No hangover for BearsBrown throws for 247 yards, rushes for 59, accounts for five TDs
CANTON — The Pisgah varsity football team showed no hangover effects from last week’s Franklin loss and proved it wasn’t looking ahead to the 50th meeting of the County Clash.
The Black Bears rolled to a 56-14 homecoming victory over West Henderson Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Senior quarterback McKinley Brown and another solid defensive effort allowed Pisgah to move forward from last week’s 14-13 loss to the second-ranked Panthers, giving the partisan crowd of 7,185 enough reason to celebrate and move forward, too.
Pisgah improved to 5-2 overall, 5-1 for playoff purposes and 2-1 in the WNC Athletic Conference. West Henderson fell to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the WNCAC.
The Black Bears showed some signs of mental wear coming off the biggest game this season by allowing the Falcons’ offense in the game’s opening drive to march 46 yards to the Black Bears’ 31. But a Holt Underwood tackle for a one-yard loss on third down and a Sherrill Rathobone sack on fourth down gave Pisgah the ball at the West Henderson 39.
From that point, the Black Bears overwhelmed the Falcons by rushing for 91 yards, passing for 197 yards and allowing West Henderson 66 rushing yards in just the first two quarters.
The scoreboard also displayed Pisgah’s domination as the Black Bears went to the locker room with a 42-0 halftime lead.
Brown completed 13-of-17 passes for 247 yards and threw three touchdown passes to senior Hunter Wike, who finished with five receptions for 162 yards, in less than three quarters of action. The senior quarterback also added 59 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
Wike also scored a fourth touchdown when he scooped up a fumble at the West Henderson 17 and took a scenic route on the Memorial Stadium turf to the end zone with 17 seconds left before halftime.
“The one thing that we are seeing right now is a lot of double coverage on Jesse Anderson because of the positive things that he has been able to do for us the last couple of weeks,” said Pisgah Head Coach Brett Chappell. “That is allowing some of our other receivers to come open. Jesse Martinez had a couple of big catches, so did Trevor Johnson. Hunter Wike just had another great game on both sides of the football. I just thought that our team came out focused. I did not want our team to play to our opponent’s level. I want us to play to the Pisgah level every Friday night. And I thought our kids did a really good job of doing that.”
Pisgah’s defense allowed 256 yards in total offense (0 passing yards) with the majority of it amassed against the reserves in the the game’s final 16 minutes. Chappell took out his starters on both sides of the ball late in the third quarter with the Black Bears ahead 56-0.
“We wanted to make sure we came out of this game with a win and healthy for the big game,” said Chappell. “Being able to take out our starters in the third quarter lets us get our legs back under us so we can be ready to go against Tuscola next week. We did not want any of our starters to get injured and I know that they wanted another shutout. But next week is important.”
In the first half, Brown gave Pisgah a 7-0 lead when he scampered for a 13-yard touchdown with 4:56 left in the opening quarter. Three minutes later, he fired a 24-yard TD pass to Wike and Nathan Hidgon was true on the PAT to give the Black Bears a 14-0 lead.
With 25 seconds left in the first quarter, Brown scored on a nine-yard run to pad Pisgah’s lead to 21-0.
In the second quarter, junior Lucas Hall scored on a three-yard rush and Brown connected with Wike on a seven yard scoring strike with 35 seconds left before halftime to give the Black Bears a 35-0 lead.
On the first play on West Henderson’s ensuing possession, Wike picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.
In the third quarter, Brown tossed a 50-yard TD pass to Wike (10:47) and five minutes later, Trevor Johnson caused a fumble on a boundary blitz, sprung to his feet, picked up the ball and raced 15 yards for a touchdown.
Pisgah finished with 378 yards (117 rushing, 261 passing) in total offense.
Anderson caught two passes for 22 yards, Johnson had four receptions for 31 yards, Jesse Martinez caught to passes for 32 yards and Donnie Mamph had three receptions for 14 yards.
Pisgah will meet rival Tuscola in the 50th meeting of the County Clash Friday, Oct. 18, at Weatherby Stadium.