POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — A tale of two halves, unless your talking about the defense.
Point Pleasant surrendered just 90 yards of total offense and broke a scoreless tie at halftime with three consecutive rushing touchdowns en route to a 21-7 victory over visiting Winfield in a Week 5 football contest at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (4-0) posted a 7-2 edge in first downs and held a 110-27 advantage in total yardage during the first half, but the hosts had nothing to show for their dominance by intermission.
PPHS put together consecutive scoring drives after the break for a 14-0 lead through three quarters of play, then added another rushing touchdown with 7:37 left in regulation for a comfortable 21-0 cushion.
The Generals (2-2) responded with their only sustained drive of the night, which came at the 2:17 mark of the fourth after Toby Show scampered in from five yards out — making it a 21-7 contest.
Winfield successfully attempted and recovered an onside kick on the ensuing possession, but the guests were unable to do anything positive with the extra set of downs — which ended on a fourth down sack by Tanner Hill with less than a minute to play.
“We had some things that were hurting there in the first half, and it really stalled us a bit,” Darst said. “Nobody panicked when we came in at halftime and we just went back to doing what we do well. It really paid off for us there in the second half.
“I was really pleased with what we did there in the second half offensively, and my hat’s off to the defense for their efforts tonight. We feel like we have one of the top defenses in triple-A, and these kids really come to play every night.”
The Big Blacks finished the night with 325 yards of total offense, which included 198 rushing yards on 53 attempts. Cody Mitchell accumulated 116 of those rushing yards on 21 totes, which included a pair of third quarter touchdown runs.
PPHS took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched straight down the field to paydirt following a Mitchell scoring run of 16 yards, giving the hosts a 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the third. Mitchell added a nine-yard TD run at the 3:31 mark, giving Point a 14-0 edge headed into the finale.
Austen Toler drove the proverbial nail in the coffin with a five-yard scoring run with 7:37 remaining in regulation, giving the Big Blacks a decisive 21-0 lead. Winfield added its only score five-plus minutes later, wrapping up the 14-point outcome.
Point Pleasant mustered 53 rushing yards on 22 attempts and also had 57 yards passing to go along with the only turnover in the first half. WHS, conversely, had 18 rushing yards on 14 tries and another nine yards through the air at the half.
Chase Walton followed Mitchell with 49 rushing yards on 11 carries, while Toler added 11 yards on three totes. Aden Yates added 10 yards on 14 carries, followed by Cody McDaniel and Gage Buskirk with eight and four yards on two carries apiece.
Yates was 8-of-10 passing for 113 yards and threw zero touchdowns or interceptions. Walton also completed his only pass attempt for 14 yards.
Jon Peterson led the hosts with 73 yards on four catches, followed by Mitchell with four grabs for 49 yards. Buckirk also hauled in one pass for five yards in the triumph.
Winfield finished the night with 17 rushing yards on 27 attempts and added another 73 yards through the air. The Generals also managed just five first downs in the contest, compared to 18 by the hosts.
Ethan Copeland led WHS with 25 rushing yards on six carries. Show finished the night 7-of-13 passing for 73 yards, which included an interception by Point’s Gage Buskirk. John Hathaway led the Winfield wideouts with five catches for 51 yards.
Chris Turner, Winfield’s top offensive weapon, was held to negative five yards rushing on six attempts and did not have a catch in the setback.
PPHS was flagged six times for 55 yards, while the guests were penalized five times for 40 yards. Both teams committed two turnovers apiece in the contest. Colin Peal was 3-for-3 on extra-point kicks, while Bryce Boggs was perfect on his only attempt for WHS.
Point Pleasant returns to action Friday when it travels to Brooke for a Week 6 football contest at 7:30 p.m.