Updated Sun, Nov 18, 2012 5:12 pm
The Wahama White Falcons may not have been playing in the comforts of their own stadium, but they definitely had the home-field advantage in a West Virginia Class-A playoff game against the Greenbrier West Cavaliers.
A large crowd of White Falcon fans made the trip to Point Pleasant High School to watch their team pull out a tough, 21-12 victory.
The victory sends Wahama to their third-straight state semifinals in Class A.
West took the opening kickoff and drove into White Falcon territory, but the drive would stall on the 27-yard line. At three different times, the Cavaliers converted on third down.
Wahama drew first blood on a 72-yard drive the first time they possessed the ball. Senior quarterback Trenton Gibbs could not find an open receiver, so he pulled the ball down and covered the remaining 46 yards himself. Zack Wamsley added the extra point and they held a 7-0 lead with 4:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Greenbrier once again was able to mount a drive, but failed to produce points. Junior quarterback Malik Boatwright led his team into the White Falcon red zone, but then fumbled on the 10-yard line with 11 seconds left in the quarter.
After a Wahama punt, senior running back Tyler Parker got the Cavalier offense rolling. His bruising running style was spotlighted on an 18-yard touchdown run in which he ran over multiple Wahama defenders. The massive Greenbrier offensive line opened up holes for Parker all afternoon. They elected to attempt a 2-point conversion after each touchdown, this one unsuccessful and the score was 7-6 with the advantage to Wahama.
Wahama came out and scored in their first possession of the second half. They were able to get into the Cavalier red zone after a tipped pass by a West defender landed in the arms of Wahama receiver Colton Neal, which was good for 43 yards. Gibbs took care of the rest on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to put his team up 14-6 with 8:19 left in the third quarter.
Greenbrier was able to mount a bit of a comeback in the beginning of the fourth quarter. They were able to cut the White Falcon lead to 14-12 thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run by Boatwright. The tying two-point conversion pass was knocked down by Gibbs for Wahama, keeping his team in the lead.
Wahama showed why they are a perennial powerhouse for the rest of the final quarter.
Behind the overpowering backfield of Gibbs, Kane Roush, and Wamsley, the White Falcons took out a large chunk of the quarter on a 15-play drive. The drive was kept alive by a successful fake punt. The end result was a 10-yard touchdown run by Roush that put his team up 21-12 and clinched the win.
Wahama will face Magnolia in the West Virginia Class-A State semifinals Saturday at 1:30 p.m.