POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The last time the Point Pleasant football team lost a season opener at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field, it took a Hail Mary in the final seconds for defending state champion Mingo Central to pull off a miraculous 36-34 decision.
No such luck was needed by the Golden Bears on Friday night.
Visiting Oak Glen churned out 371 yards of total offense and led 36-0 at halftime while rolling to a 36-13 victory over the Big Blacks in the season opener for both programs in Mason County.
The Golden Bears (1-0) — who finished last season in the Class AA semifinals — scored on their first five possessions of the game and outgained the Big Blacks (0-1) by a sizable 277-68 margin in total yards before the break, allowing OGHS to build a commanding 36-0 lead entering the break.
The Red and Black — who have now lost three of their last four season opening contests — had a much better showing in the second half after outgaining the guests in total yards by a 198-94 clip, which resulted in 13 unanswered points that ultimately closed out the 23-point outcome.
Hunter Patterson helped get the Golden Bears off to a great start after scoring three first quarter touchdowns. The first covered 64 yards on a run with 7:10 left, then a 10-yard scamper with 1:18 left made it a 15-0 contest.
Alton Conley recovered a fumble on Point Pleasant’s ensuing drive, then Patterson gave OGHS a comfortable 22-point cushion after hauling in a 35-yard pass from Nicholas Chaney with 24 seconds left in the canto.
Paxton Shuman made it a 29-0 lead with a 1-yard run with 8:20 remaining until halftime, then Gage Patterson rumbled 29 yards to paydirt with 5:42 left — giving the Blue and Gold a 36-point advantage headed into the intermission.
The score remained that way until the fourth quarter, but PPHS finally broke into the scoring column with 6:12 left in regulation as Joel Beattie hauled in a 11-yard pass from Hunter Bush for a 36-6 contest.
Brady Cunningham hauled in a 22-yard scoring pass from Bush with 1:41 left to complete the scoring.
Point Pleasant finished the night with a 14-12 edge in first downs and both teams committed a turnover apiece.
Oak Glen, however, outgained the hosts by a 371-266 margin in total yards of offense, including a 212-113 edge on the ground.
PPHS was flagged three times for 37 yards, while the Golden Bears were penalized 11 times for 75 yards.
Bush led the Big Blacks with 58 rushing yards on 20 carries and also completed 13-of-17 passes for 153 yards. Evan Roach added 31 yards on 13 rushing attempts, while Zane Wamsley added 22 yards on the ground to go along with a team-best three catches for 34 yards.
Zander Watson led Point with 2.5 tackles for loss and a recovered a fumble during the third quarter.
Shuman led the OGHS rushing attack with 111 yards on 14 carries, followed by Hunter Patterson with 71 yards on three carries.
Chaney completed 8-of-11 passes for 159 yards, with Hunter Patterson leading the wideouts with five catches for 144 yards.
Point Pleasant is scheduled to play Mingo Central next Friday at home, but both Mason and Mingo counties have been teetering back and forth between yellow and orange over the course of the week.
If both counties remain in the yellow as of Saturday night, the game should be able to be played as scheduled.
Kickoff is tentatively slated for 7:30 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.