Pisgah has won the County Clash for the seventh year in a row.
Although there wasn’t much scoring in the 56th iteration of the rivalry game, which was featured for the 10th time in the Great American Rivalry Series, it was clear from the outset that Pisgah had control, and The Bears maintained that control all game to walk away with a 14-0 win.
Throughout the game, Pisgah’s defense stifled the Mountaineer offense, stopping several runs at or behind the line of scrimmage while frequently forcing quarterback Coleman Bryson out of the pocket to avoid the pressure of the Bears’ front seven, which also managed to get a few sacks.
After Tuscola began the game by going three and out, Pisgah executed a long, steady drive featuring several runs by Cain Early, who switched from receiver to running back to fill in for the injured Levi Cagle. However, despite taking the ball all the way down to The Mountaineers’ 3-yard-line, The Bears lost a gamble on fourth down and turned the ball over when quarterback Korey Griffith failed to reach the end zone on a keeper.
Early in the second quarter, the game still scoreless, Pisgah used a fierce running attack with Early and full back Hunter Cseledy to drive the ball 68 yards for the game’s first touchdown on a 4-yard rush by Early. Following a successful two-point conversion on a Kain Fortney run, The Bears took an 8-0 lead — a lead they’d carry into halftime.
Both teams went back and forth for the majority of the third quarter with little success until The Bears, after starting at their own 22, got the ball all the way to the Tuscola 4 but turned it over on a botched handoff to Early. It looked at first like Tuscola might be gaining traction, but The Milltown defense held strong after a couple Mountaineer first downs to force the punt.
Pisgah started with the ball at its own 40 yard line. After a long drive featuring multiple successful third-down conversion that ate precious time off the clock, Early again found the end zone on a 13-yard run. After a missed extra point, The Bears led 14-0 with just over 7 minutes left in the game.
On the next drive, although Tuscola made some good things happen on offense, after a Pisgah strip that ended up falling back into Mountaineer hands for a big loss and a subsequent sack, Tuscola couldn’t overcome the huge yardage on 3rd down and had to again punt, giving Pisgah the ball with under 5 minutes left as Tuscola fans began heading for the parking lot.
Check Monday’s Mountaineer for a full recap.