MAN — The Pocahontas County school football team made its six-hour long bus ride to Man worth it on Friday night.
That’s because the Warriors, ranked No. 13 in the state in Class A, came away with a convincing 40-14 win over No. 4-ranked Man at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
It was a shocking loss for the Billies, which dropped to 6-2 on the season. Man plays at No. 11 Tug Valley (7-2) in Friday night’s showdown at Naugatuck. The Billies then close out on Nov. 6 at home against No. 15 Van (7-2).
Man is hoping to win its last two games and secure a first-round home game for the upcoming playoffs.
Pocahontas County improved to 7-2 on the season with the win.
Man coach Harvey Arms said the Hillbillies must bear down down in its final two games.
“We gave up our first special teams score of the year right of the bat with the kickoff return and then everything went wrong,” Arms said. “We’ve got to get ready for these next two games with Tug Valley and Van but we’ve got to play a whole lot better than we did tonight. I don’t know if they were that good or we were that bad. I can’t count on three or four people to win games we must have players to step up for us.”
The Warriors made some noise from the outset of Friday’s game, reaching the end zone only 15 seconds into the game as Dalton Irvin took the opening kickoff and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown. Jimmy Hensler booted the PAT and Pocahontas County led 7-0. The Warriors never looked back.
Man got its first possession on its own 33-yard line. Then, on third-and-12, Wyatt Workman picked off a John Thomas Keffer pass and gave the Warriors great field possession at the Man 27-yard stripe.
After a stop for no gain on the first play Warriors’ QB Workman tossed a 27-yard strike to Hensler. The point after failed but Pocahontas County took a 13-0 advantage at the 9:26 mark of the first quarter.
Man’s offense continued to sputter as Keffer was sacked on third-and-10 and was forced to punt the ball away as the Warriors took over on their own 43-yard line.
Only four plays later, PCHS struck again on the big play — an 18-yard pass for Workman to his favorite target Hensler. Workman then passed to Logan Davis for the two-point conversion as the Warriors scored 21 unanswered points to take a commanding 21-0 lead with 5:14 to go in the first stanza.
The Warriors pushed their lead to 27-0 mid-way in the second period, marching 63 yards on 12 plays, capped off by an 8-yard jaunt by Irvin at 7:33 mark. The conversion failed.
Then, once again, Man had a three-and-out and were forced to punt the football away to the Warriors as they took over on their own 45-yard line.
Once again, they ripped the Man defense, marching down the field at will and scoring in just seven plays, hitting the end zone on a Morgan Mason 7-yard TD run. The conversion failed but Pocahontas County’s lead was pushed to a whopping 33-0 with 2:25 to play in the first half.
Man then finally got some offense going as Keffer capped off a 70-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to his favorite target, senior wideout Ross Osborne. Osborne then caught the conversion pass to make it 33-8 with 23 ticks on the clock. That would be the score at the break.
The Billies then scored the first points of the second half at the 5:31 mark as Man drove 53 yards in seven plays capped off by a Matt Sanders TD catch from Keffer. The conversion run failed as Man got to within 33-14.
The Warriors then answered back quickly, scoring in just two plays. Pocahontas County scored with a 61-yard touchdown strike from Workman to Irvine. Irvine then kicked the PAT as the Warriors’ lead swelled to 40-14. That would be the final scoring of the game.
The fourth quarter was marred by penalties as neither team could sustain any kind of drive.
Keffer was 9-for-21 passing for 69 yards and two touchdowns for the game. Dustin McCoy had 68 yards on just eight carries. Jace Duba had 28 yards on seven attempts.
Osborne reeled in seven catches for 56 yards with one TD. Sanders had two grabs for 13 yards and a score.
Workman was 6-for-8 passing for 140 yards and three TDs. Workman was the workhorse for the Warriors with 104 yards on the ground on 14 carries.
Man was led in tackles by Tanner Bailey and Christain McCoy with 12 stops each. Tyler Blair added eight, Richie Nelson six and Duba and Tyler Vance had five each.
2015 Man High School
Football Schedule (6-2):
Aug. 28: Logan, W 18-13
Sept. 4: at Mount View, W 48-6
Sept. 11: at Westside, W 27-24
Sept. 18: River View (Hall of Fame Game), W 54-0
Sept. 25: at Fayetteville, W 26-6
Oct. 2: Bye week
Oct. 9: Chapmanville (Homecoming), L 28-35
Oct. 16: at Sherman, W 48-6
Oct. 23: Pocahontas County, L 14-40
Oct. 30: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6: Van, 7:30 p.m.