WAYNE — Poca is celebrating the 2019 football season like its 1978.
Ethan Payne broke the West Virginia single-season scoring record that stood for 41 seasons, and the Dots concluded their first 10-0 regular season since the same year as Poca defeated Wayne 32-0 Friday night at frosty Pioneer Field.
Payne scored his 44th touchdown of the season on a 40-yard run in the second quarter, giving him 264 points, breaking the record of Pineville High School’s Curt Warner, who scored 263 points in 1978.
“I just knew I had to get there as quickly as I could before they caught me,” Payne, who was still holding the football 20 minutes after the game, said of the record breaking run.
“It feels awesome,” the soft-spoken junior said. “I’ll probably carry this until I get home and put it on my dresser.”
Payne finished the game with 226 yards on 15 carries and four touchdowns. His final regular-season totals include 2,367 yards rushing, 43 rushing touchdowns and 46 total scores, for 276 points.
As for the contest, Poca’s defense limited Wayne (1-9) to just 115 yards of total offense. Meanwhile the Dots finished with 365 yards of offense. Jay Cook threw for 114 yards and a touchdown, a 20-yard connection to sophomore Toby Payne. The Dots will host a playoff game next weekend at O.O. White Stadium. Poca lost in the opening round in 2018 when a hobbled Ethan Payne made a game effort to return from injury but had limited effectiveness.
Payne said he is fully healthy heading into the 2019 playoffs.
“We’re just trying to win and get to the next round,” Payne said. “It’s an indescribable feeling.”