FAIRLEA, WV- The Alleghany Cougars arrived in Greenbrier County for the first time as Cougars on Friday night, Sept. 15 and they brought speed, talent, and power with them.
The Spartans (0-4) hung around early, but not much longer after, as Alleghany defeated East 49-10 in front of a large crowd on both sides of the field for the “Battle of the Border” and A.B.K. trophy.
To put it simply, the game was, well, kind of weird. Alleghany kicked the ball off to open the night and Mason Hale kicked a line drive that bounced and rolled toward the end zone. The Spartan returners thought the ball was going across the goal line, but it stopped at the 1-yard line and the Cougars’ Rocklynn Phillips pounced on it.
On the next play, Purcel Turner got in from a yard out, Alleghany (4-0) converted the 2-point pass attempt and the Cougars led 8-0 just three seconds into the game.
However, at this point in the game, the Spartans would answer. Brody Hamric connected with Abram Wickline on a 54-yard pass and a couple plays later, Hamric hit Kaden Stone in the end zone for a 4-yard TD pass. Nate Suttle caught the 2-point pass and East tied the game at 8-all with 9:20 left in the first quarter.
However, it did not take the Cougars long to answer. Three plays later, on the subsequent drive, quarterback Des Jordan took a direct snap and shot through the line and raced 71 yards to the end zone for a 15-8 lead at the 8:01 mark of the first quarter.
Alleghany’s Sarge Persinger killed the next Spartan series when he sacked Hamric and forced a punt. Then, the Cougars were right back at it again. Following a 27-yard run from Carter Nicely, and after taking a sack from Grant Burdette and James McCraw, Jordan hit Xzavier Hayslett for a 22-yard gain. Three plays later, Turner got loose again, this time on a 21-yard TD run and Alleghany extended their advantage to 21-8.
McCraw then recovered a fumble two drives later that got the ball back to the East offense, but after a good 20-yard run from Carter Hamilton, Hamilton fumbled going towards the end zone and Phillips recovered again for the Cougars.
The East defense stepped up this time and forced a punt which worked out in the Spartans’ favor. A high snap forced Persinger to just pick the ball up and run it through the back of the end zone for a safety and the Spartans tacked on two points to their total for a 21-10 lead for the Cougars.
And that would be as close as East would get.
Turner scored two more touchdowns for the Cougars, a 1-yard run and a 2-yard run, Hayslett had a 24-yard touchdown catch, and Nicely punched in the final nail when he scored from one yard out as well.
After the game, the Cougars received the “A.B.K.” trophy and celebrated on the Spartans logo at midfield.
The Spartans had just 149 total yards and just 38 on the ground. Hamric was 13-23 for 111 yards. Burdette had five catches for 24 yards. Hamilton led the Spartans on offense with 59 yards on 10 carries.
Alleghany racked up 263 rushing yards with eight different players running the ball led by Jordan’s 85 yards and a score. Turner finished with 46 yards rushing, 29 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Hayslett got a TD on 68 yards and four catches, and Hu. Knighton and Nicely each had 52 yards rushing with Nicely scoring a touchdown as well.
Immediately following the game, Turner credited the Cougar offensive line for his scoring success throughout the “Battle of the Border” game. “It was a great team win,” Jordan echoed, also giving credit to the team as a whole for their dominance on the field. Gavin Via concluded with a confidence that could have been heard from Casey Field as he shouted, “Give us anybody! We’ll beat ’em! We will beat ’em!”
Alleghany will head to Radford on Friday, Sept. 22.
Greenbrier East will be off next week and will travel to Princeton to take on the Tigers on Sept. 29.
Stats courtesy of 103.1, WRON.
Alleghany TD 11:57 Purcel Turner 1-yd run
Gbr East TD 9:20 Kaden Stone 4-yard reception
Alleghany TD 8:01 Turner 21-yd run
Gbr East Safety 7:41
Alleghany TD 9:17 Turner 1-yd run
Alleghany TD 5:44 Turner 2-yd run
Alleghany TD 8:24 Xzavier Hayslett 24-yd TD reception
Alleghany TD 3:43 Nicely 1-yd run