With its offense limited to a season low in points, Tucker County's defense stepped up in Friday's 21-16 Class A showdown victory against East Hardy.
The top-ranked Mountain Lions blanked the explosive Cougar offense in the second half after falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter.
In the process, Tucker County recorded five quarterback sacks in the contest, while picking off four passes, including Tyler Snyder's late interception that sealed the victory.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Davis
A pair of Tucker County players, including Michael Adkins (61), bring down East Hardy’s Levi Beck during PVC action Friday night in Parsons. The Class A, No. 1 Mountain Lions earned a 21-16 victory over the No. 6 Cougars.
No. 6 East Hardy, which got a late safety, was equally impressive on the defensive side, holding the Mountain Lions to 20 points below their season average.
Tucker County enters its bye week with a perfect 7-0 record. The Mountains Lions will finish the season with three straight road games against Pendleton County, Petersburg and Notre Dame.
The 5-1 Cougars, meanwhile, will look to regroup Friday night at Moorefield.
PLAYOFF?RACE:?With the regular season hitting the home stretch, Elkins and Tucker County still remain in the hunt to host a playoff game.
Both teams, however, face stiff competition over the final four weeks of the regular season.
The 7-1 Tigers are currently ranked sixth in Class AAA and have home games remaining against Wheeling Park and Lewis County, a pair of teams fighting for a postseason berth.
Elkins' efforts for a high ranking have been aided by the play of Oak Hill and Hampshire - teams the Tigers defeated earlier this season. The Red Devils are undefeated after falling to Elkins in the season opener, while the Trojans have dropped just one game, meaning bonus points for the Tigers.
The Mountain Lions can secure the homefield edge throughout the postseason by winning out.
Speaking of the Wheeling Park-Elkins matchup, expect a lot of points in Friday's matchup at Wimer Field.
The Tigers are averaging 41.5 points per game, while the Patriot offense hits for nearly 35 per outing.
Park put up 39 against Morgantown in a three-point loss on Friday.