight possession, which ultimately set up another PPHS score.
Brumfield’s 5-yard scamper at the 5:13 mark capped a three-play, 23-yard scoring drive that led to a commanding 35-0 cushion.
Point forced another three-and-out on the ensuing drive, then covered 73 yards in five plays as Brumfield added a 28-yard TD run with 1:45 left for a 42-0 advantage headed into the halftime locker room.
Philip Barbour had nine offensive possessions in the first half, and a third of those drives resulted in turnovers. In fact, the Colts had only two offensive series in which they mustered a first down during the opening two quarters of play.
PPHS, conversely, held a 13-3 advantage in first downs at the break, as well as a 310-69 edge in total yards of offense. The hosts also claimed a 205-47 advantage in rushing yards, with Brumfield providing 182 of those on 18 carries.
The Big Blacks increased their lead to 49-0 following a 1-yard pass from Payne to Josh Wamsley at the 9:56 mark of the third, but PBHS finally struck paydirt at the 4:16 mark as Mason scored on a 5-yard run — making it a 49-7 contest.
Mayes hauled in a 16-yard TD pass from Payne with 3:34 left in the third for a 56-7 edge, then Logan Southall plowed in on a 17-yard run to give the hosts a 63-7 cushion with just 36 seconds left in the third stanza.
Point Pleasant claimed a 24-11 edge in first downs and outgained the guests by a 494-183 overall margin in total yards, which included a 256-60 advantage in rushing yards.
The hosts were flagged five times for 60 yards, while Philip Barbour — which is now 0-7 all-time in playoff contests — was penalized 14 times for 93 yards.
Following the game, Darst was clear that the Colts played a respectable game — but he also felt that his troops simply rose to the occasion to come away with such a dominant victory.
“That’s a stingy little ball club right there in Philip Barbour. They weren’t afraid to hit us,” Darst said. “They’ve battled some adversity and had a great season after going winless the last two years, so they came in and played with a chip on their shoulders.
“It was good that we handled that because there more of that chippiness throughout the playoffs. I was pleased with how we responded to their efforts tonight.”
Point Pleasant has averaged 48.2 points in each of its five opening round playoff wins since 2013 and is now 11-14 all-time in postseason action. The Big Blacks have also won 23 of their last 26 contests at OVB Field.
Southall followed Brumfield’s monster effort with 30 rushing yards on three carries, while Payne added 23 yards on five totes to go along with a 15-of-23 passing performance for 241 yards. Payne tossed three TDs and was also picked off once in the triumph.
Mayes led the PPHS wideouts with 78 yards on five catches, followed by Ryan Oliver with four grabs for 78 yards. Wamsley also had four catches for 40 yards.
Wamsley recovered a fumble and had an interception for the hosts. Eddie Mayes also recovered a fumble in the win. Placekicker Jacob Bryant was also a perfect 9-for-9 in extra-point tries.
Mason led Philip Barbour with 33 rushing yards on 12 attempts, followed by Joseph Collier with 28 yards on 16 tries.
Damien Gonzales was 10-of-15 passing for 123 yards, throwing one interception and zero scores. Nicholas Whited led the receivers with five grabs for 69 yards.
Collier recovered a fumble for the Colts, while Kiyan Bartlett picked off a pass midway through the second quarter. Christopher Volberg was also 2-of-2 on PAT kicks.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.