PHILIPPI - It came down to the last play of the game, but the Tucker County defense was just too much for Philip Barbour on Friday night.
With two seconds remaining on the clock, the Mountain Lions blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt to hold on for a 10-7 win.
"Defense has been our mainstay all year long," Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp said afterward. "Offensively, we just can't seem to get it started. We keep moving the ball down the field, but it seems like when we get in the red zone we just can't punch it in."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Joey Kittle
Tucker County’s Austin Zirk picks up yardage against Philip Barbour on?Friday night
Both teams struggled offensively. The Mountain Lions tallied 228 yards of total offense, compared to the Colts 215 total yards.
Senior Austin Zirk replaced Seth Underwood at quarterback on the second offensive series for the Mountain Lions. He finished the night with five completions for 82 yards and added 22 carries for 88 yards and one touchdown. Underwood moved to running back and carried the ball six times for 41 yards.
"(Zirk) gives us a little different look," Rapp said. "Underwood is a good quarterback, but Austin is a senior and we need a little more leadership out there."
For the Colts, junior quarterback Dustin Tinchnell completed eight of 14 passes for 56 yards and one interception. He also rushed for 67 yards on 15 carries. Dylan Johnson carried the ball 16 times for 46 yards and one touchdown. He also caught one pass for 42 yards.
"We just couldn't get the running game established," PB coach Curtis Bodkins said. "We had a tough time with their front four. They got some strong kids and we just couldn't move them out of the way to make room to run."
After Chase Alkire intercepted a Tinchnell pass to close the first quarter, Tucker County got on the scoreboard with their first play of the second quarter when Zirk busted a four-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Just before the half, PB's Al Johnson tackled Zirk on the 5-yard line, after a 70-yard run. The Colt defense held Tucker County to a field goal to make the score 10-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Tinchnell mounted a long drive, hitting Elijah Matlick on three consecutive passes before Dylan Johnson scored on a 2-yard touchdown run at the goalline.
Tinchnell also found some magic late in the fourth quarter when he hit Dylan Johnson with a 42-yard pass while scrambling to avoid defenders. The Colts were able to drive to the 16-yard line with 20 seconds left on the clock, but a bad snap caused Tinchnell to get sacked for a 10-yard loss.
The Colts had no timeouts left, but Tinchnell was injured on the play and the referee called an injury time-out giving the Colts one final chance with two seconds left on the clock. The Colts tried to kick a 40-yard field goal, but a Tucker defender busted through the line of scrimage and blocked the kick making the final score 10-7.
Philip Barbour will remain home next Friday to host Petersburg, while the Mountain Lions will visit Southern (Md.).