PARSONS - Quarterback Derek Nestor had two touchdowns and Tyler Snyder returned a punt for a score as Tucker County blanked Pocahontas County 29-0 Friday night in Potomac Valley Conference play at Class of 1984 Alumni Stadium at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field.
The Mountain Lions (1-0) took advantage of good field position in the first quarter to take a 12-0 lead.
Starting at the Warrior 49-yard line on its ensuing drive of the night, Tucker County needed five plays to take a 6-0 lead on Nestor's 34-yard scamper.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Joey Kittle
Tucker County’s Nathaniel Goldstein attempts to break free from a pair of Pocahontas defenders after catching a pass Friday night in the Mountain Lions’ 29-0 win.
Austin Zirk added a 7-yard touchdown with 2:49 left in the opening quarter on a drive that began on the Pocahontas County 35-yard line.
The score remained 12-0 until Snyder took over with two key special teams plays in the third quarter.
The senior's first punt return moved the ball to the Warrior 29-yard line and set up Nestor's 18-yard scamper with 5:41 left in the third, extending the lead to 20-0 after Mikhail Lewis ran in the conversion.
Snyder then broke the game open when he fielded a punt near his own 25-yard line and broke free for paydirt at the 3:07 mark of the quarter. The missed extra-point kick kept the score 26-0.
"Tyler is a great athlete and we put him back there (on punt returns) because of that," said Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp. "He makes things happen when he gets the ball and we really count on his senior leadership."
The Mountain Lions tacked on a 33-yard field goal by sophomore Michael Callaway with 5:09 left in the contest.
Tucker County had two touchdowns called back in the contest due to holding penalties, and a third prevented the Mountain Lions from another scoring chance, moving the ball from inside the 5 to near the 30-yard line.
"It was typical first-game jitters," Rapp said. "We had a couple of opportunities to score more points but made some mistakes. That's something we'll have to work on this week (in practice)."
The Mountain Lions used a balanced offensive attack, rushing for over 250 yards. Lewis followed Nestor with 62 yards, while Zach Armstrong tallied 48 and Zirk 44.
"I was pleased with the play of our backs," Rapp said. "We have good balance and all of them ran hard. Austin was a little banged up coming into the game, Nestor made some big plays and Zach Armstrong ran real well. Mikhail really fits in with his role as well."
Snyder also collected three catches for 85 yards and logged a pair of interceptions on defense.
The Warriors (0-1) were led by all-stater Kyle Doss, who rushed for 150 yards, including a 74-yard scamper that set up Pocahontas County for its best scoring chance of the night late in the third quarter. But the Mountain Lion defense held at their own 4-yard line.
"I thought our defense played well, expect for a couple of big plays," Rapp said. "We have some young guys over there and they'll improve with game experience."
Tucker County returns to action next Friday at Tygarts Valley, while the Warriors visit Parkersburg Catholic at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.