South entertains Morgantown for homecoming
PARKERSBURG — Entering the last four games of the season, every contest remaining on a team’s schedule becomes a crucial one.
For Mike Eddy’s Parkersburg South team, the last four games loom larger than just the fact these are the closing contests. Hosting a playoff game stands as a real possibility for the currently WVSSAC eighth-rated Patriots. A feat yet unaccomplished in the Eddy era.
Chances for bonus-point accumulation are ripe for the picking in the coming weeks as South closes with three top-15 ranked teams in Class AAA and one just outside the playoff picture. Possible victories worth quite a few of those precious points.
Onlookers may think Greenbrier East peers in from outside the postseason party unbelieving the other three teams are out of the big dance.
Yet, Morgantown (3-4) stands as the team in need of wins quickly for a chance of additional games added to its slate. Matt Lacy’s group, currently experiencing an up-and-down season with little consistency from contest to contest, ranks 17th in the above-mentioned ratings.
Offensive efficiency is a gigantic question mark week to week for Morgantown.
After a 45-point offensive output against PHS in the opening game, the Mohigans scored 17 and 7 points respectively in their next two losses, only to score 63 against Brooke, then struggle to beat Linsly in overtime a week after the convincing win over the Bruins.
Especially rough as the defense has played well enough to keep Morgantown in games. The Mohigans’ three losses before Wheeling Park came by a combined 26 points.
Park shut out the Mohigans, 31-0, last Friday.
Despite the struggles, Eddy and his team aren’t taking this group lightly at 7 p.m. Friday. One season ago, Morgantown arrived at the Erickson All-Sports Facility with a powerful running game which racked up 314 yards rushing on 53 carries in a 31-10 road win. Running back Ty Konchesky ran for 228 yards and three scores on 22 carries in a game which got away from the Patriots after halftime, where they only trailed 17-10.
Konchesky returns one final time to Erickson this season, leading his team in rushing again. He has 432 rushing yards, including a 116-yard effort and the lone touchdown in a 13-7 loss to Mussleman one week ago.
The Patriots aren’t just focusing on one player though.
“They don’t run a lot of formations, but they are difficult to game plan for because they don’t put together anything that signals much of a tendency,” said Eddy. “We have to be fundamental on defense. We have very few opportunities to stop just one guy; we can’t overload on position and erase just one player … You hurt yourself.
“From a win-loss standpoint, they have struggled this season,” continued Eddy. “As far as the football team goes, they are better than the record shows. We need to be prepared to play a great football team.”
Great describes just about everything his team did last week in a 70-0 win over winless Brooke. The Patriots received contributions from all three phases of the game in the victory. South players ignored the Bruins and played to the best of their abilities, according to Eddy.
Something Eddy hopes to see again this week, especially with homecoming festivities Friday night at Erickson.
“We have to minimize distractions,” said the coach. “This is homecoming week and there are going to be extra events the kids are going to participate in and rightfully so, because it is part of the high school experience. We have to make sure we are focused. With the veteran leadership on this team, I don’t think it will be an issue.”
SCHEDULES AND RESULTS
Aug. 23: d. Parkersburg, 45-35
Aug. 31: lost to Steubenville, 21-17
Sept. 7: lost to Fort Hill (MD), 16-7
Sept. 14: d. Brooke, 63-6
Sept. 21: d. Linsly, 31-28 OT
Sept. 28: lost to Musselman, 13-7
Oct. 5: lost to Wheeling Park, 31-0
Oct. 12: at Parkersburg South, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: John Marshall, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: University, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24: d. Ripley, 27-7
Aug. 31: lost to University, 24-7
Sept. 7: lost to Athens, 26-16
Sept. 14: d. Princeton, 37-0
Sept. 21: d. John Marshall, 35-7
Oct. 5: d. Brooke, 70-0
Oct. 12: Morgantown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: at Greenbrier East, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26: Wheeling Park, 7 p.m.
Nov. 2: at Parkersburg, 7:30 p.m.