POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Senior night done right.
In its final home game of the year, the Point Pleasant football team won the “Battle for the Oak’en Bucket’ with a 27-10 victory over non-conference rival Ripley on Friday at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field in Mason County.
Point Pleasant (3-4) — which never trailed in the game — broke the scoreless tie 1:43 into play with a seven-yard touchdown run by Evan Roach. Elicia Wood made her first of three point-after kicks, giving the hosts the 7-0 edge.
Ripley (3-6) scored its only points of the first half with a 25-yard field goal from Broedy Boyce with 6:31 left in the opening quarter.
With 3:41 left in the first, Point Pleasant went up 13-3 with a one-yard touchdown run by Logan Southall.
Roach found the end zone for a second time with 1:09 to go in the first, scoring on a one-yard run to make the Big Black lead 20-3.
After a scoreless second stanza, Point Pleasant went up 27-3 with 7:45 to go in the third, as Hunter Bush scored on a one-yard run.
The Vikings ended their scoreless drought with 10:27 left in regulation, as Jacob Fouty scored on an 11-yard run and Boyce followed with the point-after kick. Ripley couldn’t get closer, however, and fell by a 27-10 tally.
After the victory, 13th-year PPHS head coach David Darst was pleased with his team’s effort, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
“We got the Oak’en Bucket back, we beat our biggest rival on our schedule, what a night,” Darst said. “Our defense played fantastic again tonight, I was really proud of the way we played. At moments we played pretty well offensively tonight. Both of my quarterbacks had some really good moments, and not-so-good moments, but overall I was very pleased with what we did offensively.
“Ripley started to clamp down on us in the second half, and we got a little banged up on the offensive line, so that kind of slowed us down. Overall, I think that was just a good, old-fashioned football game, and we came out on the right side of it.”
For the game, Point Pleasant earned a 15-to-11 edge in first downs, and a 312-to-192 advantage in total offensive, including 257-to-109 on the ground. The Big Blacks won the turnover battle by a 3-0 count, but were penalized eight times for 95 yards, while RHS was sent back 35 yards on seven flags.
Southall led the PPHS ground attack, as well as the receiving unit, rushing 19 times for 120 yards and a touchdown, and catching two passes for 24 yards. Brady Adkins — who caught two passes for 20 yards — had seven carries for 79 yards in the win.
Bush — who carried the ball five times for 23 yards and a score — was 4-of-6 passing for 44 yards, while Roach — who had 20 yards and two scores on 14 carries — completed 1-of-4 pass attempts for 11 yards.
Nick Parsons had one 11-yard reception and one five-yard run, while Zane Wamsley picked up 10 yards on his lone carry.
For Ripley, Noah Westfall — who was 7-of-13 passing for 56 yards — led the way on the ground with 40 yards on 15 totes. Fouty caught a team-best four passes for 46 yards and added 12 yards on four carries, Camron Ramsey grabbed three passes for 10 yards and ran nine times for 22, while Kadin Hill completed his only pass attempt for 27 yards and picked up 23 yards on a pair of carries.
Coach Darst noted the importance Friday’s victory headed into the regular season finale at James Monroe, and acknowledged the Big Blacks have found embraced playing the spoiler.
“I think it’s really important to keep the momentum going for next week,” Darst said. “Beating a AAA school tonight, that would have probably made the playoffs if they’d have won. For our program, as tough as this season has been, here we are at the end of the year starting to win football games. That’s what we needed. Hopefully it’ll spark our kids to get out and have a good week of practice, and go down to play another team that if they beat us, they have a chance to make the playoffs. We’ve been the spoiler now two weeks in a row, that’s kind of nice, hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to do it again.”
This marks the Big Blacks’ fifth straight victory against the Vikings, moving Point Pleasant’s edge in the all-time series to 53-23-1.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.