PHILIPPI - Philip Barbour utilized solid special teams and defensive play Friday night, earning a critical 14-7 home victory over previously unbeaten Braxton County.
Both Colts touchdowns were set up by long kick returns that gave the offense a short field.
"When you have a game like this where two teams are pretty evenly matched, it often times comes down to big plays," Philip Barbour head coach Curtis Bodkins said. "We were fortunate come up with some big ones tonight, and several kids contributed in all phases of the game."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Ferguson
Philip Barbour’s Dillon Newman looks to break free from a Braxton County defender Friday night in the Colts’ 14-7.
After a scoreless first quarter, Braxton scored first, materializing an 88-yard, eight play march that culminated in a Chase Oney 25-yard run for the touchdown. Oney had 64 yards on four carries on the drive.
Philip Barbour answered immediately on a spectacular broken play. Dylan Johnson did not successfully handle the ensuing kickoff, but tracked it down at own 14.
He responded by racing up the left sideline, breaking a pair of tackles where appeared trapped and also hurdled an Eagle defender near midfield en route to a 71-yard return. The run set up a two-yard scoring run from Brody Carpenter. Braxton blocked the extra point, and held a 7-6 advantage at the half.
Philip Barbour's second score came after a key return as well. Al Johnson made a nice backpedaling catch of an Eagle punt at his own 46, and rambled 25 yards to the Braxton 29.
This return set up a 29-yard run down the left sideline by quarterback Dillon Newman with the game winner at the 9:33 mark of the third quarter. Al Johnson caught the two-point conversion from Newman off a fake kick.
Braxton mounted one last charge midway through the fourth quarter, marching to the Colt 19. But on third and five, Al Johnson jumped and intercepted the Eagle pass in the end zone with 6:56 remaining in the game.
Philip Barbour's running game closed the door from there. Three first downs and the full complement of Braxton timeouts later, the Eagles did not get the ball again until only 38 seconds remained in the contest. Their final heaves did not merit a rally.
"We finished tonight," Bodkins said. "so many times last year we were in this position and let it slip awaytonight we finished."
Newman led all rushers with 87 yards on 12 carries, with Carpenter close by with 84 yards on 11 carries. Harley Davis was the workhorse, collecting 38 yards on 19 carries as the Colts accumulated 229 yards on the ground, and 39 in the air, outgaining Braxton 268 to 177.
Besides the scoring drive, yardage was hard to come by for the Eagles. Coming into the game averaging 37 points a game, Philip Barbour held them to only 177 total yards, and only eight first downs.
"We tried to show them a lot of different looks, and we had Dylan Johnson and Dillon Newman putting a lot of pressure on them coming in off the edges," Bodkins said. "It was a good team defensive effort. One we had to have."
Oney ended the evening with 64 yards on eight carries, Zachary Perkins 53 yards on 13 carries, and Jacob Yanero 48 yards on 10 carries.
Philip Barbour remains at home next week, hosting Liberty. Braxton hits the road, traveling to Ritchie County.
Both teams enter week three with 2-1 records.