Big Reds prevail, 35-26

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg High and host Parkersburg South came into Friday night’s season finale with a total of only five wins.

But they both gave their fans in attendance at the Erickson All-Sports Facility an entertaining game to remember as it took the Big Reds scoring with 25 seconds left to ensure a victory by a 35-26 margin.

PHS finished at 4-6 with the win, while the Patriots ended up with 2-8 mark.

Corey Burdette, who rushed for 147 yards on 22 carries, got the Big Reds on the board first, capping a short five-play, 27-yard drive after Austin Life recovered the first of four South fumbles in the game at 6:47 of the first quarter.

From the South 6, Burdette bulled over the left side into the end zone at 4:52 for a 7-0 lead.

The ensuing kickoff return by Brendan Schwendeman all the way to the PHS 31 set up the Patriots for a 25-yard field gosl try that was wide at 2:48.

Then PHS marched 80 yards to go up 14-0 when, from the South 17, Josh Trembly lateraled out to the left to Aaron Roberts, who lofted a high-arcing pass to Life, behind his defender, in the middle of the end zone at 10:18 of the second stanza.

But this time, South responded with a TD to cut the deficit in half at 14-7. A 32-yard pass to Cody Boggs, who snared six psases in the game for 121 yards, put the ball at the Big Red 49, from where Schwendeman rolled left, got through defenders to the sideline and raced to paydirt at 8:58.

PHS, though, then recovered an onside kick attempt at the Patriot 44 and proceded to drive to the 2 – thanks to an 11-yard 4th-and-7 scramble by Roberts to the 23 -to score at 4:02 on a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak by Roberts for a 21-7 advantage.

South, however, made it a one-touchdown game, 21-13, at the half on a 59-yard march – helped by a Cody Smith 3-yard run on a 4th-and-2 from the Big Red 38 with 1:04 left until intermission – culminated with a Garrett Gilkeson-to-Schwendeman aerial scoring hookup from 36 yards out at the 33-second mark.

The third quarter saw the Big Reds tally on a 34-yard scoring strike from Roberts to Life at 8:55 to lead 28-13.

And South, looking poised to score at the PHS 17, fumbled away the football again on a double-reverse handoff, with Big Red Max Chefren pouncing on it to halt the Patriot threat at 6:47 of the third period.

But South came right back to close the gap to 28-20 on a 1-yard run by Boggs at 2:53 on the third, only to see Charlie Conley recover a Patriot fumble at the PHS 25 with 9:03 to play.

Still South was resilient, going 64 yards on its next possession to make it 28-26 with 4:53 remaining on a 20-yard pass from Gilkeson (who threw for 236 yards on the night) to Boggs, but had a tying two-point conversion pass broken up by Hamilton in the end zone.

PHS, though, then put the game away when Roberts scored from 3 yards out with just 25 ticks left for the game clincher.