POMEROY — With rain pouring and wind swirling, Pomeroy’s football team opened Southeast 1B Conference play with a 26-16 win over St. John-Endicott here Friday.
The two teams combined for 13 fumbles and three interceptions in a game dictated more by the grueling weather conditions. The Pirates’ defense recovered after surrendering 52 points last week against Clearwater Valley.
Pomeroy (2-2, 1-0) recovered four of the Eagles’ seven fumbles and also came up with two picks.
St. John-Endicott opened the scoring, with a 64-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. After Pomeroy cut the lead to 8-6, St. John-Endicott returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards for another score.
The defense bounced back from there, however, as the Pirates held St. John-Endicott’s offense in check for the remainder of the game.
“They had a couple other long runs, but they had no third-down conversions,” Pomeroy head coach Sanford Bates said. “We forced them to turn the ball over on downs or punt the whole game. It was just a matter of those two plays that hurt us as far as the score.”
Wyatt Hyer led the Pomeroy offense, as the running back finished the game with 105 rushing yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns.
Hyer, who missed the first three games because of a preseason injury, scored on a three-yard run and a one-yard run in the second quarter.
“It was good to see him come back,” Bates said of Hyer. “He was a leader out there, which inspired and kept the motivation going offensively. It helped the other backs as well.”
The Eagles held a 16-12 halftime lead, but Pomeroy’s offense sparked a second-half rally. In the fourth quarter, quarterback Haven Heytvelt found Bryan McGreeby on a 19-yard touchdown pass to give the Pirates the lead.
Following the score, running back Jackson Hall put the game out of reach as he took a handoff 71 yards for a touchdown.
Bates said the Pirates focused on the ground game due to the inclement weather — to the tune of 295 rushing yards as a team.
“With the rain and so forth, that dictated that a little bit,” Bates said. “We like to throw as much as we can, but the game itself dictates how that goes. With how sloppy it was, it was safer to keep it on the ground.”
Pomeroy did have 13 penalties in the game, which Bates said the team must clean up before it hosts Sunnyside Christian Friday.
Pomeroy 26, St. John-Endicott 16
Pomeroy 0 12 0 14 — 26
St. John-Endicott 8 8 0 0 — 16
SJ — West 64 run (Lundberg 2-pt run)
Pom — Hyer 3 run (2-pt run failed)
SJ — West 78 kickoff return (Lundberg 2-pt run)
Pom — Hyer 1 run (2-pt run failed)
Pom — McGreeby 19 pass from Heytvelt (2-pt run failed)
Pom — Hall 71 run (Hyer 2-pt run)
First downs 5 15
Rushes-Yards 34-225 56-295
Passing Yards 5 72
Passes (Att-Comp-Int) 11-1-2 9-3-1
Fumbles-lost 7-4 6-3
Penalties-yards 9-80 13-125
RUSHING — Pom: Heytvelt 13-30. Hyer 23-105-2. Gingerich 12-37. Hall 7-108. McBreeby 1-15; SJ: Whinery 5-3. West 20-149. Lundberg 9-73.
PASSING — Pom: Heytvelt 3-9-1 72 yards 1 TD; SJ: Whinery 1-11-2 5 yards.
RECEIVING — Pom: Hyer 1-39. McGreeby 1-19-1. Dixon 1-14; SJ: West 1-5.