WESTON, W.Va. — Welcome back.
The Point Pleasant Big Blacks scored a late victory on Friday night over the Minutemen of Lewis County by a score of 14-13.
Sophomore quarterback Aden Yates – despite some struggles throughout the game – stepped up in the biggest moment and delivered a 10-yard strike to senior tailback Tylun Campbell on fourth-and-goal from the 10-yard line with just 11 seconds left in the game.
It was the first AAA game for the Big Blacks in nearly a decade, since Point Pleasant was a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League. The Big Blacks have now won 14 straight regular season games dating back to the 2010 season.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of the games offensively,” said Head Coach Dave Darst. “We struggled at times but had a big drive when we needed it the most. You have to give it to our defense as well – two big stops in the fourth quarter when we desperately needed it.”
Those stops – both field goals from Lewis County – both came in the final six minutes of the ball game. The defense allowed just 177 yards on the night. Lewis County had 157 yards rushing on 46 carries.
The second field goal came at the 2:58 mark of the 4th quarter, letting the Big Blacks offense have the stage. Some big runs from junior Teran Barnitz and senior Tylun Campbell along with throws from Yates and a big catch from freshman Cody Mitchell, all helped piece together the game-winning drive.
Barnitz had a strong night running the football with 14 rushes for 85 yards. Campbell contributed 11 carries for 59 yards with one score rushing and one score receiving, the game winning score. Other rushers included Anthony Perry with three rushes for 14 yards and Marquez Griffin with three rushes for 12 yards.
One noticeable absence in the Big Blacks lineup was junior Chase Walton – two-way starter who is an important part of the team.
“We really missed having Chase out there,” said Darst. “He is very important to us on both sides of the ball but we were able to find a way to get it done without him tonight.”
Yates completed his third straight 100 yard passing performance with a 10 out of 13 night for 120 yards. He had one touchdown pass on the night and also his first interception of the season.
Yates’ leading receiver was junior tight end Brycen Reymond, with one catch for 32 yards. Campbell had three grabs for 21 yards and a score. Senior tight end Andrew Williamson had one catch for 17 yards, freshman Cody Mitchell with two for 16 yards, Barnitz two for 11 yards, and Anthony Perry one for three yards.
The Big Blacks held the lead for the majority of the game when they struck the end-zone with Campbell going in from one yard out with 3:21 left in the 1st quarter. The Colin Peal kick was good.
The Minutemen tied the game with 3:19 left in the third quarter and the game was a stalemate until Lewis County took leads at 10-7 and 13-7.
Key defensive performers for the Big Blacks included senior Andrew Williamson, junior Teran Barnitz, junior Brycen Reymond, senior Kodi Stranahan, junior Levi Russell, senior Marquez Griffin, and sophomore Gage Buskirk.
Now, the Big Blacks will get to take a week off as they prepare for the Winfield Generals in a few weeks. The game will be at Winfield – the last game before Point returns home for a homecoming battle with Brooke High School.