Entertainment comes in many forms. One of those forms was on display Saturday night at Parkersburg High's Stadium Field.
The Mid Ohio Valley's own semi-profession football team - the MOV Falcons - played host to the Jackson County Patriots in the final regular season contest for both programs.
While the game lacked the artistry and athleticism of the National Football League, there were just enough outstanding plays in Jackson County's 21-14 win to allow the game to fall into the entertainment field.
For those fans unaware of the Southern Ohio Semi-Pro Football League, it is made up of eight programs whose players and coaches participate because of their "love for the game". They aren't signed to million dollar contracts. They don't even have lucrative commercial deals where they use their fame to push products from Gatorade to Viagra.
The game pitted two first-year programs.
MOV had players that had participated on other semi-pro teams in the area while Jackson County's roster was made up of players who played their high school football at SEOAL members Jackson, Wellston and Oak Hill.
For athletes who practice no more than one or two days a week, the level of play was better than expected. What wasn't a surprise was how the defense dominated the offense.
Both teams scored when the other was on offense. South Carolina native Chris McCorkle got the hosts on the scoreboard with a 99-yard interception return five minutes into the second quarter while the Patriots' Dalton Matney returned the favor when he closed the first half scoring by picking off an MOV pass at the Falcons' 17 and bulled his way into the end zone.
Defense continued to be the name of the game during the second half as the Falcons' prevent unit held Jackson County's run-oriented attack to only two first downs - one coming via a roughing the punter penalty -and, more importantly, off of the scoreboard.
However, the Patriots' defense was up to the task as MOV's only points after the intermission came on a 5-yard pass from former W.Va. Wesleyan baseball standout Gary Williams to Southern Mississippi's Mike McGee with 8:34 left in the game.
Williams and Company had several opportunities over the final eight minutes to pull out the come-from-behind victory, but each time Jackson County's defense was up to the task.
But, other than seeing the hometown team win, isn't that what fans want to witness?
The only part of the game that was not up to the standards one expects when attending a contest on any level was the special teams. But, then again, when you only practice once or twice a week, those are the units that normally receive the least amount of attention.
Something the sparse crowd that attended the contest wasn't subjected to was a sideline of players filling the air with profanity. A sign that these young men understand that, to get people in the stands, your team has to be entertaining and keep the language clean.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org