PHS faces Woodrow Wilson, seeks first victory
BECKLEY — Third-year Woodrow Wilson head football coach Chad Sarrett will try and lead his Flying Eagles to their first 3-0 start since 2012 when winless Parkersburg invades for a 7:30 p.m. Friday Mountain State Athletic Conference clash inside Van Meter Stadium.
Two games into the campaign, the Big Reds of second-year head coach Mike Byus are just trying to find healthy bodies while WWHS has allowed eight points.
“It’s more about us,” Byus explained. “I’m concerned about them because they do a lot of things well. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be 2-0, but we got to handle us.
“They have a lot of people back like we do and they are 2-0 and they are flying high.”
Beckley senior tailback Micah Hancock went 65 yards to paydirt on the second play of the game last week during an easy road win versus Greenrbrier East.
Not only will the red and white defense have to contend with his running ability in their spread offense, but Jacobe Harville spells him.
Peyton Shehan runs the offense at quarterback and has a plethora of targets he can choose from in the passing game with the likes of Logan Cook, Zach Weaver, Avante Burnett and Antwon Burnett.
The good news for PHS is it appears Division I recruit Brenton Strange will see his first action of the season, but he’s been limited this week along with a plethora of his teammates.
“Tyler (Moler) is no contact this week,” Byus said of the Big Reds’ tailback, who still hasn’t had fullback Shane Miller available to block for him. “Brenton is no contact this week, but we are hoping both of them can play.
“Shane Miller is a little closer to being out of concussion protocol, but I don’t think he’s still going to be available this week. (WR) Dylan Shaver is day-to-day. (WR) Kionte Peacock, I think, if you had to classify he’d be hopeful and (WR Braeden) Mason.”
Despite all the injuries, PHS had its chances in the opener at Morgantown and wasted some key opportunities in last week’s home-opening setback to Cabell Midland.
“We’ll have to play well defensively,” Byus said if the Big Reds hope to leave town with win No. 1. “I think Brenton is going to help there as much as anywhere. Forget about the offense.
“If Brenton can help us get some stops, the other side of the defense better get ready because once he lines up on one side there might be a lot going to the other side.”
With a difficult schedule still remaining, the coach added “it’s more complicated than getting the first ‘W’…it’s what we have to do to be able to earn it.
“You don’t earn it on Friday nights. We earn it out here at practice every day. I thought this group understood that and we’re doing better at it, but recently we’ve had a little trouble getting 100 percent in practice, which is why we get two plays on and one off in a game.”
Byus continued, “we are not giving three and four straight plays of five seconds worth of effort. I take that upon myself like I do everything else and if it’s happening out there it’s my fault so I’m going to work hard at correcting.”
Win, lose or tie this week, the Big Reds will have to continue getting healthy and shore up some inconsistency issues as the season progress if they hope to make a return trip to the Class AAA postseason.
“It’s always a battle week to week,” Byus added. “It’s like we are in the SEC of high school football. There are not any bad teams. It’s a matter of how good they are.
“We have to take care of our business. We have to be true to our execution, the things we can control — turnovers, penalties.”
BIG REDS (0-2)
Aug. 24: lost to Morgantown, 45-35
Aug. 31: lost to Cabell Midland, 40-20
Sept. 7: at Woodrow Wilson, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14: Capital, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21: at Marietta, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28: Wheeling Park, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5: George Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12: at Hurricane, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26: at Huntington, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2: Parkersburg South, 7:30 p.m.
FLYING EAGLES (2-0)
Aug. 24: d. Riverside, 21-6
Aug. 31: d. Greenbrier East, 34-2
Sept. 7: Parkersburg, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14: at Huntington, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21: at Hurricane, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5: South Charleston, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12: at Cabell Midland, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 19: Capital, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26: George Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2: Bluefield, 7:30 p.m.