POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. --With a slew of talented players returning from last season's 8-3 Class AAA playoff squad, Point Pleasant entered its season opener against rebuilding Lincoln County as an overwhelming favorite.
Thanks in part to a quick-strike offensive attack and a turnover-plagued first half by the visiting Panthers, there was no upset at the Point Pleasant Athletic Complex Friday evening.
Bruising sophomore running back Cody Mitchell piled up 106 rushing yards, all in the first half, and scored on touchdown runs of 60, 10 and 29 yards as the Big Blacks rolled to a 70-14 win over their overmatched guests.
Point built a 56-6 halftime lead, with senior Chase Walton also contributing three first-half scores on runs of 10 and 29 yards while also hauling in a 16-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Aden Yates on the Big Blacks' first drive of the evening.
Lincoln County hurt its chances with six fumbles - the Panthers lost five of them - and throwing an interception inside the Point Pleasant 20-yard line.
The win spoiled first-year coach Derek Christian's return to the sidelines. Christian, who last coached at St. Albans in 2011, took over a the Lincoln County program that finished 0-10 a season ago.
"We started off with a negative turnover on the kickoff and it kind of snowballed on us," Christian said. "They're a really good football team with a lot of speed and they executed well.
"We just need to be more physical and attack the other team. We didn't do that tonight."