Hunter Moses led PikeView to the promised land.
The PikeView senior had 313 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns, leading the Panthers to a 23-12 win over Shady Spring on Friday night for their first season with at least two wins since 2010.
PikeView (2-3) took a 16-6 lead at the break, keyed by a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown by Moses in the opening quarter. He also had an 8-yard run to the end zone before the half, and a 36-yard scoring dash in the final period.
“Our kids played well. The kids played four quarters of football, if we had played that way all season, we could be 4-1, if not 5-0,” PikeView second year head coach Bobby Wyatt said.
“Like Hunter said, ‘It is easy to run when they block like that.’”
Moses finished with 254 yards yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
“He made some good open field moves to get more yardage,” Wyatt said. “Last year he was more of a straight ahead runner. When he gets in a hole he can make people miss now.”
Defensively, the Panthers also stepped up big when it counted most, led by Jonathan Jennings, who had four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Richard Edwards and Bradley Flinchum were also recognized by Wyatt for their efforts on that side of the ball.
“Our defense played well,” Wyatt said. “We had them inside the 10 twice and once inside the 5 and stopped them. We gave up some yardage.
“They ran straight at us, we struggled with that and bent a little bit, but broke only once (on a touchdown pass in the first quarter).”
Alex Testerman also added a 30-yard field goal for PikeView and made a pair of extra points.
PikeView, which was 1-9 in 2011 and 0-10 last season, has defeated Independence (9-6) and the Tigers, while dropping a trio of close calls to Summers County (18-12), Liberty (14-13) and James Monroe (24-13).
“Easily,” said Wyatt, in thinking his Panthers could have had more wins. “To me we didn’t put it together at Liberty like we should have, we were stale in the second half. Honestly against James Monroe, they came to play and we went through the motions and they gave River View a fit last night.”
Then there was Summers County, which is 5-0, with four of those five wins coming by seven points or less. That included a 27-20 win over Greenbrier West on Friday.
PikeView will face Greenbrier West on Friday in what is homecoming for the Panthers.
“My speech to our kids, and I have already started it with them,” Wyatt said. “We knew how we played with Summers County and we really had an opportunity to come away with an unforeseen upset.
“They are starting to figure out what this game is about and what it takes to get to the next level of winning.”
Shady Spring, which was led by Tyler Hansen with 114 yards rushing, three receptions and a touchdown, dropped to 1-4 on the season.
“Give PikeView credit. A real scrappy bunch and well coached. They played hard and got after it,” Shady Spring head coach Vince Culicerto said. “Our boys, same stuff with the mistakes. We had the ball inside the 5 twice and didn’t score.
“(It was) one of those games where you had chances to score some points and didn’t. It’s still a learning process.”
Shady Spring.....................6 0 6 0 — 12
PikeView.............................9 7 7 0 — 23
PV: Hunter Moses 60 punt return (kick failed)
SS: Drew Green 30 pass from Tim Culicerto (Kick failed)
PV: Alex Testerman 30 field goal
PV: Moses 8 run (Testerman kick)
PV: Moses 36 run (Testerman kick)
SS: Tyler Hansen 15 run (kick failed)