Point earns crucial win to stay undefeated in conference play

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, October 7, 2023

By Pacey Strickland

 

The Point Skyhawks are 2-0 in conference play after winning an instant classic on Saturday against Bluefield University. 

It all came down to the very last play. The Rams’ offense drove down the field to set up the game-winning 42-yard field goal attempt. The kick went wide left, and Point left with a 33-31 win as time expired. 

“I mean, it’s immense,” Point coach Trevor Zeiders said. 

“I can’t even speak to how big it is. It just creates momentum. They played us really hard. I told the guys all week, I said it was going to be a heavyweight fight. They’re going to throw some punches, we’re going to throw some punches. Hopefully, whoever lands the last blow wins. We kicked that field goal, ours went through. Theirs, thankfully, did not.” 

Matt Moses kicked a 12-yard field goal with just under three minutes left in the game that ended up being the difference. Moses hit several big field goals and helped the Skyhawks with field position at punter. 

“Without him, we don’t win,” Zeiders said. “That’s what I actually just told them in there. Without Matt making those field goals, extra points and hitting those punts, we’re not there.” 

The Skyhawks started the game as well as any coach could ask. Cortez Thomas intercepted Nathan Herstich’s pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned it for a touchdown. The extra point gave Point an early 7-0 lead. 

“That thing set us on fire, that thing got us going,” Zeiders said. 

The Skyhawks defense kept the momentum on the ensuing drive, forcing Bluefield to go three and out. The offense could not get much going in the first half. 

On the Skyhawks’ first offensive drive, Sensir Carnes’ fumble was recovered by the Rams at their own 35. 

Three plays later, Bluefield’s punt was blocked by Dylan Carden and recovered at the one-yard line. Brent White took it in with a quarterback sneak and Point took a 14-0 lead with 12:16 left in the first quarter. 

“When you get those plays, those are momentum plays,” Zeiders said. “Those are things that just help chew up everything, and it had them frustrated. They weren’t on the field a ton. They’re used to controlling the ball.” 

The tide turned at that point, and it was all Rams for the rest of the first half. Herstich got Bluefield on the board with a five-yard quarterback keeper to cap off the 71-yard drive. The extra point cut Point’s lead to 7. 

Point’s offense turned the ball over again to start the second quarter. White’s pass was intercepted by Eric Boyd. The Rams took over from the Skyhawks’ 25 and found the endzone on a 5-yard pass from Herstich to Nate Monroe. The extra point tied the game at 14 with 12:10 left in the second quarter.

Neither offense moved the ball for the rest of the first half, and it was tied at 14 at halftime. 

The Skyhawks came out firing to start the second half as White found Emery Bryant for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave Point the 21-14 lead with 12:17 left in the third quarter. 

The Rams answered back with a 13-yard field goal to cut the lead to four. Point punted on the ensuing drive, but it was muffed and recovered by Jakari Nobles at Bluefield’s 15-yard line. A few plays later White found the end zone on a quarterback sneak to give the Skyhawks a 27-17 lead with 1:47 left in the third quarter. 

Herstich got the Rams going with an 83-yard touchdown pass, the longest play from scrimmage on the day, to Thomas Lee. The extra point cut Point’s lead to three. 

Two field goals by Moses gave Point a 33-24 lead with 3:50 left in the game. The Rams over 46 yards in one minute and cut the lead to two. 

The Skyhawks could have ended the game on offense, but they could only gain one yard in three plays. The Rams got the ball back with 55 seconds left and drove down the field before the eventual missed 42-yard field goal. 

The win improved Point’s record to 3-3 on the season. The Skyhawks look to start 3-0 in conference play on the road against Union next Saturday.