Beavers knock off Point Pleasant, 44-20


By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com



Point Pleasant senior Brooks Pearson (15) picks up yardage during a first half carry Saturday in a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va.

Point Pleasant senior Brooks Pearson (15) picks up yardage during a first half carry Saturday in a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant senior Trey Peck (4) follows some blocking while looking for yardage Saturday during a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant junior Gavin Jeffers (1) drags a Bluefield defender on a first half run during a Class AA opening round playoff game Saturday at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Big Blacks came out swinging and landed an early punch. The Beavers retaliated by taking the ball away a few times before delivering the knockout blow.

Visiting Bluefield forced two first half turnovers that turned into 10 points, allowing the 14th-seeded Beavers to turn an early 7-0 deficit into 30 consecutive points before cruising to a 44-20 victory over third-seeded Point Pleasant on Saturday afternoon in a Class AA opening round playoff contest at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field.

The Big Blacks (9-2) took the opening possession and marched 48 yards in six plays, which ended with a 22-yard scamper by Gavin Jeffers that gave the hosts a 7-0 lead at the 8:50 mark of the opening frame.

The Beavers followed with a 3-and-out punt that pinned PPHS inside its own five, then Evan Roach had a pass batted up in the air on the ensuing drive. The ball came down into the hands of BHS lineman Dwight Fuller, giving the guests the ball at the Point 14.

Bluefield — which did not have a first down in the first stanza — managed only four yards and had to settle for a 27-yard field goal off the foot of Jackson Wills, making it a 7-3 contest with 4:09 remaining. The score remained that way headed into the second frame.

Point Pleasant ultimately came up empty on a 14-play drive that went into the second period as Alex Shrader missed a 29-yard field goal, giving BHS the ball back with 9:13 left in the half.

The Beavers covered 80 yards in 11 plays as Ryker Brown capped things with a 1-yard run at the 4:58 mark, giving the guests a permanent lead of 10-7.

Two plays into the ensuing drive, Jacorian Green recovered a fumble for Bluefield at the PPHS 39. The guests needed just five plays to cover the distance as Brown plunged in from a yard with 3:13 remaining for a 17-7 advantage.

Point Pleasant’s only punt of the game followed on the ensuing drive, allowing BHS to retain possession with just 61 seconds left in the half.

Amir Hairston, however, took the first snap and rumbled 82 yards to the house, giving the Beavers a commanding 24-7 cushion with 47.2 seconds left until halftime.

The consecutive point total reached 30 on the first play of the second half as Brown found Jaeon Flack with a 54-yard scoring pass 16 seconds into the third canto, making it a 30-7 contest.

The Big Blacks countered with a 10-play, 59-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown run by Evan Roach at the 7:17 mark for a 30-14 deficit.

After forcing a punt, Point Pleasant again put together an offensive surge as the hosts marched 35 yards in six plays — with Roach capping things off with a 4-yard scramble for a 30-20 contest with 2:55 left in the third.

The hosts, however, were never closer the rest of the way, and the Beavers were back on the board two plays into the finale as Brown found Green with a 53-yard scoring pass for a 37-20 advantage with 11:29 left.

Hairston tacked on a 12-yard run with 4:04 remaining to complete the 24-point outcome.

It was a bittersweet moment for PPHS coach David Darst afterwards, watching a tremendous season with nine straight wins come to an end. But, through all of it, the 15th-year mentor couldn’t have been more proud of his troops — particularly against an opponent such as this.

“I’m really proud of our kids. From where we started at the beginning of the year and looking at how we finished up today against a team that potentially could win the state title, I’m just really proud of the progress that we’ve made and what we’ve accomplished,” Darst said. “These guys have developed a never-quit attitude and it certainly showed itself today. We had some chances to keep this thing a little more interesting than it already was, but those turnovers ultimately came back to bite us. Bluefield took momentum from those mistakes and we paid for it.

“I feel for my seniors because they left it on the field today. They can also take a lot of pride in knowing that they brought a postseason home game back to this program for the first time since they were freshmen. They’ve really helped us build some momentum for the program moving forward, so they should take a lot of pride in that.”

Bluefield — which has now five straight decisions over Point Pleasant — improved to 5-1 alltime against the Big Blacks and advances to face sixth-seeded North Marion in the quarterfinals.

The Beavers outgained the hosts by a 388-271 overall margin that included a 175-9 advantage through the air. PPHS — which outrushed the guests by a 262-213 clip — did claim an 18-16 edge in first downs.

There were only three punts in the game, two of which belonged to Bluefield. The Beavers also finished the game plus-2 in turnover differential after forcing both takeaways of the contest.

Hairston led the guests with 140 rushing yards on 15 carries, followed by Brown with 61 yards on 10 totes. Brown was also 10-of-15 passing for 175 yards. Flack led the wideouts with four catches for 79 yards.

Roach paced PPHS with 160 rushing yards on 29 attempts and was also 2-of-7 passing for nine yards and also threw one interception.

Jeffers added 69 rushing yards on 13 carries for the Big Blacks. Brooks Pearson hauled in both catches for nine yards.

It was the final football game for seniors Trey Peck, Elicia Wood, Brooks Pearson, Skylar McCoy, Zander Watson, Wyatt Kelly, Eian Grigsby, Josh Towe, Colby Price, Brayden Connolly, Caleb Hatfield and John Miller in the Red and Black.

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Point Pleasant senior Brooks Pearson (15) picks up yardage during a first half carry Saturday in a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/11/web1_11.16-PP-Pearson-1.jpgPoint Pleasant senior Brooks Pearson (15) picks up yardage during a first half carry Saturday in a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant senior Trey Peck (4) follows some blocking while looking for yardage Saturday during a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/11/web1_11.16-PP-Peck-1.jpgPoint Pleasant senior Trey Peck (4) follows some blocking while looking for yardage Saturday during a Class AA opening round playoff game against Bluefield at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant junior Gavin Jeffers (1) drags a Bluefield defender on a first half run during a Class AA opening round playoff game Saturday at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/11/web1_11.16-PP-Jeffers-1.jpgPoint Pleasant junior Gavin Jeffers (1) drags a Bluefield defender on a first half run during a Class AA opening round playoff game Saturday at OVB Field in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.