WINFIELD, W.Va. — Rarely does a female see the field on football Friday nights, more or less make all the difference in the final outcome.
Senior Elicia Wood gave the Point Pleasant football team a permanent lead with a 19-yard field goal with 3:30 left in regulation as the guests held on and claimed a hard-fought 17-14 victory over Winfield Friday night in a Week 11 non-conference matchup in Putnam County.
The visiting Big Blacks (9-1) never trailed in the contest after building leads of 7-3, 7-6 and 14-6 through the end of each of the first three stanzas.
The Generals (5-5) — who entered the game needing a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive — rallied to tie things up after a 31-yard touchdown pass from Brycen Brown to Carter Perry with 9:09 remaining, making it a 14-all contest.
PPHS — which came up short at the end of the first half on a 1-yard rushing attempt — didn’t make the same mistake twice as the guests were left facing a fourth-and-goal at the WHS 2.
Wood was sent in to attempt the 19-yard field goal for the lead, and the senior 3-year starter delivered with a true kick through the uprights for a 17-14 edge with 3:30 left.
The Generals moved their ensuing possession down to the PPHS 45, but Trey Peck came up with the Point’s only takeaway following an interception with under two minutes remaining. The guests ran the clock down to all zeroes from there to complete the 3-point triumph.
The Big Blacks — winners of nine in-a-row now — entered the game fifth in the Class AA ratings and will likely move up after No. 4 Lincoln lost to Bridgeport on Friday night. A top-4 finish in the standings would mean that PPHS would be eligible to host at least two playoff games in the next few weeks.
Point Pleasant established an early lead at the 5:05 mark of the first period as Gavin Jeffers rumbled 53 yards. Wood tacked on the first of two successful PAT kicks for a 7-0 advantage.
Mor Ilderton added a 30-yard field goal with 2:01 left in the opener, then tacked on a 32-yarder with 3:57 left in the half — allowing the Generals to enter halftime down 7-6.
Evan Roach extended the PPHS advantage out to 14-6 with a 1-yard run with 12 seconds remaining in the third.
The Big Blacks claimed a 17-9 edge in first downs and outgained the hosts by a sizable 365-171 overall margin in total yards of offense. Winfield was plus-1 in turnover differential, but managed only 24 rushing yards on 17 attempts.
PPHS — which churned out 338 rushing yards on 55 attempts — were led by Jeffers with 168 rushing yards on 21 totes. Roach added 125 yards on 26 carries and also went 2-of-6 passing for 27 yards, including one interception.
Peck and Zander Watson each caught a pass for 15 and 12 yards, respectively.
Brown and Bryson Tate both led WHS with 12 rushing yards apiece on nine and eight tries, respectively. Brown also completed 11-of-25 passes for 126 yards, throwing one pick and one touchdown. Tanner Laughery led the wideouts with five catches for 84 yards.
The Class AA playoff bracket will officially be released early Sunday by the WVSSAC.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.