By: James Cook, Times Editor
The game was exciting. Both teams moved the ball well, there was some fine passes and it became a shootout with each team trading scores. The defenses were almost non-existing. No it was not an NBA game, but the Powell-Magoffin high school football game last Saturday night. Powell took a lead, lost it and then kicked a game winning point after in overtime to win 49-48.
The win stopped a five game skid for the Pirates.
The first quarter was uneventful, but that changed in the second frame. Powell struck first when Tim Hardy scored on a 19 yard run untouched, then hit pay dirt again on their next possession when Hardy broke two tackles to rumble 58 yards for another score. Powell held a 12-0 lead. Magoffin County hit back quickly. Hornets quarterback Dylan Keeton connected on a 44 yard TD strike to a wide open Justin Poe who got behind the Pirates defense. Keeton then hit Jostan Helton on the two point try to make it 12-8.
Powell fumbled on their next play. The Hornets took advantage and scored on a 32 yard TD pass from Keeton to Poe. Then Keeton found Casey Adams for the two point conversion and the Hornets took a 16-12 lead. Powell hit back the same way, quickly. This time Powell marched 65 yards and capped it off with an eight yard run by Hardy. The two point try failed and the Pirates held an 18-16 half time lead.
The second half saw the shootout heat up. Magoffin scored on a pass from Keeton to Caleb Hall. But Powell answered with another big run by Hardy. The senior running back broke loose through the middle for a 50 yard scoring run and then caught a pass from Elliot Hale to make it 26-22.
The Hornets marched back down field and scored on a 13 yard pass from Keeton to Adams. The Pirates answered again when Daylan Charles scored on a 13 yard run. Derek Taulbee added the two point conversion and the Pirates held a 34-28 lead as the third quarter came to an end.
Powell extended their lead when they marched back down field as the defenses for either team had not played a substantial role in the game as the fourth quarter began. Hale scored on a one yard run and Taulbee scored on the two point try to give Powell a seemingly commanding 42-28 lead. But looks can be deceiving when defenses are struggling.
Just like Magoffin, who could not seem to stop Powell’s wish bone offense, the Pirates had trouble stopping the Hornets passing game. The Hornets added two quick scores, a 27 yard pass from Keeton to Helton to make it 42-36. The second score came with 7:30 to play when Helton scored on a five yard run. But the two point conversion failed and the score was tied 42-42.
Neither side could muster much offense after that as the defenses finally looked sharper and the offenses looked a little tired. The score remained tied at the end of regulation. The coin toss gave Magoffin the ball first in overtime.
Keeton called his own number and scored on a five yard run. But Powell’s defense held fast and stopped him as he tried to add the two point conversion. The Pirates now had their chance and a weapon in their arsenal Magoffin apparently did not, a place kicker.
Facing a fourth and goal, Taulbee bulldogged his way into the end zone to tie the game. Pirates place kicker Shane Karpensky, who had an extra point blocked in the second quarter, came on in a pressure situation. But the pressure and the smallest, yet loudest Pirates crowd in recent years did not seem to bother Karpensky as he nailed the extra point. The team rushed the field as the crowd erupted, the Pirates had held on to win 49-48.
“It sure wasn’t pretty,” Pirates coach Tony Burchett said after the game. “With the week we had, we decided this week to stick to the game plan and do what our shirts say, run the belly. If this don’t make you believe in the wishbone I don’t know what will. We are now tied for first in the district.” The win makes Powell 1-0 in district play along with Breathitt County, the Pirates next opponent.
The Pirates were not able to hold an official practice during the week due to the schools and all activities including practices being cancelled due to a flu outbreak. But with the exception of the defense being a little slow to heat up, the offense looked good.
“When things went sour, they never quit,” Burchett said. “I really appreciated that.
Magoffin’s offense was an air show as they connected on 17-of-35 passes for 387 yards and six touchdowns. The Hornets ran seven times for 85 yards and a touchdown. That gave the visitors a total of 62 offensive plays for a total of 472 yards, an average of 7.6 yards per play.
Powell ran up the belly, rushing 57 times for 433 yards and seven touchdowns. The Pirates passing game was short as Hale went 3-for-6 for 67 yards. That gave the Pirates 63 offensive plays for 500 yards, an average of 7.9 points per play.
Hardy led the way as he ran 21 times for 212 yards and four TD’s. Charles rushed 15 times for 132 yards and a TD, while Taulbee carried the ball 17 times for 77 yards and a score. Justin Cox ran one time for 15 yards. Powell’s rushing game scored seven touchdowns. Bobby Ward caught two passes for 39 yards and Austin Johnson hauled in one reception for 28 yards.
It was the third overtime win for a Powell County team last Saturday. Earlier in the day the Pirates Black squad of third/fourth graders beat Estill County 22-20 on overtime and the fifth/sixth grade team beat Estill 6-0 in an extra period. The Pirates Red squad of third/fourth graders fell to Estill, 28-0.
The high school Pirates improve their record to 2-5 and will travel to a struggling Breathitt County this Friday. Despite a not so stellar season, the Bobcats are still the team to beat in the district. Breathitt topped Estill 35-6 last Friday in a district match up. Powell will return home on Oct. 23 to host the Engineers on the Pirates Senior Night. Game time for both games are 7:30 p.m.