POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — One program retained the bucket. The other probably felt like it kicked the bucket.
The Point Pleasant football team brought home the Oak’en Bucket for a third consecutive year Friday night following a resounding 64-6 victory over visiting Ripley during a Week 2 gridiron matchup at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (2-0) were simply dominant while earning their state-best 25th consecutive regular season victory, as the hosts churned out 416 yards of total offense and led 64-0 early into the fourth quarter.
The Vikings (0-2) — who managed only one first down and seven yards of offense in the first half — finally broke into the scoring column with 57 seconds left in regulation after Rocky Ford hauled in a 38-yard pass from Chance Ranson to reach the 58-point finale.
PPHS scored on its first seven offensive possessions, which ultimately led to a 45-0 lead with 3:29 remaining in the first half. The Vikings — who went without a first down on their first seven offensive possessions — finally moved the chains on a successful fourth-and-long pass with 2:20 left in the second canto.
That drive ultimately stalled out for RHS with only moments left in the half, and Point couldn’t manage to score any points before the second period clock expired. Still, the Big Blacks were firmly in control at the break.
Grant Safford gave the hosts an early 7-0 advantage following a two-yard run with 5:56 left in the opening period, then Cody Mitchell added consecutive TD runs of four and 59 yards to secure a 21-0 PPHS cushion after 12 minutes of play.
Mitchell tacked on his final TD of the night with 11:06 left in the second quarter after a three-yard run made it a 28-0 contest.
Safford broke an 11-yard run to paydirt with 9:16 remaining for a 35-0 edge, then Jason Wamsley hauled in a 14-yard pass from Mitchell at the 6:46 mark — making it a 42-0 contest.
Jason Schultz — who made his first seven PAT kicks on the night — completed the first half scoring with a 22-yard field goal with 3:29 left in the second stanza.
The Big Blacks held a 242-7 advantage in total offense at the break, which included a hefty 220 rushing yards on 24 carries. Ripley, conversely, has minus 24 yards rushing on 21 attempts in the first half.
Safford added his final TD of the night to start the third quarter scoring, as the sophomore rumbled 62 yards for a 52-0 advantage with 9:15 remaining. Following a turnover, Alec Smith added a three-yard run less than a minute later for a 58-point cushion.
Sheb Harris completed the PPHS scoring after hauling in a 38-yard pass from Cason Payne at the 9:08 mark of the finale, making it a 64-0 contest.
The Big Blacks churned out 334 rushing yards on 43 carries, while the guests mustered only 45 rushing yards on 43 totes. PPHS claimed a 20-9 edge in first downs and did not have a punt for the second straight week, compared to five punts by Ripley for an average of 19 yards.
Point was flagged six times for 35 yards, while the Vikings were penalized six times for 41 yards. The Red, Black and White forced four turnovers and finished the night plus-2 in turnover differential.
Mitchell led the hosts with 148 rushing yards on 12 carries, followed by Safford with 123 yards on seven attempts. Harris led the wideouts with one catch for 34 yards and Wamsley had two grabs for 22 yards.
Mitchell finished the night 2-of-4 passing for 22 yards and Payne ended the evening 3-of-6 passing for 60 yards.
Chance Morgan paced Ripley with 28 rushing yards on 11 carries, followed by Chase Morgan with 18 yards on 16 totes. Ty Eshenaur led the RHS wideouts with three catches for 55 yards. Ranson was also 11-of-21 passing for 105 yards.
Point Pleasant returns to action Friday when it makes its first road trip of the season to battle Wayne in a Week 3 non-conference matchup at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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