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Ranson, Lidderdale to enter Parkersburg High School Football Hall of Fame

Joe Lidderdale

PARKERSBURG — Two more Big Red football players will enter the Parkersburg High School Football Hall of Fame tonight at Stadium Field.

Eric Ranson from the 1989-91 seasons and Joe Lidderdale, who played 100 years ago, will be honored at induction ceremonies prior to today’s PHS football game against Hurricane.

Ranson had a spectacular three-year career that coincided with the end of the Buddy James coaching era and the beginning of the Marshall Burdette coaching era, according to the hall of fame committee.

Ranson was a rare three-year starter at quarterback for PHS and earned second-team all-state recognition as a junior and first-team all-state honors as a senior as he led Burdette’s first Big Reds squad to a 5-5 mark.

He graduated from Parkersburg High as the all-time passing leader with 4,248 yards, 29 touchdown throws, 302 career completions and 4,649 total yards.

Eric Ranson

Kennedy Award-winning QB Marc Kimes came along in 1999 and now owns the career yardage, touchdowns and total offense marks but only Ranson and Kimes, among Parkersburg players, have ever thrown for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, the hall of fame group said.

The 6-1, 175-pounder Ranson culminated his career in 1991 with 1,538 yards passing and 13 touchdowns.

Ranson is the commercial service director at Astorg Motors in charge of heavy duty fleet trucks. He has three sons, Ethen, Jaxen and Gaven and partner Bobbi Bumgarner.

One-hundred years ago the Parkersburg Big Reds were declared West Virginia state champions. That team had only 15 football players.

First-team all-state guard Joe Lidderdale (1901-1950) and line mate Kenneth Ferrell, blocking for quarterback Jack Armstrong, powered Parkersburg to a 7-1 record and its second straight state title.

PHS hosted Morgantown on Thanksgiving Day in a game billed as the unofficial state championship game. The offense scored twice and the defense scored twice, capped by Lidderdale’s 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown as the Big Reds won 26-7.

Parkersburg allowed only 19 points to in-state opponents in 1919 and suffered its only loss to Allegheny High of Pittsburgh in a game called the Championship of the East, said the hall of fame committee.

Lidderdale scored three touchdowns for the Big Reds and was the team’s leading receiver but it was at guard where he and tackle Ferrell made the most impact, blocking for and protecting Armstrong, who was the captain of the all-state squad. All five Parkersburg linemen received either first-, second- or third-team all-state recognition.

Lidderdale died in 1950 in Fresno, California. The hall of fame committee could not locate any of his relatives.

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