By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
GARDNER — In biblical times Moses was a leader of people. PikeView High School has a Moses and this past Friday night Hunter Moses led the Panthers to victory over the Shady Spring Tigers and as a result earned Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week honors for Week No. 5.
Moses accounted for 313 all-purpose yards with three touchdowns, 254 of those yards coming on the ground and one of the touchdowns a 60-yard punt return against the Class AAA Tigers.
The PikeView senior said the team’s performance silenced some nay-sayers and got the team energized for the contest.
“Everybody was talking about how we were going to lose (to Shady) like last year,” Moses said. “We came out pumped and our line blocked every play and did amazing things. Anybody can run when the line blocks like they did.”
And running is what Moses did. PikeView head coach Bobby Wyatt talked about his running back’s game last week.
“It was a pleasure to watch him perform the way he did. We talked in preseason about cutbacks and looking not to run over people, but around them. He’s picked up on it and it was amazing to watch him, some of the moves.
“Yes, the line opened up the holes, but the second level cuts that he made were outstanding. I counted on film six runs over 15 yards. He had touchdown runs of 42 and 27 yards and the 42-yarder, I think he made about five cuts from the 20 on in, just shaking people away.”
Moses is a four year starter for the Panthers who got his start playing in the youth leagues for the Chiefs. While many young athletes look to professional players as their inspiration, Moses had two people who were up close and personal.
“I mostly looked up to Jake Lilly and Ben Nester. They’ve always been my idols,” Moses said. “Jake was always a couple of years ahead of me, but I played with Ben.”
Nester a graduate of PikeView, was a senior when Moses was a freshman, while Lilly played at Bluefield. Both are now vital cogs for the Concord University Mountain Lions.
Earlier this year PikeView broke a 19-game losing streak with a win over Independence. Moses was a freshman on the last PikeView team to make the playoffs and he knows what it’s going to take to get the Panthers back to that level.
“We are going to have to stay with what we’re doing, stay in the weight room and give it all we’ve got in practice,” Moses said. “We have to go in the weight room every day after practice and when we do go outside, we have to run through our plays and make sure we’re still at the top of our level.”
In addition to being the team’s starting running back in its newly installed spread offense, Moses is the Panthers’ starting middle linebacker and you may be surprised to know which position he prefers.
“I like the contact,” Moses said. “It makes running the ball so much better whenever you know you can back it up on defense.”
Wyatt said Moses is not the rah-rah type, but one who leads his teammates by example.
“He’s going to be in there day-in, day-out. Hardly anything holds him out. He has to be really sick or really hurt to miss practice. I don’t know that he’s missed one since I’ve been here the last two years. He’s been to everything, does everything 110 percent,” Wyatt said.
“He’s more vocal on the baseball field where he’s a catcher, than he is on the football field. He comes to work and he leads. He goes through everything, does everything the coaches ask of him. He goes from the time the whistle blows until the clock reads zeros all the way across.”
Moses is the son of Dean and Geri Moses of Oakvale. He and his Panther teammates welcome Greenbrier West to Gardner on Friday.
Player of the Week
Bland County – Isaiah Boyd returned a block punt 50 yards for BC’s only TD in loss at Eastern Montgomery.
Bluefield – Corey Coppola 151 yards rushing with 3 TDs, D.J. Stewart 124 yards rushing with 3 TDs in win at Greenbrier East.
Giles – Brett Whitlow 281 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 6 extra point kicks in win at Graham.
Graham – Colby Hill passed for 227 yards and 1 TD, rushed for 3 TDs; DeQuan Booker 9 receptions for 175 yards, 213 all-purpose yards and a TD; Dylan Cook rushed for 119 yards and 1 TD in loss to Giles.
Haysi – Jeffrey Bowen 300 all-purpose yards – 267 rushing with 5 TDs in win over Grundy.
Honaker – Casey Dye passed for 154 yards and 2 TDs, Austin Smith rushed for 110 yards and 2 TDs, Randy Horton 3 receptions for 100 yards and a TD in win at Twin Valley.
Hurley – Trey Oliver 113 yards rushing and a TD in win at Craig County.
James Monroe – Reed McNeer 108 yards rushing and 2 TDs in loss to River View.
Montcalm – Dakota Lanter 116 yards rushing and a TD in loss at Auburn.
Mount View – LaQuell Martin 120 yards rushing with 2 TDs in loss at Wyoming East.
Narrows – Joe Hall passed for 142 yards and a TD in loss at Rural Retreat.
Princeton – Jay Palmer 104 yards rushing, 1 TD, 75 yards passing in loss to Spring Valley.
Richlands – Colton Staten 201 yards rushing with 2 TDs, River Michaels 135 yards passing in win over Virginia High.
River View – Jordan Wilson 175 yards rushing with 3 TDs in win at James Monroe.
Summers County – T.J. Smith 122 yards rushing and 2 TDs with 29 yards receiving; Isaiah Brown 1242 yards rushing and a TD in win over Greenbrier West.
Tazewell – Nick Blankenship rushed for 157 yards and a TD with 6 tackles and blocked extra point, Carter Rasnick kicked 5 extra points, 7 tackles, TD reception, Malik Davis 4-of-4 passing for 110 yards and 2 TDs and 113 yards rushing with 2 TDs in win over George Wythe.
Twin Valley – Austin Shortridge rushed for 130 yards and a TD in loss to Honaker.
Week 1: R.J. Bourne, Bluefield
Week 2: Tahj Sho-Johnson, Princeton
Week 3: Rodney Perdue, Narrows
Week 4: LaQuell Martin, Mount View
Week 5: Hunter Moses, PikeView