Win, lose or draw, all you can ask of a team is to give it their best. The Pineville Mountain Lions did that on Friday, but Williamsburg was able to gradually pull away for a 42-0 win in the second round of the Class A playoffs.
“Our kids played their tails off and I’m very proud of them for that. We made them work for everything they got. What we had just wasn’t enough, sometimes that’s going to happen,” Pineville coach Bart Elam said. “It’s all about effort and heart — there was no shortage of either. I’m proud of our kids for fighting hard every single play and I’m proud of our seniors for going out like that.”
It was a much more competitive game than the Lions gave the Yellow Jackets just two weeks ago. In that one, Williamsburg put up 47 points in the first half and the game had a running clock from the second quarter on.
Pineville opened the game by recovering an onside kick, but Williamsburg regrouped to hold. The Jackets got on the board first as Michael Rose-Creekmore caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Sizemore.
The Lions contained the Jackets’ high-powered passing attack as Sizemore finished 10-of-21 for 143 yards and just the one touchdown. But Williamsburg was able to find some success on the ground.
The Mountain Lions lost a fumble on their next possession and Sizemore scored on a 30-yard touchdown run to make it 15-0 with 8:27 left in the first quarter.
From that point Pineville was able to stop the bleeding and stay in the game for most of the first half.
Late in the second quarter, the Lions lost a fumble on a reverse. Williamsburg again took advantage and Jefferson Patrick capped their drive with a 4-yard touchdown run and the score at halftime was 22-0.
“We moved the ball a little bit and got some first downs in the first half. We just couldn’t string five or six of them together,” Elam said. “We did a pretty good job defensively. If we don’t fumble the football on that reverse then we go in at the half down 15-0.”
Sizemore added a 7-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to push the lead to 29-0. Patrick added two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter that made the final score 42-0.
“We didn’t do a whole lot offensively in the second half. We never could flip the field on them,” Elam added. “That was our plan, to make it a field position game. We couldn’t do that and I think that’s what made a big difference in the game.”
Patrick ran the ball six times for 77 yard and three touchdowns to lead Williamsburg on the ground while Sizemore added 33 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
For Pineville, senior Conner Ford led the way with 47 rushing yards while Brad Fuson added eight.
Freshman quarterback Tucker Woolum completed 7 of 13 passes for 71 yards and was intercepted once. Senior tight end Dalton Ledbetter caught three passes for 51 yards, Ford three for 16 and Fuson one for four.
Williamsburg (9-2) advances the regional championship game where they will host Hazard on Friday. Hazard beat Campbellsville in the other semifinal.
Pineville ends the season with a 7-5 record.
“Not a lot of people gave us a shot at being a good team and these guys proved them wrong,” Elam said. “They took to that underdog role well. We went 7-5 and made it to the regional semifinals. I’m proud of these kids and how they have fought all year.
“Our seniors have had a winning record during their time here and won three playoffs games. I’m really proud of the way they have handled themselves, on and off the field, and I hate to see them go. They should be proud of the way they played this game.”