PCHS quarterback John Brooks (4) awaits the snap during the Piratess 71-44 victory on homecoming
Times sports staff
The Pirates hosted the Knott County Central Patriots last Friday night in a district football matchup that looked more like an offensive shootout. In fact Powell scored on all 10 of their possessions and the score was Powell’s largest putout in a couple years. A second half dominate performance by Powell County helped the Pirates to pick up the 71-44 victory.
The Pirates opened the scoring bonanza on the first play of the game. Starting on their own 39 yard line, quarterback John Brooks got the ball to running back Nate Skidmore. Expecting a run, the Patriots defense converged on Skidmore, who then threw a strike to Dionte Strange for a 61 yard touchdown. The extra point by kicker Bryan Baker was good and 17 seconds into the game Powell led, 7-0.
The Patriots returned the favor as junior quarterback, Cameron Jones, led his team down field. Jones capped off an 11 play, 53 yard possession as he scored on a yard plunge. The extra point tied the game, 7-7.
The Pirates took their next possession quickly downfield. Eight plays later the Pirates recaptured the lead when Brooks hit Austin Trent with a 40 yard touchdown pass. The kick made it 14-7. Knott scored on the very next possession on seven plays. Jones threw an effortless 43 yard strike to Tyler Kidd for the score. The extra point made it 14-14.
As the first quarter came to an end, and on their very next possession the Pirates wasted no time to light up the scoreboard again. Trent broke loose on the second play from scrimmage for a 47 yard jaunt into the end zone. The kick made it 21-14.
Knott had the ball when the second frame opened up. Once again they moved the ball down the field well. Jones connected again with Kidd, this time on a 14 yard scoring pass. But this time the Patriots went for two points and Ty Hollon scored to give the visitors their first lead of the night, 22-21.
The Patriots then executed an onside kick and got the ball back. Five plays later the same scoring combination of Jones to Kidd struck again. This time it was a five yard scoring pass. The two point try failed, but the Patriots extended their lead to 28-21 with 6:53 to play in the first half.
That would be the last score the visitors would have for a while. After the scoring drive Powell got the ball back and struck again. Trent scored on a six yard run, his third touchdown of the half, capping off a four play, 62 yard drive. The extra point tied the game, 28-28.
The Pirates then gave the Patriots a taste of their own medicine. Powell executed an onside kick and Trent recovered the ball. Brooks pitched the ball to Devon Ditto on the first play, who then took off on a 40 yard run before being stopped at the Knott six yard line. On the next play, following an offside penalty on Knott, Pretson Wasson scored on a three yard run. Skidmore added a two point conversion. In two short minutes the Pirates took back the lead and extended it to 36-28.
Powell tried another onside kick, but the Patriots caught this one. The visitors began another drive deep into Pirates territory. The coaches expressed the fact that a defensive stop was needed to slow down the one-upmanship.
The Pirates defensive provided that stop.
Facing a second down and 10 yards to go on Powell’s 27, Jones dropped back for another pass. This time the Pirates Drew Ginter came up with a big interception, killing the Patriots momentum.
The Pirates took advantage of the stop. Starting on their own 12 yard line with 2:53 to play in the half Powell’s offense moved the ball to the 34. On third and long, Skidmore showed of his running skills. Skidmore started running around the right side of the line, broke back across the field to the opposite sideline. Fighting off early tackle attempts and turning on the afterburners, 71 yards later Skidmore rumbled into the end zone. The extra point made it a 43-28 game as the halftime horn sounded.
As the third quarter began Powell pulled As the third quarter began Powell pulled off another onside kick and recovery. The move paid off again. Brooks scored five plays later on a two yard run. The extra point made it 50-28.
Knott finally go things going again as they took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards in nine plays. Jones connected with Hollon for a 26 yard touchdown strike. Jones then hit Mason Spencer for the two point conversion to make it 50-36.
Powell kept the onslaught going. On their very next possession The Pirates marched downfield and scored again. The time Brooks called his own number on a four yard keeper. Once again the extra point was good and the scoreboard showed a 57-36 score.
In the final quarter the Pirates stopped the Patriots again, this time on their next possession. The Pirates defense held and forced the visitors to turn the ball over on downs. Powell began using more offensive combinations and they moved the ball as well. Ditto scored on a 10 yard run, but the extra point missed. Powell was well on their way, leading 63-36.
Knott did manage to score again. With 7:05 to play in the game, the Patriots began another drive. Hollon scored on a six yard touchdown run. Jones hit Sam Hoffman for the two pointer to make it 63-44.
Powell got the ball back with 4:26 to play and began to use the clock to their advantage. Using the ground game to grind out yards and time, Powell added one more score as Skidmore ran the ball into the end zone from five yards out. The extra point snap was low and Baker picked up the ball. The kicker had to use his legs this time to run the ball in for a two point conversion. That ended the scoring, as Powell won, 71-44.
The 71 points that Powell racked up was the most they have scored since defeating Magoffin County 75-21 on Oct. 23, 2015. It is also the second highest total Powell has scored since KHSAA records were posted from the 1998 season until the present.
Powell was led by Skidmore who grounded out 217 yards on 15 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Trent had 93 yards on the ground on 13 rushes and three scores, while Ditto picked up 58 yards on just eight carries and a touchdown. Ditto also led the defense with 10 tackles, seven were solo tackles.
Brooks was 4-for-5 in the air for 109 yards and a touchdown, while running the ball four times for 13 yards. He passed for a TD and scored two on the ground. Wasson had 11 rushing yards and a touchdown as well.
Powell (2-4 overall, 2-0 in the district) will travel to Estill County this Friday for not only a district game, but a rivalry game as well. Estill comes into the game 1-5 (0-2 in district play) after falling to Breathitt last week, 36-22. Game time is 7:30 p.m.