BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Trailing 14-0 at halftime to Morgantown, Bridgeport was staring at their first regular season loss in nearly a year. Two lengthy drives and two blocked kicks from senior Carson Winkie allowed the Indians to escape with a 17-14 overtime win in their home opener at Wayne Jamison Field.
“In the second half I told them, ‘It was up to you guys. There were no secret plays we were going to pull out’,” Bridgeport head coach John Cole said.
After a scoreless first quarter, Morgantown put together a pair of long scoring drives in the second quarter. The Mohigans marched 78 yards on 11 plays, capped by Cam Rice’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Preston Fox. Late in the half, Rice scored on a 2-yard plunge to give the Mohigans a 14-0 lead at the half.
The Indians received the opening kickoff of the second half and ran nearly ten minutes off the clock on an 80-yard drive. Brian Henderson’s 4-yard scoring run cut the BHS deficit in half at 14-7.
In the fourth quarter, Trey Pancake capped a 14-play, 98-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14.
“Just way better execution,” Cole said. “For some reason, we couldn’t move anyone in the first half. That’s on us. I give Morgantown credit. They came out in something we didn’t think we were going to see. But our kids had seen it before. It was effort and fundamentals.”
Bridgeport’s defense began to take control of the line of scrimmage in the second half. “They did a good job of taking Preston Fox away and that was obviously part of their game plan,” Morgantown head coach Matt Lacy said. “We stuck with our base game plan but hats off to them for holding us down to fourteen points.”
Morgantown had a chance to take the lead with 1:20 left in regulation, by John McConnell’s field goal attempt was blocked by Bridgeport’s Carson Winkie.
MHS possessed the ball first in overtime, but another field goal attempt was blocked by Winkie.
“We had a senior leader both times make those blocks,” Cole said. “He’s about 6-foot-2 and he is one of the best players we have.”
The Indians gained seven yards on their first three plays as they took the ball in overtime. Cole summoned junior kicker Austin Springer to attempt a 30-yard field goal. The kick split the uprights as the Indians capped a stirring comeback.
“He was kicking good in warmups,” Cole said. “He has been kicking good in practice. So I felt confident in giving our line the opportunity to block for him. They did and he put it through.”
The Mohigans are 0-2 with one-score road losses to a pair of quality opponents.
“It is a myriad of things,” Lacy said. “We had two field goals blocked. And we have to be more consistent moving the ball on offense.”
“Unfortunately, we are running out of bodies,” Lacy said. “We are banged up a little bit. At one point earlier this week we had fourteen guys on our injury report. In high school football, that is tough to replace.”
“We are going to have to regroup,” Lacy said. “We have a tough Fort Hill team coming into town and if we let this thing hang around, we will be 0-3.”
The Indians improved to 2-0 and will return to Big 10 Conference play at Liberty next Friday.
“I can’t be prouder of our kids. You are down 14-0 and it would have been easy just to go through the motions for two quarters,” Cole said.