Cabell Midland hands Big Reds first loss of season

ONA -Teran Barnitz rushed for three touchdowns and teammate Kasey Thomas added two scores, including one on a punt return, as Class AAA third-ranked Cabell Midland handed Parkersburg its first loss of the season in Friday night’s 40-7 victory.

PHS, which was limited to six yards rushing on 15 carries in the first half, slips to 1-1. Cabell Midland improves to 3-0.

Special teams hand a hand in Cabell Midland’s first touchdown of the night. After holding the Big Reds to a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, Thomas hauled in the punt and raced 66 yards for six points. The point after put the Knights in front 7-0 with 10:19 still remaining in the first quarter.

Cabell Midland nearly struck again midway in the period on its first official offensive series and moved the ball downfield inside the PHS 10. The Big Reds, though, were able to make a stand on fourth down for a turnover on downs.

After failing to convert a first down on their first three drives, the Big Red offense put together a sustained drive late in the first quarter. Quarterback Aaron Roberts hooked up with Daniel Fox for a 33-yard completion as PHS penetrated Cabell Midland’s side of midfield.

Several plays later on third-and-7 from the Cabell Midland 15, the Big Reds committed a costly mistake and fumbled the ball in the backfield.

Cabell Midland made the most of the PHS turnover and covered 86 yards in less than five minutes. On two occasions, running back Alex Childers got the carry on fourth down and kept the march alive.

Barnitz capped the drive with an 18-yard touchdown and following the extra point, the Knights increased the gap to 14-0 at the 7:41 mark of the second quarter.

A pass interference call on PHS just before halftime allowed Cabell Midland a fresh set of downs near the goal line and Barnitz found the end zone on the very next play from inside the 2-yard line. With 1:35 showing, the Knights led 21-0.

In an attempt to keep Cabell Midland off-balanced, PHS recovered an onside kick to open the second half. The drive, though, stalled when the Big Reds were stopped for no gain on fourth-and-one from the Knights’ 30.

PHS forced Cabell Midland to punt on its first offensive series of the second half, but following the sixth punt by Big Reds’ Kyle Foster the Knights chewed off huge chunks of yardage on its next possession and completed a five-play, 57-yard drive when Thomas scored from 9 yards out.

With 4:07 left in the third quarter, PHS trailed 28-0.

PHS then produced positive yardage and converted several first downs on the ensuing series and entered the red zone but placekicker Josh Roney missed the field goal from 22 yards.

Cabell Midland then provided the exclamation point as Barnitz carried from 15 yards out to increase the deficit to 34-0 with 7:45 remaining in regulation.

The Big Reds ruined Cabell Midland’s shutout bid near the five-minute mark. After the two teams exchanged turnovers, PHS took over on the Knights’ 23. One play later, Melvin Stubbs found paydirt on a 20-yard run. With the extra point, PHS cut the difference to 34-7.

Cabell Midland tacked one more TD with Alex Childers’ 9-yard run, and with 2:53 showing the Knights padded the lead to 40-7.