Opening Kickoff (Photo courtesy of Terry Harris)
Calhoun's Caleb Hart runs ball for 1st down
Jeff Goodrich catches a pass
(Photos By Patty Haught and the Hur Herald)
By Gaylen Duskey
There is an old saying that goes: "I'd rather be lucky than good."
Saturday Moorefield was both and the result was a 15-12 victory over Calhoun County in the first round of the Class A playoffs Saturday afternoon at Mount Zion.
It was the first time the Red Devils had ever been host to a playoff game.
When Tucker Smith made a spectacular interception at the Moorefield one yard line late in the game to kill a Calhoun drive, that was good.
When a miserably short Moorefield punt fluttered down and bounced off the back of a Calhoun blocker's helmet, that was luck.
And when Calhoun lined up for a punt but left a Moorefield player uncovered that was good on Moorefield's part to spot the opening and lucky that the Red Devils left such an opening.
The result was a blocked punt that gave the Yellowjackets a short field to operate on -- less than 10 yards -- and the result was the go-ahead touchdown.
Roman Rader streaks down field
Houchin hands-off to Jeremy Conley
Moorefield took a 3-0 lead on the opening drive of the game on a field goal.
But Calhoun answered that when Nick Whytsell connected from 35-yards out to tie the score 3-3.
Calhoun took the lead not long before halftime when Matt Houchin found Roman Rader on a touchdown pass. Whytsell's extra point made it 10-3.
Moorefield battled back in the third quarter and scored a short touchdown run. But it missed the extra point and Calhoun was ahead by one, 10-9, and controlling things along the line of scrimmage.
But that was when luck and skill stepped in.
First came the blocked punt.
Calhoun lined up to punt the ball away from deep in its own territory only to leave a Moorefield rusher unblocked along the line of scrimmage.
He screamed in and blocked the punt and Moorefield took over inside the Red Devils' 10.
It didn't take long for the Jackets to take advantage with a short run only to miss the try for a two-point conversion.
That made it 15-10 but left the door wide open for Calhoun to rally since a touchdown would give the Red Devils the lead and likely the victory.
That's when luck stepped in.
Calhoun stopped Moorefield's next offensive series inside the 20 setting up a punt.
The punt was shanked and short and the Red Devils appeared to have the ball inside the Moorefield 30 with plenty of time remaining.
But the ball bounced off the back of a Calhoun blocker's helmet and Moorefield recovered and was able to run more time off the clock.
Jeremy Conley goes with the ball
Hart makes long catch down field
Calhoun would not give up and stopped the Jackets again.
This time Calhoun quickly marched down the field.
That drive ended at the one when Smith laid out to intercept the pass with time running out.
Calhoun managed to stop the Jackets once more with Moorefield taking a safety with 1.2 seconds remaining to make the score 15-12.
Moorefield had a free kick to the Red Devils and was able to keep Calhoun from scoring as time ran out.
With the victory Moorefield, now 8-3, travels to Wheeling to play top-ranked and undefeated Wheeling Central Catholic.
Calhoun ends its season with an 8-3 record and its second trip to the Class A playoffs in the last three years.