POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Gavin Root scored the game’s first touchdown and Keyser pulled to within three midway through the fourth quarter before Point Pleasant snapped the Golden Tornado’s three-game win streak 38-28 Friday evening at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field.

The Big Blacks’ Evan Roach ran for a game-high 120 yards on 25 carries and scored on three consecutive runs. Joel Beattie scored twice, one on a spectacular one-handed, 11-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Hunter Bush with 51 seconds left in the first half that gave Point Pleasant a 28-14 lead. Then his three-yard run with 1:48 to play sealed the 10-point victory.

Roach’s TD runs were from the one, six and nine yard lines with his third giving the Big Blacks the lead for good, 21-14, at 7:02 of the second quarter.

Bush was efficient, completing a school-record 28 of 33 passes for 223 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

“We’ve got to clean ourselves up,” said Keyser head coach Derek Stephen. “We didn’t have our best week of practice and it showed today in how we played.

“That’s what I told the kids, we’ve got to come into this week ready to play, ready to get better.”

Keyser (4-2) hosts Jefferson on Friday at 7 p.m.

It looked like it was going to be the Tornado’s evening as it took the opening kickoff and marched down the field to score on Root’s 22-yard run and the first of four Seth Earnest extra points for the 7-0 lead.

Root finished with 23 yards rushing on six carries and passed for 38 more on 5 of 10 attempts with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Point Pleasant responded on its opening drive, going 69 yards on 12 plays to tie it on Roach’s one-yard run and Elicia Wood’s first of five extra points. 

The Big Blacks then took a 14-7 lead on Roach’s six-yarder with 53 seconds to play in the first quarter.

The Golden Tornado tied it for the last time in the second quarter on Drae Allen’s 14-yard run, capping an eight-play, 64-yard drive. He finished as the team’s leading rusher with 102 yards on 16 carries.

Roach’s third TD capped a 12-play possession and Beattie’s highlight catch followed an interception. Roach caught three passes for 28 yards and Beattie finished with 71 yards on eight catches.

In the second half, Caden Youngblood had Keyser’s only turnover when he intercepted Bush and returned it to Point Pleasant’s 34. Sam Bradfield, who had 65 yards on six attempts, scored on the next play putting the Tornado back to within seven with 4:57 remaining in the third quarter.

Wood’s 28-yard field goal gave the Big Blacks a 10-point lead at 31-21 with 10:45 to play.

Root’s two-yard fourth down touchdown pass to Dameain Emerick made it a three-point game at 6:42 before Beattie’s TD capped a time-consuming, 10-play, 48-yard march. 

Keyser reached Point Pleasant’s 41 before turning the ball over on downs.

“I don’t know what to say about this week,” Stephen said. “It’s mind-boggling. I thought we’d play better than what we did but we didn’t. We’re going to grow from this and we’re going to get better and head into next week with a different mentality. We’ve already addressed that.

“I told them to sulk on this for the night and next week we’ll get back at it.”

The Big Blacks (2-2) outgained the Golden Tornado 376-245 and had 26 first downs to 15.

Keyser’s Zion Powell added 32 total yards on seven carries and two receptions, while Emerick ended with 13 yards and a touchdown on two catches.

East Hardy 21Trinity Christian 2

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A three touchdown flurry in just over a five-minute span late in the second quarter propelled East Hardy to a victory over Trinity Christian in a rare Sunday afternoon high school football game that spoiled the Warriors’ home opener.

Due to pandemic restrictions placed on Monongalia County for the month of September, this was only Trinity Christian’s second game of the season. The Warriors (0-2) lost their opener on Friday, Oct. 3, at Madonna 44-12.

The Cougars’ Alex Miller scored on a three-yard run with 5:01 to play before halftime, breaking the scoreless tie. Miller set up his score with a 30-yard run following a short Trinity Christian punt.

Mason Miller gave East Hardy a two touchdown lead on a 10-yard shuttle pass with 1:24 left in the second quarter.

East Hardy’s special teams scored the third touchdown when Andrew Tharp blocked a punt inside the Warrior 20, scooped it up at the nine and trotted into the end zone with 47 seconds left in the first half. Noah Lang’s third extra point gave East Hardy (4-1) a 21-0 halftime lead.

Defense defined the second half as the teams exchanged interceptions and fumbles. The Warriors also had a goal-line stand preventing the Cougars from extending their lead and East Hardy prevented a score with an end zone pick.

Trinity Christian scored a safety on Grant Maxwell’s end zone tackle with 2:31 to play.

East Hardy’s next scheduled game is on Oct. 23 when it hosts Pendleton County. The Warriors host Valley Wetzel on Friday.

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