POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Now that’s how you lay the smack down.
The Point Pleasant football team earned it’s 31st consecutive regular season victory Friday night, pummeling Ravenswood by a 75-7 final at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field.
The Big Blacks (8-0) — who have now won five straight over their Jackson County guest — fired the opening salvo at the 9:14 mark of the first quarter, when senior and Marshall University commit Cody Mitchell scored on a run from 30 yards out.
Less than two minutes later Mitchell found paydirt again, this time on a 72-yard run. At the 4:45 mark of the first quarter Mitchell scored his third touchdown on a 15-yard pass from freshman quarterback Cason Payne. Mitchell’s productive first quarter continued at the 2:21 mark, when he broke a 47-yard touchdown run.
PPHS junior halfback Grant Safford got in on the action at the end of the first canto, scoring on a four-yard run as time expired. Point Pleasant junior place kicker Jason Schultz went 5-for-5 on extra point kicks in the opening stanza and the Big Blacks held a 35-0 advantage.
Safford found the endzone again on with 6:24 remaining in the first half, scoring on a 13-yard run. Just over a minute later, Payne called his own number, scoring on a 24-yard quarterback run. The Big Blacks weren’t finished in the first half as senior Nathan Bowman scored on a 30-yard run with 45 seconds left. Shultz hit one second quarter point after kick and the hosts led 54-0 at the half.
Point Pleasant outgained Ravenswood 318-to-36 in the first half. The Red Devils attempted 14 runs in the first two quarters and were pushed back 38 yards.
Less than 30 seconds into the second half PPHS senior Cody McDaniel scored on a seven-yard run. McDaniel found paydirt again at the 9:39 mark of the third, returning an interception 80 yards. Schultz hit both third quarter extra point kicks and PPHS led 68-0.
Ravenswood scored its lone touchdown of the game at the 2:47 mark of the third quarter when Alex Casto, who finished with 11 yards on 11 carries, broke a seven-yard run. Ryan Cunningham’s extra point kick made the score 68-7 in favor of the Big Blacks at the end of the third.
Point Pleasant put the cherry on top of the win at the 5:40 mark of the fourth when Josh Wamsley scored on a 57-yard pass from Keshawn Stover. Schultz kicked home the extra point to cap off the 75-7 Big Blacks triumph.
The Big Blacks held a 482-to-164 advantage in total offense, including a 385-to-21 advantage on the ground. Ravenswood held a 15-to-13 advantage in first downs, but turned the ball over three times without recording a takeaway. Point Pleasant was penalized 10 times for a total of 80 yards, while RHS was sent back four times for a total of 35 yards.
Mitchell led PPHS with 149 yards and three scores on three carries, while adding 40 yards and a touchdown on two receptions. Safford posted 105 yards and two scores on six carries, McDaniel added 48 yards and a touchdown on two carries, Bowman chipped in with 34 yards and a touchdown on two carries, while Sheb Harris had 28 yards on six carries.
Payne, who was 2-of-2 passing for 40 yards and a touchdown, ran once for 24 yards and a touchdown. Stover, who ran once for two yards, completed his lone pass attempt to Wamsley for 57 yards and a score. Alex Smith also had one two-yard run in the win. On the season PPHS now has 3,114 rushing yards with 52 touchdowns on the ground.
RHS quarterback Brad Dawson completed 16-of-45 passes for 143 yards with three interceptions. Hayden Mandrake led all receivers with 79 yards on seven receptions, while Luke Jackson paced the Red Devils on the ground with 20 yards on four tries.
This marks the fifth time this season that Ravenswood has allowed 40-or-more points, including a Week 1 42-0 loss at Wahama. This is Point Pleasant’s second game over 70 points this season, the first came in a Week 5 win at Gallia Academy. The Big Blacks’ 31-game regular season winning streak is the longest in the state. During that stretch, PPHS has won 18 consecutive regular season home games and 10 straight overall home games.
The 68 point margin of victory is the largest by a PPHS team since a 2011 75-7 victory at Sissonville. This is Ravenswood’s greatest margin of defeat in over a decade.
Only ix undefeated teams remain in the state. Along with Point Pleasant in Class AAA is Cabell Midland at 7-0. In Class AA Tolsia sits at 7-0, while Bridgeport is 7-0-1. Magnolia at 8-0 and Buffalo at 7-0 are the only remaining unbeaten teams in Class A.
Prior to Friday night’s game, Point Pleasant honored seniors Cody Mitchell, Tannor Hill, Cody McDaniel, Jocelynn Wilson, Jordan Cunningham, John Sommer, Nathan Bowman, Trey Tucker, Garrett Litchfield, Dakota Swann, Alec Stanley, James Patterson, Brandon Gleason and Kyle Nibert, all of whom played in their final regular season home game at PPHS.
The Big Blacks will return to action on Friday night when they visit Shady Spring, which they have defeated in three straight seasons. The Tigers had a bye this week and sit at 2-5 on the season. Ravenswood returns to Jackson County next week to host Clay County.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.