Wolverines run into Bear buzzsaw in defeat
Pisgah delivered Friday exactly the type of bounce-back effort that head coach Brent Chappell wanted to see. Much to Polk County’s chagrin
Pisgah delivered Friday exactly the type of bounce-back effort that head coach Brent Chappell wanted to see.
Much to Polk County’s chagrin.
The Bears put together an almost-flawless first quarter, racing to a 27-0 lead that formed the foundation of a 54-6 victory over Polk County in G.M. Tennant Stadium.
Looking for its own rebound after three straight losses, Polk County (1-4) instead encountered a Pisgah team still stinging from last week’s 41-7 setback to Greeneville (Tenn.). and determined to quickly erase the bad taste of that defeat. That the Bears did, scoring the first five times they possessed the ball, four of those in the first quarter, to take a 40-0 lead late in the second period. The 54 points Pisgah (5-1) finished the night with are the most a Wolverine opponent has scored since November 2002.
It was a buzzsaw that a Polk County team besieged by injuries could never find the means to slow.
“We had a couple of chances to throw and catch early where we threw it well, but didn’t catch it,” said Polk County head coach Bruce Ollis. “If we catch those would it have turned the game around? I don’t think so. But we never planted a seed of doubt in them.
“The kids never gave up. We told them when we were down 40-6 at halftime that we were going to continue to play hard and execute and do the little things well.”
Pisgah fueled its early surge in large part with its defense, which held Polk County to just two first downs in the opening quarter, one of those by penalty. Polk finished the night with 107 total yards, all of those on the ground.
“Probably the thing we preached all week was that we wanted to have a fast start and be able to sustain that start,” said Pisgah head coach Brett Chappell. “When we played at R-S Central two weeks ago, we started out strong and got up by two touchdowns, then let up. We were able to sustain that start tonight.”
The Wolverines went three and out on their first series, and Pisgah responded with a four-play drive to take a quick lead, Jon Mehaffey scoring from seven yards out with 8:40 left in the quarter. Angel Arellano’s extra point made it 7-0.
The Bears forced another Polk punt and again scored in four plays, with Korey Griffith tossing a 39-yard pass to Tanner Wike. Arellano made it 14-0 with 5:24 left in the first. Another Polk three-and-out led to another four-play Pisgah scoring drive, this one ended with Griffth hitting Ryan Reynolds for a 10-yard score and a 21-0 bulge with 3:06 to go.
Polk County fumbled the ensuing kickoff at its 31, and Wike followed a 25-yard Griffith pass to Hunter Davis with a 6-yard scoring run, his eighth touchdown in two seasons against Polk County. Wike stayed on the field and tried the point after, but missed, leaving the score at 27-0.
Mehaffey added a 5-yard scoring run with 9:20 left in the second quarter to give Pisgah a 33-0 advantage.
Colton Rogers added an 8-yard interception return for a score before Polk County’s Cameron Blackwell answered with a 4-yard touchdown run just before the end of the first half, that score set up by a 76-yard kickoff return by Mitchell Yoder. The Wolverines’ 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score 40-6 at the half.
Pisgah’s Kam Walker caught a 5-yard pass from Griffith and Houston Connor scored on a 4-yard run in the third period to close the scoring.
Griffth finished 15-of-17 for 268 yards, three touchdowns and an interception to pace the Pisgah offense, with Wike catching three passes for 131 yards. Blackwell rushed for 83 yards on 18 carries to lead Polk County.
“We can grow from this, or we can go the other direction,” Ollis said. “We’re going to have to bow up a bit and find a way to perservere.
“I told the players we’ve got to look for a silver lining somewhere. It may be hard to find. But as the head coach, that’s my responsibility.”