Crusaders top South Harrison, 37-14

PARKERSBURG – Class A, No. 14, Parkersburg Catholic played turnover free football here Saturday night at Stadium Field as the host Crusaders improved to 6-1 following a 37-14 Little Kanawha Conference victory against South Harrison.

The Hawks, now 2-4 with a road trip set for Friday at Tyler Consolidated, started off with a bang when Chase Jenkins returned the opening kickoff 90 yards to paydirt. After Larrin Shriver’s extra point, the Hawks led 7-0 just 16 seconds into the affair.

However, the PCHS defense was more than up to the task and allowed the visitors just 70 first-half total yards and 199 for the game. South Harrison had 110 of those yards in the fourth quarter.

Parkersburg Catholic, which is set to square off with 6-0 Valley (Fayette) on Friday at WVU Tech Stadium, answered the Hawks’ first score with a Payton Sturm 21-yard read-option keeper.

The Crusaders took the lead for good on their next series when fullback Kyle Bronski, who had 8.5 tackles, plowed his way for a 45-yard touchdown run. Bronski ran through a pair of South Harrison defenders and then leaped over another. After Peter Keiser booted his second extra point, the visitors trailed 14-7 with 6:17 left in the opening stanza.

Thanks to a sack of Sturm by Justin Blake and Cody Roy, the Hawks thwarted the Crusaders’ next drive. The Hawks, though, couldn’t get anything going as signal-caller Ian Riggleman was sacked on third down by Evan Summers.

The Hawks put together a 15-play drive and marched into the red zone, but Summers got a hand on Riggleman’s pass and it was intercepted by Christian Hushion.

PCHS got a pair of big plays on the ensuing drive – a 25-yard catch by Christian Tallman and a 25-yard run by Neal Schriner. Sturm, who used a spin move inside the 5, scored on a 17-yard scamper to give the hosts a 20-7 advantage with 2:16 left in the half.

Things only got worse for the Hawks after a three-and-out.

On the first play from scrimmage, Sturm found Nick Roedersheimer open and the two hooked up for a 72-yard catch-and-run score in front of the South Harrison sideline. Keiser’s extra point gave the hosts a 27-7 edge at intermission.

Jake Boice led Catholic with 103 yards on 14 carries, while the Hawks were paced by Jenkins’ 104 stripes on 18 totes.

The hosts scored midway through the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Roedersheimer and added their final points at 11:17 of the fourth when Keiser booted a 39-yard field goal which hit the crossbar and bounced through.

With 74 seconds remaining, Jenkins strolled into the end zone from 31 yards away and Shriver kicked her second straight extra point. Keiser just missed wide right on a 35-yard field goal attempt earlier in the game and Shriver failed on a 23-yard attempt.

Sturm hit all but one of his four pass attempts, finishing with 112 yards.

Christian Marin added 60 rushing yards on 13 attempts in the setback.