SHADY SPRING, W.Va. — Sometimes it’s all about how you start.
The Point Pleasant football team put up 346 yards in the first half, while holding the host Tigers to 53, en route to a 42-0 halftime lead. The Big Blacks took their foot off the gas in the second half and won 49-8, keeping their perfect record in tact.
The Big Blacks (8-0) got things going early with a 10 yard touchdown run by Cody Mitchell at the 7:25 mark of the first, making his 13th score of the season. The extra point kick was no good and PPHS held the 6-0 lead.
The Big Blacks lit up the scoreboard again in the just under the five minute mark in the first period with a 25 yard touchdown run by Austen Toler. Colin Peal kicked home the extra point and put PPHS ahead 13-0.
With under a minute to play in the first Point Pleasant found the endzone yet again, this time on a 41 yard touchdown run by Chase Walton. That score places Walton in sole possession of the Big Blacks career touchdown record at 36. Walton caught the two point conversion pass from Toler and the Big Blacks led 21-0 at the end on the first quarter.
Walton was at it again less than two minutes into the second period, scoring on a 30 yard run, which after the Peal extra point, put PPHS ahead 28-0.
At the 5:14 mark of the second stanza Walton struck for his third touchdown of the game. This score came on an 80 yard run, the Big Blacks longest scoring run of the season. Peal added the point after touchdown and the Red, White and Black led 35-0.
Point Pleasant wasn’t done however and with a minute to go in the half junior signal caller Aden Yates connected with Levi Russell for the 20 yard touchdown pass. Peal’s kick put PPHS ahead 42-0 at halftime. The 42 points compiled by PPHS is the most in the first half since scoring 49 in the Week 2 win over Ripley.
Just over three minutes had ticked off the clock in the second half before Walton found the endzone, for the fourth time in the game, on a 15 yard run. Peal’s extra point put PPHS ahead 49-0.
Point Pleasant called off the dogs and didn’t score again, with Shady Spring (1-7) getting on the scoreboard at the 3:36 mark of the fourth period. The Tiger score came on a 30 yard run by Timmy Culicerto and was followed by a Tyler Hanson two-point conversion run.
Point Pleasant claimed the 49-8 victory over its host and the Big Blacks improve to a 8-0.
Senior Chase Walton led the Big Blacks with 209 yards on 12 carries with four touchdowns. Cody Mitchell had one score to go along with 56 yards on nine rushes, while Austen Toler had 35 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
Cody Marcum ran five times for 32 yards, Cody McDaniel ran once for 15 yards, Grant Stafford had 12 yards in three carries, Jason Wamsley ran for six yards on six attempts, John Sommer ran once for six yards, while Aden Yates was stopped for minus five yards on his only rush and Bradley Gibbs was stopped for minus six yards on his only rush.
Aden Yates was 5-of-6 through the air for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Levi Russell led the receiving corp with one catch for 20 yards and a score, while Cody Mitchell had one reception for 16 yards. Austen Toler caught one pass for 10 yards, Jon Peterson had one reception for eight yards, while Gage Buskirk caught one pass for seven yards.
Austen Toler and Nathan Parsons each intercepted a SSHS pass for the Big Black defense, while Cody Mitchell recovered a fumble.
Shady Spring was led on the ground by Timmy Culicerto with 46 yards and a touchdown on four rushes, and Tyler Hanson with 18 carries for 43 yards. Joel White rushed 12 times for 17 yards in the setback.
Culicerto was 4-of-17 passing for 31 yards with two interceptions.Steven Chhabra caught two passes, totaling 16 yards, while Mathew Plumley had one eight yard reception and Tyler Hanson had one seven yard reception.
The Big Blacks totalled 372 yards on the ground on 44 attempts for 8.5 yards per carry, while Shady Spring had just 3.1 yards per carry with 106 yards on 34 tries. PPHS held a 21-to-6 advantage in first downs, a 1-to-3 advantage in turnovers and a 433-to-137 advantage in total offense. Point Pleasant punted just four times, compared to eight times Shady Spring.
This marks the second year in a row that PPHS has defeated Shady Spring. The 209 yards on the ground by Walton is the most by any PPHS player this season. Walton is also the first Big Black to rush for four touchdowns in a game; he caught two and ran two against Ripley.
PPHS is one of just two undefeated teams remaining in Class AAA, as Huntington High defeated St. Albans 56-18 Friday night to improve to 8-0.
The Big Blacks return to Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field next week for their first of two Saturday afternoon games to close the regular season. Point Pleasant will host 0-8 Oak Glen at 1:30 p.m.