By Shirley Shuman
Playing on their own field because of their number one seed, the BCHS football squad faced the Spencer Yellow Jackets, the number four seed, in the first game of the CWVAC playoffs. The Knights, with a 38-14 victory over the Yellow Jackets, earned the right to play for the conference championship.
In first-quarter action, both teams demonstrated strong defense. Failing to develop any offense, the Knights and Yellow Jackets traded punts throughout the first quarter, which ended at 0-0.
The second quarter, however, began “with a bang,” as BCMS head coach James King declared. From midfield, Braxton’s Jackson Lewis raced untouched all the way to the end zone to score the first points of the game. Logan Payne ran for the two-point conversion, and the Knights led 8-6. Spencer wasted no time in answering. On their next possession, the Yellow Jackets drove downfield and scored from the one-yard line. Their conversion attempt failed, leaving the Knights with a two-point lead. Now alive, Braxton’s offense went to work again. Once more, Lewis scored from midfield. Mason Smarr caught a conversion pass from Landon Mays, and the Knights were up 16-6 at halftime.
Braxton’s lead moved to 22-6 as Bryson Moats returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. The conversion attempt failed. Spencer pulled closer on their ensuing possession. This time the Yellow Jackets scored on a short catch-and-run and added a successful conversion to pull within eight points of a tie. That score did not stand long as Braxton added another TD on first down of the Knights’ first drive of the second half. Logan Payne scored on a long run, and Lewis added the two point conversion to move Braxton’s lead to 30-14.
The Knights’ final score came midway through the fourth quarter. A pass from Payne to Moats for another touchdown followed by Mason Smarr’s pass to Ashton Stewart for the conversion put the final score at 38-14, and the Knights’ place in the championship game was set.
Commenting on his team’s performance, Braxton’s head coach, noted, “Spencer came out with a great game plan. The Spencer coaches had their team well prepared. Playoff football games should be between two tough teams, and this game did not disappoint. I’m very proud of how Braxton played throughout the game. They showed poise and patience but also showed determination. They have worked so hard this season, and I am so excited to see them play for a championship next week.”
The coach added, “ It will be a historical moment. Braxton County Middle School has never played Summersville twice in a single season for football. It’s going to be another tough game.”
Kickoff for the CWVAC football championship game is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 26, at the Memorial Stadium in Summersville. See additional photographic coverage of the Knights’ win on Page 6 of this issue.
By Shirley Shuman