Point hosts Beavers in AA opener


By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com



Members of the Point Pleasant football team huddle up along the sideline during pregame of an Aug. 27 football contest against Greenbrier East at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va.

Members of the Point Pleasant football team huddle up along the sideline during pregame of an Aug. 27 football contest against Greenbrier East at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Looks can be deceiving.

On paper, the traditional 3-14 matchup should easily favor the higher seeded program … especially if the higher seed is playing at home.

This 3-14 contest, however, is a little different because of both COVID cancellations this fall and recent history.

Third-seeded Point Pleasant faces a very stern test on Saturday afternoon when 14th-seeded Bluefield comes to Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field for a Class AA opening round playoff football contest.

The host Big Blacks (9-1) have won nine straight decisions after suffering a 32-22 setback to visiting Greenbrier East in the regular season opener, a sign of major growth from a team that started the year with numerous questions because of its youth and inexperience.

PPHS — which has outscored opponents by a 349-170 overall margin this year, averages of 34.9 points for and 17.0 points allowed — has had its hard work rewarded with this home-opener in the playoffs, a first for the program since 2018.

The 2018 campaign was also the last time that the Big Blacks — who are 11-17 alltime in postseason play — had a playoff victory.

The Beavers (5-3), on the other hand, had to overcome having only one game in the first six weeks of the regular season, then played three games in the span of seven days — including a pair of contests against schools from Virginia.

BHS also had four games scheduled in the final three weeks of the regular season, though one of those resulted in a 1-0 forfeit loss to Woodrow Wilson.

Princeton Senior is the only other West Virginia school to defeat Bluefield this fall, doing so by a 39-36 margin in Week 2.

The Beavers — who have played in at least the state semifinal round every year since winning the Class AA crown back in 2017 — managed to find some luck late in the year to get back into the postseason.

Bluefield is also taking on an opponent that it has had quite a bit of success with of late.

After dropping their initial meeting by a 45-24 count back in 2016, the Beavers have reeled off four straight wins over PPHS — including a 46-28 decision in the last meeting back in 2020.

BHS also owns a 49-17 victory in the only playoff meeting between the two schools back in 2017. All five of the previous meetings have been decided by at least 18 points.

The Beavers — who have outscored opponents 282-130 in the seven games played, averages of 40.3 points for and 18.6 points allowed — have a single common opponent with Point Pleasant this year in Mingo Central.

The Big Blacks defeated the Miners by a 66-28 margin back on Sept. 10 at OVB Field, while Bluefield earned a 55-6 decision over MCHS just last weekend in its home finale.

The Beavers — who are 3-1 in road contests — also have wins over West Virginia programs PikeView (66-0) and Oak Hill (41-21) this fall.

The 3-seed is the highest for a Point Pleasant football team heading into a postseason since the 2016 program made its return to the Class AA level as a 3-seed. The Big Blacks are also making their 18th playoff appearance in program history, including their 13th appearance in the last 14 postseasons.

Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at OVB Field.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Members of the Point Pleasant football team huddle up along the sideline during pregame of an Aug. 27 football contest against Greenbrier East at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/11/web1_11.12-PP-Flag.jpgMembers of the Point Pleasant football team huddle up along the sideline during pregame of an Aug. 27 football contest against Greenbrier East at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.