COLTS BEST BUCS
By Ben Simmons
PHILIPPI – Al Johnson scored touchdowns three different ways to lead Class AA, No. 11 Philip Barbour to a 39-29 win over Big 10 Conference foe Buckhannon-Upshur on Friday night.
Johnson put on a scoring clinic for the Colts (6-2), finding paydirt on a 27-yard pass reception, a 38-yard interception return and an 84-yard kickoff return. He finished the game with 188 all-purpose yards and added eight tackles on defense.
“Al Johnson does it all,” PB coach Curtis Bodkins said. “He returned a kick for a TD, he returned an interception for a TD and he caught one. I don’t know what else he could do.”
B-U (2-5) controlled the scoreboard nearly the entire first half, jumping out to a 22-12 lead at halftime. However, Johnson returned the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown, shifting momentum for the Colts.
“I just wish these guys would come out and play better in the first half, so I wouldn’t have to get so mad,” Bodkins said. “But apparently, we are a second-half team. That’ when our defense really steps up.”
Late in the third quarter, B-U running back Phil Petrulak scored on a 5- yard run to increase the Bucs’ lead to 29-25. However, Dylan Johnson took the kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown to put PB up 32-29 after the PAT by Saige Cline.
B-U had another opportunity to score in the fourth quarter, but the drive was ended when Elijah Matlick intercepted a pass from Dillon Gaudet. Gaudet finished the night 8 of 16 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
PB quarterback Tyler Titchnell sealed the victory on a 6-yard touchdown run with 1:20 left to make the final score, 39-29. Titchnell completed 4 of 5 passes for 58 yards and one touchdown. He also ran the ball six times for 24 yards and one touchdown.
“We had too many mistakes, including 10 penalties,” B-U coach Duane Stoeckle said. “We’ve been in every game this year, except the first two weeks. We have had a chance to win in the fourth quarter every game for the past four weeks. We just haven’t got it done. We’ll learn from it and get better. Tonight just wasn’t our night.”