PARKERSBURG-It wasn't the christening Big Red fans were hoping as host Parkersburg dropped a 55-20 decision to Mountain State Athletic Conference rival Capital Friday night at newly refurbished Stadium Field.
"We always knew (that we'd play here)," Parkersburg head coach Don Reeves said. "Back during the summer the committee set today (Sept. 20) as the target date and three weeks ago the community really came together to make it happen.
"It's just very disappointing that we didn't play better."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Capital's Tyrhee Pratt points downfield for blocking during a touchdown run against Parkersburg Friday as the Big Reds' J.D. Barnette gives chase. The Big Reds lost, 55-20.
Capital, the No. 7 ranked Class AAA team in the first WVSSAC rankings, improved to 3-0 on the season with a contest against Kanawha County rival South Charleston while Parkersburg (1-2) will look to rebound when it plays host to Ohio River rival Marietta at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.
In a game which featured big play after big play, the first came from a player wearing red and white.
After an opening drive stalled at the Cougars' 41, the Big Reds' Kyle Foster punted the ball down to the visitors' 4-yard line. With 96-yards to get to paydirt, Capital put together a four-play drive that reached its own 41.
On the next play, however, junior running back Kashuan Haley was stripped of the ball and Parkersburg's Dan Fox picked up the loose ball at the Cougars' 46 and raced untouched for the game's first touchdown. Josh Roney would add the point and the near-sellout crowd cheered its approval as the hosts took a 7-0 lead over the heavily-favored visitors.
It wouldn't last long.
On its ensuing drive Capital needed only two plays to knot the score at seven as sophomore quarterback Tyhree Pratt scrambled for 26 yards to put the ball and mid-field and then connected with Cliff Pratt for the 50-yard scoring pass with 6:15 remaining in the opening quarter. Logan Garrison added the PAT to tie the score at seven.
The only tie of the game.
On its next possession Capital needed only one play to score as Haley, who finished with 150 yards on 10 carries, raced 77-yards for the score. Garrison's second PAT gave the visitors the lead for good, 14-7, with 3:24 still showing on the stadium scoreboard.
Those would be the final points of the quarter, but not the half as the Cougars would tack on two more scores on runs of 12 and 51 yards by Tyrhee Pratt, who finished with 128 yards and four touchdowns on eight carries and 283 yards passing on 13-of-19.
"Their quarterback is a true dual threat," Reeves said. "He can throw the ball, but he really hurts you with his legs. It seemed like every time we missed him, they'd score."
And, score the visitors did, adding two more touchdowns in both the third and fourth quarters while Parkersburg received a 1-yard scoring run from sophomore Noah Weaver with 10 minutes left in the game and a 15-yard scoring pass from former-Wirt County quarterback Josh Trembly to Fox with 30 ticks left in the game.
The Big Reds finished with 114 yards on 50 rushes with Weaver leading the way with 30 yards on nine carries. Trembly and starting quarterback Aaron Roberts combined to complete 9-of-18 attempts for 148 yards on the night. Fox was the team's leading receiver with five catches for 85 yards and one touchdown.