PARSONS - Derek Nestor and Austin Zirk combined for 297 yards rushing as Tucker County ran past Philip Barbour 35-14 Friday night in front of the homecoming crowd at Class of 1984 Alumni Stadium at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field.
The Mountain Lions, rated No. 5 in Class A, trailed 7-0 before scoring 35 unanswered points.
"Philip Barbour gave us fits early with that (3-3-5 stack) defense," Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp said. "It's the type of defense that makes things tough for the type of offense we run."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Davis
Tucker County quarterback Derek Nestor, right, looks to scramble outside as running back Zach Armstrong leads the way Friday night in the Mountain Lions’ 35-14 win over Philip Barbour at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field.
"It wasn't a pretty but our game-breaker players on offense made plays in the second half when we needed them."
The Colts, No. 10 in Class AA, took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 68-yard run by quarterback Dillon Newman.
But Philip Barbour struggled offensively from that point as the Mountain Lion defense took control.
"We came out trying to run the ball but that didn't happen," Colt coach Curtis Bodkins said. "We had to start two freshman on the offensive line - at guard and center -because of injuries and that was a tall task for those guys against a very good defense, especially No. 61 (Michael Adkins), who I think is one of the better linebackers in the area."
The Mountain Lions made it 14-7 at the intermission when Zirk scored on a 36-yard run, followed by a 26-yard pass from Nestor to Tyler Snyder on a third-and-24 conversion on the first play of the second quarter.
"That really hurt us," Bodkins said of the long third-down play. "We had them backed up and they were able to get the ball into the end zone."
With the Colts forced to rely on the passing game in the second half, the Mountain Lions took control of the game, collecting interceptions by Adkins, Zach Armstrong and Nathaniel Goldstein en route to putting up 14 third-quarter points.
Nestor had a 12-yard scamper in the canto, while Zirk broke free for a 41-yard scamper to extend the lead to 28-7 entering the fourth quarter.
"We were concerned about their running backs," Rapp said. "But when we got them into a passing game, we were able to get some turnovers."
The Mountain Lions tacked on a 46-yard pass from Nestor to Snyder in the fourth, while Brody Carpenter put the Colts back on the board for the first time since the opening quarter with a 3-yard run with 1:24 left in the contest.
Zirk finished with 167 yards on 18 attempts for the Mountain Lions, who held a 464-277 advantage in total yardage.
Nestor followed with 130 yards on 22 carries, while completing 7-of-16 passes for 164 yards.
Snyder had four catches for 96 yards.
Newman had 109 yards rushing on 10 attempts for the visitors. He also completed 5-of-11 passes for 60 yards. Carpenter added 48 yards rushing on nine attempts.
"I was proud of the effort our kids gave," Bodkins said. "We had a lot of guys injured but that's no excuse. Newman got banged up in the first half and a lot of other kids probably wouldn't have been able to keep playing.
"I give Tucker County all the credit. This is the best team they've had since I've been coaching here."
The Colts drops to 2-2 and will remain on the road for a 7 p.m. contest next Friday at Petersburg.
Tucker County (5-0) entertains Southern (Md.) at 7:30 p.m. on the same evening.