PHILIPPI - Philip Barbour coach Curtis Bodkins knew other players would have to step up after losing quarterback Dillon Newman early in the season.
The all-state performer injured his knee in the Colts' third game of the season, a victory over Braxton County.
"It was tough losing Dillon," Bodkins said. "He was one our best players and a senior leader."
The Inter-Mountain file photo
Philip Barbour senior running back Dylan Johnson powers his way for yardage in a game earlier this season. The Colts will travel to two-time state champion Wayne on Friday night in Class AA playoff action.
In Newman's absence, fellow seniors Al Johnson and Dylan Johnson emerged as playmakers for Philip Barbour.
The duo, along with junior quarterback Tyler Titchnell, have guided the Colts back to the playoffs. They will travel to top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Wayne on Friday night.
"Our seniors and Tyler have done a great job of leading us," Bodkins said. "They have played harder and taken over as leaders."
Bodkins added Titchnell has improved each game.
"He's stepped in and did a fantastic job," Bodkins said. "He didn't have a whole lot of game experience but he's came in and directed our offense."
The Colts enter the playoffs with a 6-4 mark, while the Pioneers are a perfect 10-0.