PCHS ranked No. 4 (and may be better)

Published 7:52 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

COMMENTARY

Maybe it was a lapse in judgment or maybe Mountain Heritage head coach Joey Robinson and his staff saw something they thought they could take advantage of early in their game against Polk County High School.

Either way, with the score tied at 13-13 Friday night, Mountain Heritage inexplicably went for a 2-point conversion instead of kicking the point-after attempt for a one-point lead.

The Wolverines reeled off the next 28 points in a 41-19 victory, so the Cougars never got another chance at that lead.

But that odd decision says more about PCHS football this season than anything about Mountain Heritage, a Class 2A state finalist in 2009.

The unbeaten and fourth-ranked PCHS (6-0 overall, 2-0 Western Highlands Conference), is the type of team that makes opponents do things they would not otherwise do, including strategical lapses.

PCHS is the last of the unbeatens in western North Carolina. The Wolverines have won six games all but one (the season opener at Tuscola) by comfortable margins.

The book says not to chase points with 2-point conversions, especially early in the game. Had the game not been tied say, had the Cougars been ahead by a point the gamble would have been more understandable.

In that case, Mountain Heritage could have gone up by three points, forcing PCHS to kick a field goal for a tie. The problem is, nobody not even the folks holding up the Overholt for Heisman poster with the word Heisman crossed through thought the Wolverines and Overholt were going to be shut out of the end zone for three full quarters.

So, why go for two? Youre trying to get an edge against a team that has one on you.

PCHS plays smart. Theyre composed. And they can beat you in a variety of ways. Against Mountain Heritage, it was the option game with Overholt rushing for 197 yards and four touchdowns while mixing in the occasional big play through the air to senior wideout Ryan Thomas, who had five receptions for 105 yards.

This week, Mitchell (3-3, 1-1) is in the PCHS barrel as the WHC schedule continues, and Overholt has vowed that the Wolverines arent overlooking anyone.

PCHS head coach Bruce Ollis, whose team has inherited his gritty, down-to-business personality, wont let that happen this year.

Overholt watched Mountain Heritage go on a magical run to the state title game a year ago and sees the possibilities this year for the Wolverines.

But for this team, it will be less about magic and more about keeping the kind of focus that makes other teams lose theirs, just as theyve done so far this season.