Doddridge runs through PCHS
PARKERSBURG — Doddridge County wasn’t about to let Parkersburg Catholic put a damper on the team’s playoff momentum during each squad’s final regular season game Friday night at PHS Stadium Field.
Lance Binegar’s Crusaders may have held the early advantage, but Bobby Burnside’s Bulldogs romped to 67 unanswered points in a 67-6 triumph.
“There is no team in America that is just going to go out and give you the game,” said Burnside, whose team finished the year 8-2 and on an eight-game win streak. “I told the Catholic coach his kids have a lot more heart than many other team’s we have seen because they went out there and played their guts out even with that many kids. And you know what … That first drive they had was really, really good. They busted a nice run with No. 5 (Ty Sturm) and we started to play a little better, a little harder, realizing we can never have one guy or more than one guy take a play off during the game.”
Defense played a big role in the victory as it has done all year for the green and gold. The unit forced five turnovers. Three of those were picks, with two of those returned for scores. Griffin Devericks and Hunter America each found paydirt after QB pickoffs.
“I saw the quarterback look left and I took it and intercepted it,” said America of his 26-yard interception return. “I just kept on going and cut it again and was gone.”
America also had a strong showing on offense, rushing for 161 yards on seven carries with three scores.
“He has such a bright future,” said Burnside on America. “He has tremendous ability to change directions.”
Seth Davis made sure special teams wasn’t left out after he returned a short opening second-half kickoff 65 yards for a score.
Despite all the positives, Doddridge had a few ugly penalties that hurt them.
One of those flags was a personal foul on the opening kickoff, which helped move the Crusaders to the DCHS 49-yard line.
Catholic running back Ty Sturm wasted little time taking advantage of the Bulldog miscue as he raced 47 yards on the first play of scrimmage to the Doddridge County 1-yard line. The junior running back, who ran 21 times for a hard-fought 105 yards, found the end zone three plays later for a 6-0 lead with 9:59 left in the opening period.
“It (penalties) is an area we just have to continue to work to improve on,” said Burnside. “Penalties definitely hurt us tonight.”
Doddridge’s offense needed all of 15 seconds and one play to respond when America weaved in and out of the Crusader defense for a 65-yard score.
From there the floodgates opened as America scored three more times, and Doddridge put up point totals of 35 in the second and 19 in the third to pull away.
The Bulldogs now await their playoff opponent at 1 p.m. Sunday inside the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission’s office. Unofficial projections have the Bulldogs finishing at No. 12 to face No. 5 and 2016 Class A champion St. Marys in the opening round of the playoffs.
“It feels great going to the playofffs my sophomore year,” said America. “It is going to be great. I am looking forward to it.”