POCA, W.Va. -- Five plays into Friday's game, Poca connected on the first major blow when quarterback Justin Stewart scored on a 1-yard run.
After taking an early 16-0 lead, then withstanding a flurry of counter punches from a determined Chapmanville squad, it seemed as if the Dots had backed Chapmanville in the corner. But the Tigers mustered just enough energy to dodge the final punch and counter with its own knockout.
Facing fourth-and-15 from the Poca 22 and trailing 31-28 with a minute left in the game, sophomore quarterback Austin Berry connected with a wide-open Jacob Dingess for a touchdown pass as Chapmanville escaped with a 34-31 win at O.O. White Stadium.
"He [Berry] knew if they were cover-2, then we were going to go to Jacob [Dingess], said Chapmanville coach George Barker. "If they were singled up on Brady [Cox], then we were going to Brady. Alex [Berry] read it perfectly and laid it out there. Jacob [Dingess] made the catch and it was successful.''
Poca (1-3) still had a chance to force the game into overtime but Stewart was sandwiched between two Chapmanville players on a pass attempt and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Tigers' Christopher Brewster.
"Coach [Bob] Lemley is a great offensive mind," Barker said. "We know he is going to pick us apart. He's going to know where we are weak. If we can take the first couple of punches and survive, then we have a chance. Of course, the first couple of punches were three scores and we were able to manage the storm."
Berry, who wasn't even expected to start this season, finished 14 of 17 passing with a game-high 252 yards passing and three touchdowns for the Tigers (3-1).
"This was a great win," Berry said. "I have been in the system for a while so it wasn't really anything new to me. Going into a varsity game is a lot different but I'm having fun this year. We can go to these guys [Dingess and Cox] anytime we want. We trust them to go out and make plays."
Berry also scored on an 11-yard quarterback scramble.