NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. — The goal is not to let it end like it started.
The Point Pleasant football team gets a chance at redemption this Saturday afternoon when the 12th seeded Big Blacks travel to Hancock County to face fifth seeded Oak Glen as part of a season opening rematch during the opening round of the Class AA playoffs.
The Big Blacks (4-2) will be appearing in the program’s 17th postseason run, as well as their 12th playoff opener in the last 13 years after missing out on the postseason last fall. PPHS is a combined 11-16 alltime in the playoffs, but is also winless in all 11 of its previous playoff games on the road.
Point Pleasant — which has won six straight first round playoff games — opened the 2020 campaign with the Golden Bears (6-1) within the friendly confines of Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field, but OGHS stormed out to a 36-0 halftime lead and eventually cruised to a 36-13 decision.
The Sept. 4 meeting was the first-ever victory over the Big Blacks for Oak Glen on the gridiron. Point Pleasant owns a 3-1 edge in the alltime series, including a 66-40 win at OVB Field in the second round of the 2011 Class AA playoffs — the only prior postseason meeting between the two schools.
After opening the playoffs with home games in each of their previous six appearances, the Big Blacks will be starting the postseason on the road for the first time since going to Morgantown in 2012. The first of a 4-year run in the Class AAA ranks, PPHS fell by a 49-28 count in that matchup.
The Red and Black take a 3-game winning streak into this postseason run, which includes a 38-28 win over seventh ranked Keyser at the start of the streak. Both of Point’s losses also came against top-5 Class AA qualifiers.
The Big Blacks enter Saturday averaging 30 points per game offensively and are allowing 24 points per outing. PPHS also posted its only shutout during a 10-0 win over Winfield in the regular season finale.
Oak Glen also enters Saturday with a 3-game winning streak after starting the year with three consecutive victories. The Golden Bears suffered their lone loss to Wheeling Park by a 28-14 count in early October. OGHS — a state semifinalist last season — owns a 3-1 record against playoff teams this fall.
The Blue and Gold will be making their fifth playoff appearance in school history and own a 4-4 mark alltime in the postseason. This weekend will also include the program’s first-ever repeat appearance in the playoffs.
Oak Glen is averaging 44 points per game offensively and has surrendered an average of 20.1 points as a defense.
The opening round game between Point Pleasant and the Golden Bears is slated to kickoff Saturday at 4 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.