Hawks blast South, 56-14

MORGANTOWN -Hawks are considered to be birds of prey.

You would get no argument from Parkersburg South’s football team, which ran into a hungry group of Hawks from University High School here Friday night who feasted on the young and struggling Patriots, 56-14.

It didn’t take University long to establish its dominance. Ironically, its initial score came on a special teams play when Jack Armstrong fielded a South punt at the University 28 and returned it 72 yards for a 7-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first quarter, a quarter that saw South manage four first downs but never enter University territory.

Any hope the Patriots (1-4) had of upsetting the Hawks (3-1) quickly disappeared in the second quarter as University scored on all three of its possessions in the decisive stanza.

First, Jase Neville scored on a 15-yard run, finishing off a short 34-yard drive set up by Tony Richardson’s 30-yard punt return. Then, senior quarterback Travis Renner hit Armstrong with a 15-yard TD pass for a 21-0 lead.

Following that score, South finally went on a drive of its own, getting the ball to the University 39 with less than two minutes remaining. But, instead of a Patriot score and some momentum to end the half, Armstrong intercepted a South pass and Renner scored on a 27-yard run with 32 seconds left. It was 28-0 University at intermission and the Patriots appeared to have no answers for a more veteran and talented opponent.

Things got no better for South at the start of the second half as University scored the first two times it got the ball on a 3-yard TD run by R.J. Martin and 1-yard scoring run by Dylan Cole. It was 42-0 Hawks with 3:39 left in the third quarter.

That’s when South went on its initial scoring drive, marching 66-yards with Cody Smith scoring from 8 yards out with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

But University scored on its next two possessions, first when Isiah Utt recovered his own fumble and ran it 4 yards for a score and then on a 26-yard run by Jeremy Hunter with 4:15 remaining that made it 56-7.

South then scored the game’s final TD with Smith -playing quarterback -taking a bootleg 65 yards with 36 seconds to go to make the final 56-14.

University ran the ball 35 times for 313 yards and six rushing TDs while South was led by Smith with 115 yards on 14 carries and quarterback Garrett Gilkeson completed eight of 18 passes for 107 yards.