POCA — In another nail-biter, the Class AA top-rated Poca Dots used their resilient offense to defeat a solid Scott Skyhawks team 26-21 Friday night, continuing their unbeaten season in front of a full house at O.O. White Stadium.
The Dots (7-0), who were coming off last week’s hard-fought 14-12 win over Logan, played from behind nearly the entire game but outlasted a very energetic Skyhawks team that came into the game rated No. 9 themselves.
“I’m really proud of my guys. We got down and battled back,” said Poca coach Seth Ramsey. “We just made plays when we had to. They’re a really good football team. I am just so proud of what we did.”
The first half was a tale of two quarters as both teams tried to grind it out on the ground in the first quarter and then exploded for a combined 41 points in the second on long scoring passes.
The Dots’ quarterback Jordan Wolfe opened it up with a 6-yard run for a 7-0 lead. The Skyhawks, playing without leading receiver Jayden Sharps, matched the Dots’ score with a 44-yard touchdown strike from sophomore quarterback Matt Frye to freshman Carson Brinegar.
On the first play of the ensuing Poca drive, Toby Payne caught a 58-yard toss from Wolfe down the middle of the Scott defense to go up 13-7. However, the extra point kick was missed and Scott answered with another 11-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Preston Cooper to go up 14-13.
After another 13-yard touchdown run by Wolfe with 44 seconds remaining until the break, Frye found a wide-open freshman Isiah Bush across the middle for a 67-yard score and only three seconds left, giving the Skyhawks a 21-20 halftime lead.
Coming into the game sporting a 5-2 record with narrow losses only to Logan and Herbert Hoover, the Skyhawks moved the ball on the strength of their quarterback making many trips into the red zone, only to run into penalty problems. They accumulated 142 yards of flags for the game.
“We moved the football on them, but we kinda stumbled a little bit there. I’m proud of our team. I couldn’t have asked for a better effort. We showed a lot of guts tonight,” said first-year Scott coach Jeremy Dolin.
Although both defenses took over in the second half, Poca managed to put together a drive in the beginning of the fourth quarter that culminated with a 4-yard Wolfe touchdown run, his third TD of the night.
For Poca, it proved to be a significant tuneup for next week’s showdown at Herbert Hoover, as both teams went into this weekend holding down the top two spots in the Class AA state playoff ratings and both remained unbeaten on Friday.
“We’ve gotta do the little things right and play our A game next Friday. We gotta be ready to meet the challenge,” Ramsey said.
For the Skyhawks, sophomore quarterback Frye threw for 287 yards on 15 of 25 passing with Cooper Martin contributing 86 yards on 17 carries.
For the Dots, Malakai Woodard-Jones ran for 60 yards on 12 totes with Wolfe adding another 57 yards on 12 carries.
Scott will host Winfield on Oct. 29.