MADISON – They started slowly but the Scott Skyhawk football team appeared to have a point to make on dismantling visiting Poca, 59-14, Friday evening at Scott Field.
Both teams came into the match-up with a struggling 1-3 record but it was Scott that appeared to be playing up to its potential by the time the final buzzer sounded.
A small crowd on a typical fall evening watched as the two Cardinal Conference foes battled to a 3-0 Scott lead at the end of the first quarter. With 5:46 remaining in the frame, Dezmond Cordero-Lopez was good on a 33-yard field goal for the Skyhawk score.
Not looking like the usual Shane Griffith coached team this season on offense, the Hawks had relied mostly on passing by senior quarterback Cody Brown. But Brown was injured for the Poca game and backup Bo Jeffrey went much more to the run that is typical of a Griffith-coached offense. In fact, the Hawks picked up 353 yards on 41 running attempts on the evening. Tristan Crone gained 145 yards on ten carries and Cameron Loftus picked up 132 on 11 totes. Each back also scored two touchdowns for the Hawks. In the first half alone, Scott outgained Poca, 242-51.
Griffith, his staff and Skyhawk fans went into the meeting with Poca convinced that the home team needed a win to keep their dreams of another playoff run alive. In the end, the dream became reality and the Hawks were ecstatic in victory.
“We had to find ourselves again,” said Griffith. “We had to start to believe in ourselves and we did that tonight. There were a lot of positives moving forward. Now we’ve just got to take this energy and grow from it.”
Overall, Griffith appeared more comfortable with the Hawk play style Friday. “We’ve always been a running football team,” he said. “We’ve tried a few different looks this year. We had some meetings as coaches and players and felt we had to get back to what we do best.”
With a hurry-up offense, Scott scored 36 unanswered points in the second period to take a 39-0 lead into the halftime intermission.
Loftus got the scoring parade started with a 20-yard run at the 11:23 mark of the half. Cordero’s extra-point kick was blocked and it was 9-0. On Poca’s next possession, a bad punt snap gave the Hawks another shot at the end zone quickly. On their first play from scrimmage at the Poca 13, Jeffrey hit Cody Harvey with a 17-yard touchdown pass at the 9:12 mark, giving the Hawks a 15-0 lead. The two-points conversion run by Jeffrey was good.
On the next Poca series, quarterback Justin Stewart fumbled the ball and Crone dove on it, rumbling the nine yards to paydirt to make it 23-0. Cordero’s extra-point kick was no good.
Poca could go nowhere on offense and punted to Scott. Loftus took the first hand-off from scrimmage and angled 68 yards for another score, making it 29-0 with 6:07 remaining in the half. Jeffrey then hooked up with Harvey on the two-points conversion.
Scott was not done in the first half, however. A Stewart pass was picked off and then Crone ran 51 yards to the end zone on the next play as three minutes twinkled on the scoreboard. The extra-points were good and Skyhawk fans had reason to celebrate a 39-0 lead at the half.
Despite the halftime disadvantage, which Poca Coach Bob Lemley said “was the game,” the Dots stayed with Scott in the second half, 20-14.
Poca struck first in the second half on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Stewart to Andrew Gibson, making it 39-6, with 5:59 showing in the third period.
Crone ran in from 40 yards out to give the Hawks 45 points before Jeffrey scored from three yards on the opening play of the fourth quarter. When the dust cleared, the Hawks were on top, 52-6.
Levi Clendenin scored on a two-yard run for Poca with 7:15 remaining and then romped in with the extra points to bring the score to 52-14. Lincoln County’s Garrett Roberts, a freshman for Scott, ended the evening’s scoring with a three-yard run for the Hawks. Cordero’s kick was good with 1:15 left to ice the final margin.
Overall, Griffith said he was pleased with the defensive effort. “We have seen our defense grow each week even in the tough losses,” said the coach. “We believe in them more and more and we now seen them making more plays.”
Poca’s back-up quarterback Hayden Webb rushed for 60 yards on eight attempts in the second half.
Scott picked up 410 yards of offense compared with 214 for the visiting team.
Next up for the Hawks is a meeting with Westside scheduled for this Friday. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Then, in what may determine the ultimate playoff aspirations for Scott, the team travels to powerful Wayne on Friday, October 18.
The season winds down with a home game with Tolsia and two away games at Clarksburg’s Robert C. Byrd and Logan.