CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Coming off its dominating upset victory over rival George Washington last week, Capital football Coach Jon Carpenter was anxious to see how his youthful Cougars would respond.
Carpenter liked what he saw Friday night. Capital (6-3) continued its momentum, jumping on Beckley right from the start and earned its second straight impressive win with a 35-14 victory over the Flying Eagles at University of Charleston stadium.
"After everybody asked me about a possible letdown, it scared me to death," Carpenter said. "That's what you have to worry about is the kids getting big heads. It was big to see our kids come out, practice well, and play well."
With the victory, the No. 15 Cougars took another huge step in their playoff push, knocking off No. 10 Beckley (6-4). GW was ranked No. 4 when Capital knocked them off one-week prior.
Things don't get any easier for Capital as they visit No. 3 Huntington (8-1) to conclude the regular season next Friday.
"The playoffs started for us a couple weeks ago," Carpenter said. "We've got to win next week. I'm not smart enough to crunch those numbers. You have got people playing a lot easier schedules than we have but you've just got to win."
Capital cruised to a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter, scoring four different ways. The Cougars scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter on a 19-yard touchdown run from Kashuan Haley and Jonathan Pittman six-yard interception return.
The Cougars added a pair of second quarter scores on a 24-yard TD pass from quarterback Tyrhee Pratt to James Richmond and Haley added a 43-yard punt return TD.
Haley was injured on the play with 5:28 remaining in the second quarter, delivering a stiffarm to a Beckley defender, and didn't return. The dynamic Capital sophomore went to the emergency room but returned to the sideline with positive results.
"His thumb popped out," Carpenter said. "I don't think it's a break. I think he will be OK and good to go next week."
Haley finished the night with 45 yards rushing on nine carries. Cougar junior James Richmond carried the load, rushing for 101 yards on 19 attempts to go along with his 69 yards receiving, including a touchdown reception.
"Kashuan went down tonight and even though he's a great player, we have got other players that can play," Richmond said. "We have got a lot of skilled players. We are feeling great right now and things are clicking."
For Beckley, quarterback Andrew Johnson led the team in rushing with 35 yards on 12 carries, including a one-yard TD run. He also passed for 117 yards on nine of 23 passing and two interceptions.
CAPITAL 35, BECKLEY 14
First downs 14 35
Total yards 189 356
Rushes-yards 30-72 45-199
Passing 117 161
Comp-Att-Int 9-23-2 10-15-0