Prep football: Poca stifles Bison in 20-7 win
POCA, W.Va. - It wasn't a state championship game. It wasn't even a playoff win. But players and fans at Poca High School will recall the Dots' 20-7 win over Class A rival Buffalo on Friday night for a long time.
Poca (2-1) held the Bison (1-1) to minus-8 yards of total offense in the second half and allowed them just one first down after the first quarter to get a win that capped an emotional night for the team and community at O.O. White Stadium.
In the process, the Dots held Buffalo All-State quarterback Levi Jordan to perhaps the worst single-game statistical performance of his high school career. Jordan was just 2 of 17 passing for 16 yards and two interceptions. He finished with a team-high 73 rushing yards, but had 88 yards at halftime, and picked up 60 of those on the Bison's first drive of the game.
"The key to it is controlling Jordan. He's going to get his yards and all," Poca Coach Bob Lemley said. "He cramped up in the second half, and for us that was fortunate because we knew he wasn't going to run the ball much. He was going to throw the ball."
Poca broke a 7-7 tie in the third quarter almost immediately following the first of Jordan's interceptions. Senior linebacker Jake Grant picked off the Buffalo quarterback near the Bison 45 and returned the ball to the Bison 26. Just five plays later, Poca junior running back T.T. Loudin crashed the end zone from 2 yards out to give Poca the lead once and for all.
On Buffalo's next possession, Dot defensive back Tyler Gibson grabbed an interception and gave Poca the ball at its own 48. Poca junior quarterback Jake Payne - who threw just once after halftime - scored on a 1-yard run for the game's final points to cap an eight-play drive that followed.
"We prepared all week on defending the pass because we know he's a good quarterback," said Loudin, who led all players with 140 rushing yards on 26 carries.
"That's what we were looking for, was passing plays. They came out and ran on us, though, so we had to mix it up a little bit."
Buffalo scored on its first possession, driving 63 yards in 12 plays and taking 4:46 of time off the first-quarter clock. The Bison scored on a 2-yard pass from Jordan to Laythen Good with 4:40 left in the first quarter to take the lead, but from then on the team was held to 45 total yards.
"Injuries, and we didn't come to play. That pretty much sums it up," Buffalo Coach Mike Sawyer said. "We're a better team than that. We just didn't come to play. The line didn't block and the backs didn't run...we just weren't ready to play, and that's my fault."
Payne was 4 of 10 for 35 yards through the air, but added 88 rushing yards.
Prior to the game, Poca High School honored the life of 1988 graduate Marshall Bailey, a corporal in the West Virginia State Police who was killed in the line of duty Aug. 28.