PHS faces Cabell Midland on the road

PARKERSBURG — Six games into his capacity as head football coach at Parkersburg High School, Mike Byus feels “like we’ve played well most of every game all year. I can’t look back at a game and just say we just did not play well this week.”

That in the wake of the Big Reds’ 4-2 record and No. 9 rating this week in the WVSSAC Class AAA rankings with a date at 7 p.m. Friday on the road at No. 15 Cabell Midand (3-3).

“This is six games into both a brand-new offense and defense for these kids,” said Byus. “We’re going to make a mistake here and there, but they’ve been very resilient, faced adversity and battled back. All in all, you’ve got to be happy with them.”

“I’m proud of them, they’re progressing, the coaching staff has done a great job and the kids are enjoying themselves and working hard. So I can’t ask for much more.”

After Cabell Midland, PHS is at home the next two Fridays versus No. 7 Hurricane (4-2) and No. 19 Riverside (3-4) before taking that short cross-town trip over to the Erickson All-Sports Facility to face Parkersburg South in the annual regular-season finale on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

“Cabell and Hurricane are both good, Riverside’s played with people (this year) and South’s a rivalry game, so they’ll all be tough,” said Byus. “But we’ve got to worry about what we do, you know.”

What PHS did, though, last Friday night at Stadium Field had to at least give Byus a little smile. The Big Reds rolled up a total offense total of 482 yards with 350 of that coming through the air as quarterback Kam Mace went 26-for-31 passing and threw for three touchdowns, and another 132 yards rushing in besting Woodrow Wilson, 34-8.

PHS led 27-0 at the half, and dominated play throughout as the Flying Eagles finished with just six first downs, only 70 yards rushing and 77 passing and had three passes intercepted.

“As always with a coach, you find things you can fix,” related Byus. “There’s those things that we need to keep doing better. And obviously there’s some things that we’re doing well that we want to keep doing well, as well as fix the things that aren’t working.”

Byus who started as the PHS head honcho on June 14, said that “Cabell is big and strong like always. They’re a downhill football team. They’re going to run the football, they’re going to run it right at you, and throw it maybe three or four times a game at the most.

On defense, the Knights are a 4-4 base team. “But most of all, they’re a fundamentally-sound football team,” added Byus.

“To win a game, especially on the road, the first goal is to get in the game,” said Byus. “We’ve got to go down there and compete with them, and battle back and forth a little bit, and if we can get into the fourth quarter with a chance to win, then that’s all we can ask.

“But this particular week against Cabell, we’ve just got to play with a lot of grit and determination.”