LOGAN, W.Va. — A home opener to forget.
On the first game on the new field turf at Logan Stadium, non-conference guest Point Pleasant broke in the endzones, scoring eight touchdowns en route to a 57-7 victory.
The Big Blacks (4-0) — who pushed West Virginia’s longest regular season winning streak to 27 with the win — got on the board first with 3:54 remaining in the first period, as the program’s all-time leading rusher, Cody Mitchell found paydirt from the LHS one-yard line. PPHS kicker Jason Schultz added the extra point to give the Big Blacks a 7-0 lead.
Mitchell found the endzone for a second time with 10:52 remaining in the second quarter, this time from six yards out. Schultz added kicked the point after to give PPHS the 14-0 advantage.
With 6:20 to play in the first half, Mitchell broke a 29-yard touchdown run that — with Shultz’s extra point — gave the Big Blacks a 21-0 lead.
Mitchell struck one more time in the first half, this time from the LHS 40-yard line. Shultz added the point after and the Big Blacks lead was 28-0 with 3:27 left in the first half.
Shutltz hit a 23-yard field goal late in the second quarter to give the Big Blacks a 31-0 halftime lead.
The Point Pleasant offense picked up right where it left off after halftime, as junior Grant Safford found the endzone on an 8-yard run. With 4:44 remaining in the third quarter Mitchell struck for a fifth time, scoring on a run from 36 yards out to give the Big Blacks a 43-0 advantage.
Just eight seconds into the fourth quarter, Point Pleasant went up 50-0 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from freshman Cason Payne to senior Jordan Cunningham.
The Wildcats (2-2) got on the board for the first and only time with 2:15 remaining in the game as Alex Toler found Daniel Browning for a 20-yard scoring pass. Augustine Chukwu-Noe added the extra-point to make the score 50-7 in favor of the Big Blacks.
The Logan celebrations were short-lived however, as PPHS senior Nathan Bowman returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. Shultz added his sixth extra point of the night to cap off the 57-7 PPHS victory.
The Big Blacks, who outgained Logan 417-to-131 on the ground, were outgained 165-to-98 through the air. Point Pleasant, held a 330-to-113 advantage in total offense in the first half, held an 18-to-16 advantage in first downs for the game. PPHS was penalized nine times for a total of 75 yards, while Logan was sent back three times for 20 yards.
Mitchell led all rushers with 195 yards on 14 carries with five touchdowns. Mitchell caught one pass for eight yards, while completing 2-of-5 passes for 49 yards.
Safford posted 193 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries, Sheb Harris added 14 yards on four tries, while Jason Wamsley marked 14 yards and Bowman marked three yards on one carry each.
Payne, who caught one pass for nine yards and completed 3-of-3 pass attempts for 49 yards and a score, recorded the game’s lone interception for the PPHS defense. Cunningham caught two passes for 41 yards to lead PPHS receivers, while Trey Tucker added 40 yards on one reception.
Tannor Hill, John Sommer, Zach Wamsley and Tucker Mayes each recorded a tackle for a loss for the Big Black defense, with Hill also blocking a LHS punt.
Toler completed 21-of-38 passes for Logan, throwing for 165 yards with one interception and one touchdown. Toler ran three times for 24 yards in the loss.
Matthew Cox led all Logan ball carries with 47 yards on 12 carries, while catching six passes for 19 yards. Daniel Browning marked 39 yards on two carries, with one reception for a 20 yards and a score. Tyler Browning led LHS receivers with 53 yards on four receptions, followed by Jamal Minter with 36 yards on four receptions.
This is the third time Point Pleasant’s offense has surpassed 500 yards this season, but this is the first time an opponent has gained over 250. In four games PPHS has outscored opponents 247-to-28 including 127-to-15 in the first half.
Point Pleasant is now one of six Class AAA schools that remain unbeaten on the season. The others include Cabell Midland, Jefferson, Morgantown, Huntington, and Wheeling Park, which has a 2-0-1 record.
PPHS has now topped Logan in four consecutive head-to-head meetings. The Big Blacks will return to action at Gallia Academy next Friday at 7 p.m.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.