PHILIPPI -- You would be hard-pressed to find a more exciting game than the one Friday night.
Philip-Barbour's Colts found themselves at "gutcheck" point, down 21-12 at the half to an improving and opportunistic Buckhannon-Upshur squad. But the Colts rebounded for an exciting 30-27 victory, improving to 4-1. It was a heart-breaking loss for the 1-4 Bucs.
Scott Mayle and Josh Skidmore combined for 327 rushing yards to lead the Colt charge (Mayle 202 yards on 20 carries and Skidmore 125 yards on 18 carries).
It was another solid performance from the offensive line, but the production was oftentimes thwarted by turnovers.
Early on, the story was the young Buccaneers, behind first-year coach Eddie Vincent. Adam Squires put the Bucs on top with a four-yard run, at the 1:39 mark of the first quarter, and Shawn Dalheim's ensuing PAT made it 7-0.
The score was set up by a Jim Egress interception return to the Colt 4.
Just minutes later, sophomore Sloan Baisden raced 42 yards with a fumble recovery, extending the lead to 14-0.
Philip-Barbour answered with a pair of long scoring drives -- an 81-yard trek that culminated with a Skidmore score from the from the 1, and a 66-yard march that closed with an 8-yard jaunt from Mayle. Both conversions failed, leaving the Bucs on top 14-12.
Baisden then broke the Colt momentum, racing around right end, 64 yards to the end zone. Dalheim's kick put the Bucs back up 21-12. An end zone interception by David Post preserved the halftime lead.
Third quarter action proved to be just as exciting and bizarre as the second. Skidmore capped a 65-yard drive with a 5-yard score, but Dalheim countered with an 85-yard kickoff return to the Colt 3.
Two plays later, Dalheim was in the end zone, but, on the following drive, Mayle sprinted 50 yards to cut the lead back to 27-24.
Philip-Barbour closed the miraculous comeback, with quarterback Aaron Yeager leading a dramatic drive in the game's final minute. He found Mayle on a third-down completion to the Buc 22 with only 1:51 remaining. Two plays later he hit Mike Poling for the game-winning score with only :32 remaining.
"This win was all about heart," Yeager said. "Our backs were to the wall all night, but we never gave up."
Coach Mike Michael was ecstatic with the victory.
"I am so proud of these kids -- Buckhannon really muscled us and came up with some big plays. But our guys hung in there, and responded to the adversity," Michael said.
Baisden led the Buccaneers with 75 yards rushing on eight carries. Mayle led the Colts with a final tally of 270 all-purpose yards.