Times Sports Report
With the threat of heavy rain looming last week, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey, the Powell County Pirates first home football game against Bath County was moved to last Thursday. The change of game day hopefully would change the Pirates luck. But that did not happen. Despite building an early lead, Powell fell short 32-27.
Powell opened the game moving the ball downfield quickly on the game’s opening possession. Quarterback John Brooks hit Austin Trent on a 49 yard strike deep into Bath County Wildcats territory. Two plays later, running back Nathan Skidmore scored on an eight yard run and he extra point made it 7-0.
Bath County held the ball for most of the rest of he first quarter, but came up short and turned the ball over on downs. On Powell’s very next play running back Ryan Vanover broke loose and rambled 82 yards for another Pirate touchdown. The extra point mode it 14-0.
After a Wildcat three and out possession, Powell was on a roll. On the legs of Vanover and Skidmore, with a 23 yard pickup in the air from Brooks to Vanover, the Pirates again drove downfield. They capped off the possession with an incredible move by Vanover to score from 27 years out. The extra point made it 21-0, but Vanover hurt his knee on the play and was helped off the field.
Bath finally began to find a chink in the Pirates defensive armor. On their next possession the Wildcats began to move the ball. Junior Lane Rogers, the quarterback, began to call his own number. The plays worked as he capped off a 65 yard drive scoring on a one yard fall into the end zone. Bath added the two point conversion to make it 21-8 at the half.
As the second half began Powell’s Vanover was in street clothes with an ice bag on his knee and on crutches. That meant that the Wildcats could focus on Skidmore and focus they did.
Bath opened the half with the ball and began to use running backs Landan Swartz and Cameron Corbin. Both backs picked up huge running totals as they marched downfield. Swartz scored on an eight yard run then added the two point conversion to close the gap, 21-18.
The Wildcats defense began to shut down the Pirates running game, keeping Skidmore in check. The Pirates were able to keep the Wildcats at bay. Both teams played to a stalemate as they entered the final frame.
Bath had the ball first in the quarter and ran off eight plays covering 69 yards, capped of by a two yard run by Swartz and a two point conversion by Corbin. Bath took their first led of the night, 24-21.
Powell struck right back on the next possession. The Pirates ran off 10plays, as Skidmore ran he ball on eight of those. That set up Trent for an 11 yard touchdown and the extra point helped Powell to regain the lead, 27-24.
But on the ensuing kickoff the Wildcats hit fast and hard. Powell kicked the ball to Corbin on the home team side of the field at the 12 yard line. Corbin took a path diagonal across the field toward the opposite side of the field and 88 yards later ran onto the end zone. The two point conversion was a forgone conclusion. Just like that Bath took the lead back, 32-27.
It looked like whoever had the ball last could win the game and Powell got the ball back at with just 3:25 to play. The Pirates began their march to the end zone and was facing a second down and 11 yards to go on the Bath 24 yard line with just :43 to play. Brooks attempts a pass over the middle, but it was batted into the air and Bath picked it off. That sealed the game for the visitors. Bath won 32-27.
Bath improved to 2-0 and was led by Corbin who ran the ball 18 times picking up 114 yards and two touchdowns. Swartz rushed 18 times for 79 yards and Lane ran 11 times for 63 yards with a touchdown. The Wildcats picked up 271 yards on the ground and 22 yards in the air.
Powell, 0-3, was led by Vanover who had three runs in the first half for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Skidmore rushed 28 times for 106 yards and a TD. Trent ran one time for a 11 yard touchdown. Brooks was 4-for-9 in the air for a season high 110 yards. On defense Mike Mattlingly was credited with 16 tackles, 10 of those were solo tackles. The Pirates picked up 240 yards on the ground.
Powell will travel to Lawrence County this Friday before returning home to play Magoffin County on Sept. 22. Game times are 7:30 p.m.