By NICK BROCKMAN
For HD Media
POCA - For the second time in as many weeks, Poca running back Ethan Payne carried the load and lifted the Dots to a commanding victory.
Payne, a junior, finished with 12 carries for 304 yards and five touchdowns as Poca defeated Chapmanville 48-7 Friday night at O.O. White Stadium. With the win, the Dots improved to 2-0.
"I think this is the best game he's played since he's been here," Poca coach Seth Ramsey said of Payne. "He's really worked hard in the offseason to get where he is, and I'm real proud of him, real happy for him."
Payne continued his early-season success against the Tigers (0-2) after rushing for 294 yards on 13 carries and four touchdowns in Poca's 40-28 win at Nitro in Week 1.
"He's doing a good job setting up his blocks and he's done a really good job of reading holes," Ramsey said of Payne. "The offensive line, the fullbacks, the tight ends and receivers are blocking their hind ends off."
In the first half against the Tigers, Payne scored on touchdown runs of 1, 60, 38 and 11 yards in succession. Payne nearly added a 70-yard punt return for a score, but a holding call negated the touchdown.
"I'm just seeing the holes and running as fast as I can through them and trust my blockers," Payne said. "The line did really good tonight creating holes. I owe it all to them."
Chapmanville showed promise early by scoring on a 73-yard pass play from Chase Berry to Waylon Hensley. With the successful extra point, the Tigers trailed 13-7 with 8:03 left in the first quarter.
From that point, though, Payne and the Poca running game continued without much opposition. Poca answered Chapmanville's touchdown with three more scores in the first half, with two from Payne and one by fullback Dillon Taylor. At halftime, the Dots led 34-7, as Payne amassed 223 yards on 11 carries.
"Obviously, Ethan Payne's kind of in a level by himself," Chapmanville coach Rob Dial said. "We couldn't tackle him tonight, but I'm proud of my team. We hung in there, we fought, we moved the ball offensively, but four turnovers - it doesn't matter who you play, you're not going to win those games, and when you play a good team like Poca, you're certainly not going to win."
Payne carried just one time in the second half, but it was a 71-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Later in the third, Payne's younger brother Toby Payne scored the game's final touchdown on a 36-yard pass from quarterback Jay Cook.
In addition to Ethan Payne's stellar offensive production, the Poca defense shined bright by forcing five fumbles and recovering four.
"The defense played really good today, especially after the first quarter," Ramsey said. "We gave up a big play, but we kind of settled in. We got a lot more physical and we did a lot better job fitting our gaps."
* Hensley had a big night for Chapmanville, catching nine passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. QB Berry was 13 of 21 passing for 168 yards and one score.
Josh Bumgarner ran with the ball 12 times for 43 yards. Jaxson Turner had 12 rushes for 25 yards.
On defense, Caleb Whitt led the way with five tackles and two assists. Bumgarner had five solos and one assist.
Hensley had three solos and one interception, while Josh Atwood had three solos and two assisted stops. Nate Walsh had three solo tackles and one quarterback sack. Alex Freeman also had three tackles.
Alex Turner had two solos. Evan Plumley had one solo and two assists. Turner finished with one solo tackle and one assist.
Kaleb Green, Charles Stallard, Hunter Lambert and Gabe Silva all had one tackle. Elijah Stollings and J.T. Craddock both had an assist. Berry punted four times for 35.5 yards.
Poca was penalized 14 times for 85 yards. Chapmanville had seven yellow hankies for 65 yards. Poca next plays at Braxton County at 7 p.m. Friday, while Chapmanville hosts Winfield at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Logan Banner sports editor Paul Adkins contributed to this report.