MAN — The Man High School football team has two games left and the Hillbillies are playing for pride.
Man (2-6) is scheduled to play at Pocahontas County (3-5) on Friday night, a week after losing 34-12 at home to Class AA No. 14 Roane County.
Pocahontas County won 41-12 at home last week against winless Tygarts Valley.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Pocahontas County High School in far-off Dunmore, located along the Virginia border and about a four-hour trip.
Pocahontas opened the season with four straight losses — setbacks to Tucker County (29-0), Parkersburg Catholic (20-14), Pendleton County (26-20) and East Hardy (39-0). PC then won 27-19 at Richwood on Sept. 21 and scored a 7-0 victory at home over Bath County, Va., before falling 42-6 on Oct. 5 at home to Greenbrier West.
Man lost at home to Pocahontas County, 13-7, last season.
With last week’s defeat to Roane, the Billies have no chance of finishing with a break-even 5-5 season. Instead, it will be the third straight losing campaing for Man after reaching the Class A state championship game at Wheeling in 2009.
Man coach Harvey Arms said it’s important for his young team to finish strong this season and pick up a win on Friday night at Pocahontas County and a victory next week in the finale at home against Tug Valley.
“That’s what we’ve been telling the kids,” Arms said. “We have a lot of kids coming back next year. We need to finish this season out with a couple of strong performances in the last two games. Hopefully, it will give us a push into next season.”
The Warriors have a small roster with only 26 players on the team. Only nine players are 200 pounds or better but Pocahontas County has been successful at pounding the football despite its lack of size.
“They are pretty much a power type of football team,” Arms said. “They like to line up in tight formations and run the ball. They throw the ball but not much. In a way, they are kind of similar to us. On defense, they put a lot of guys into the box and try to make it hard for you to run the ball. They are similar to us in a lot of ways.”
The Billies hung tough with the Raiders last week, trailing just 14-12 at the half after a 4-yard touchdown run by David Belcher and a 1-yard TD plunge by Neal Mullins.
Roane County, however, outscored Man 20-0 in the second half.
The Raiders outgained Man in total offense 311-216. Roane rushed for 211 yards to Man’s 169 on 49 carries and added another 100 yards passing. Keffer was 2-for-8 passing for 47 yards for the Billies.
Braden Griffin rushed 15 times for 40 yards for Man. Belcher led the Billies on the ground with 80 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Keffer was 2-for-8 passing for 47 yards for the Billies.
Noah Maynard led the Man defense with six tackles, including two for loss.
“We thought that we played pretty well in the second half last week but then we gave up a long run on a quarterback sneak,” Arms said. “We didn’t pick up a kickoff and they scored another one right at the end of the game. We thought we were playing pretty well. But offensively, we were not making the big play that would have got us ahead.”
Arms said the Billies are currently working on completion of their 2013 football schedule but are short two opponents.
“We’re still working on it but there will be a couple of changes,” he said. “We haven’t picked up anybody yet for those two spots.”
Arms said it’s going to be a long trip on Friday night to Dunmore.
A win would make the trek back a lot more enjoyable.
“It’s four hours at least,” Arms said.