For the second straight week, the Pisgah Eagles scored 40 points and lost. On Friday night, in Rainsville, Class 3A, fourth-ranked Plainview ran past the Eagles 54-40.
“When you score 40 point, you are supposed to win,” said Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt, whose team dropped to 0-2.
Plainview’s triple option attack, led by quarterback Noah White and running back Braiden Thomas, proved too much for the Eagles as they ran up 502 rushing yards without attempting a pass.
“If we could have gotten lined up right defensively, it would’ve been a better game,” said Pruitt. “We’ll look at the film. We’ve got to get it fixed defensively.”
Starting a lot of freshmen and sophomores, the Eagles kept fighting until the very end. Plainview built an early lead and never relinquished it, answering the Eagles offense each time it got closer.
The Bears built the lead in the first quarter, taking their first offensive drive 68 yards. White capped the drive with 29-yard touchdown run. White threw to Sam Crowell on the two-point conversion, making the score 8-0 with 8:27 left in the quarter.
After recovering a fumble on a punt return, Pisgah threatened late in the quarter, driving to Plainview 11-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Thomas made them pay quickly as he broke loose on an 89-yard score one play later. Thomas scored on the two-point try, making it 16-0 to end the quarter.
Sophomore Fox Tinker set up Pisgah’s first score, returning the ensuing kickoff 32 yards to the Plainview 31. Ryhan Barrett capped the short drive with a one-yard touchdown run. A try for two failed, leaving Plainview ahead 16-6 with 10:09 left in the half.
The Bears answered quickly as Andrew Hall raced 51 yards to the Pisgah 35. Two plays later, Thomas scored on a 22 yard run. Thomas added a two-point conversion, pushing the lead to 24-6 with 8:55 left in the half.
Plainview added to the lead, marching 68 yards in 13 plays, capped by a 10-yard scoring run by Hall with 1:00 left in the half. Thomas scored for the third time on a two-point drive, increasing the lead to 32-6.
The Eagles battled back as sophomore quarterback Mason Holcomb completed a 33-yard pass to Jake Hendricks, and then two plays later, lofted a 34-yard strike to sophomore Jacob Kirby for a touchdown. The two-point try failed, leaving Plainview ahead 32-12 at the half.
Pisgah cut into the lead in the third quarter after Barrett recovered a fumble. Holcomb connected with Tinker for a 30-yard completion, and two plays later, Barrett pushed in on a one-yard touchdown. Holcomb connected with Barrett for two points, cutting the lead to 32-20 with 7:00 left in the quarter.
Again, Plainview answered, scoring the next two touchdowns to increase the lead. White scored on a 36-yard keeper, followed by a 19-yard touchdown keeper to increase the lead to 46-20 with 9:47 left in the game.
A resilient Pisgah team kept fighting. Holcomb connected with freshman Luke Gilbert on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Law scored on a two-point conversion, cutting it to 46-28 with 9:31 left.
After forcing a punt, the only one of the night for Plainview, Pisgah drove 94 yards to cut into the lead even more. Behind Holcomb and Kirby, the Eagles drove to the Plainview two-yard line, where freshman Legion McCrary scored on a two-yard run. The try for two failed, but the lead was cut to 46-34.
Thomas capped his night on Plainview’s next possession, scoring on a 55-yard touchdown run. White connected with Crowell for two points, pushing it back to 54-34.
Still fighting, the Eagles made one more statement as Tinker gathered in the ensuing kick, cut around the corner and outraced everyone for a 79-yard score, making the final 54-40.
Thomas led Plainview with 279 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries, while White added 105 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries and Hall finished with 71 yards and a touchdown on three carries.
For Pisgah, Holcomb finished 12-of-23 passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Kirby caught five passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, while Gilbert caught two passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Tinker finished with 223 yards on 15 touches. He returned five kicks for 142 yards and a score, caught two passes for 46 yards and rushed for 35 yards on eight carries. McCrary finished with 34 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Pisgah rushed for 93 yards on 34 attempts.
Despite the 0-2 start, Pruitt said his team still has a lot to play for as region play begins next week. Making no excuses, despite youth all around him, he said he’s ready to win now.
“One night we are going to get it all put together,” said Pruitt.