PARSONS?-Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp knew his squad was going to have its hands full in opening round action of the Class A playoffs on Saturday.
Despite already having a regular-season blowout win over Moorefield to their credit, the top-seeded Mountain Lions got all they could handle from the No. 16 Yellow Jackets.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Rapp said. "Both teams know each other well and we knew Moorefield was going to give us everything they had."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley
Tucker County’s Mikhail Lewis hauls in a touchdown reception in front of Moorefield’s Matthew Dolan Saturday in the Mountain Lions’ 27-14 Class A?playoff win at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field. Tucker County will entertain Clay-Battelle in second round action on Saturday.
Two second-half touchdowns proved to be the difference as Tucker County broke open a deadlock game at the half and went on for a 27-14 victory.
With the win, the Mountain Lions (11-0) advance to the second round, where they will entertain Clay-Battelle Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
"We don't know a whole lot about Clay-Battelle yet, but we do know that it doesn't matter who you face in the playoffs, it's going to be tough," Rapp said.
With the contest tied at 14-14 at the break, Tucker County took a 20-14 lead with 48 seconds left in the third when Derek Nestor completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Mikhail Lewis.
Tucker County, which defeated Moorefield 44-13 earlier in the season, iced the victory with 2:01 left in regulation when Austin Zirk scampered in for an 8-yard touchdown.
"We came out a little stale on offense, but we picked it up in the second half," Rapp said. "We made the plays offensively that we needed to in order to win. Our defense played well the entire day, they did a lot of things to keep us in the game."
Moorefield, which ends the season with a 5-5 overall mark, jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Seth Stickley powered in for a 1-yard score at the 1:30 mark of the first.
Tucker County answered in the final seconds of the first when Zach Armstrong broke free for a 49-yard touchdown run.
The Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead with 4:03 left in the half when DaSean Brown scored on 2-yard run.
The Mountain Lions knotted things up just before the half when Nestor sprinted in for a 17-yard touchdown.
Nestor finished the game with 174 yards on 9-of-14 passing. He also collected 54 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Tyler Snyder was Nestor's top target in the contest, finishing with five catches for 162 yards.
Armstrong finished with 77 yards rushing on nine carries. Zirk followed with 69 yards on 12 attempts.
"Overall our kids gave a good effort," said Rapp. "It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it."
Mikey Pultz led the Yellow Jackets' offense with 49 yards rushing. Brown followed with 47 yards on the ground.
Moorefield quarterback Adam Snyder completed 4-of-8 passes for 69 yards.
"I?thought we played really well," Moorefield coach Josh See said. "We were better prepared than the first time we played Tucker. We just didn't have a couple breaks go our way."