In a game of inches and momentum shifts, one play can make the difference.
Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, PikeView went for a fake punt on fourth down and failed. Liberty (Raleigh) took advantage as they broke open the game on their way to a 27-6 victory Friday night at PikeView High School.
“We started out pretty good,” PikeView head coach Bobby Wyatt said. “I thought our game plan was working. With 5:34 left in the half, its 7-0 and we’ve got the ball on our 40, fourth and three. We fake a punt and didn’t quite execute it the way I wanted to.
“We kind of rushed. Its just one of those things that put us in our mode and next thing you know we’re down 20-0 at half. We came out and played pretty good in the second half. We held them to a score and we scored one.”
The loss dropped PikeView to 0-3 on the year and was particularly tough for Wyatt.
“I’m frustrated, because I thought it was our best game plan of the year,” the veteran coach added. “I thought we were doing well, but we had a drive stall in the first half on a penalty that cost us. We didn’t recover from that.
“I saw a lot of good things on both offense and defense. We just have to find a way over the hump.”
Hunter Moses rumbled for 129 yards on 34 carriers to pace the Panthers.
Joey Lacek and Hunter Wright caused trouble for PikeView’s defense with their legs and arms. Lacek rushed for 52 yards and a score while adding 48 yards through the air. Wright threw for 106 yards and a touchdown and added a touchdown rushing.
“Like I said, defensively I thought we had our kids set up in the right place,” Wyatt said. “Their passing game caused us a little problem. We did a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback though.
“We never really gave up a real big, big play and we’ve been doing that. We never gave that up this game and I was pleased with that.”
Lacek opened the scoring with a 30-yard rush in the first quarter.
Following PikeView’s fourth down fake punt attempt, Matthew Bailey broke free for a 10-yard touchdown then Wright hit Josh Brown with a 10-yard score before the end of the half.
“From my standpoint, it changed the whole thing,” Wyatt said of the failed fake punt attempt. “We went from down 7-0 to 20-0 in less than four minutes. We had that happen in the Summers County game too.
“There was that five or six minute lapse where you give up two or three touchdowns and there is no answer to that. You can’t do that as a football team.”
Wright crossed the goal for a second time in the fourth quarter on a nine-yard rush.
Before the final buzzer could sound, PikeView got off one last play which allowed Moses to get the Panthers on the scoreboard with a two-yard touchdown as time expired.
“You can build it on,” Wyatt commented. “It’s a lot easier to know that you had a six on the board than getting shutout. To me, the score was no indication of how close it was. If you take last four minutes of the first half out of it, it’s a heck of football game.”
Moses finished with over 150 yards of total offense. He added 30 yards receiving to his 129 yards on the ground.
“Hunter is going to be Hunter, and he’s going to work hard,” Wyatt said. “He’s done a tremendous job for us since we put him back there. He’d be the first to tell you the line is working as hard as they can work.
“We’re probably oversized against everyone we’ve play so far and will be the rest of the year. They do a good job of fundamentally trying to get their steps. We mess up like just like everyone else does.”
PikeView will look to get their first win of the season this Friday night against James Monroe in Lindside.
At PikeView High School
Liberty.........7 13 0 7 - 27
PikeView.....0 0 0 6 - 6
L - Joey Lacek 30 run (Josh Brown kick), 7:34
L - Matthew Bailey 10 run (Brown kick), 4:21
L - Josh Brown 10 pass from Hunter Wright (kick failed), 0:49
L - Wright 9 run (Brown kick), 8:34
PV - Hunter Moses 2 run (no point after attempt), 0:00
RUSHING - Liberty, Matthew Bailey 13-63-td, Joey Lacek 4-52-td, Ryan Moore 7-39, Hunter Wright 4-18-td, Jake Lacek 1-2, TEAM 1-(-7); PikeView, Hunter Moses 34-129, Jordan Hardin 2-(-15), Joseph Jennings 4-21, Tanner Farley 2-16, Ryan Roberts 1-(-2).
PASSING - LIB, Joey Lacek 3-7-0-48-0; Wright 7-9-0-106-1td; PV, Hardin 4-10-0-52-0.
RECEIVING - LIB, Bailey 4-59, Jake Lacek 3-47, Josh Brown 1-10, Joey Lacek 3-38; PV, Moses 2-30, Logan McKinney 2-22.