SOUTH CHARLESTON - Parkersburg High School gave its best defensive effort of the season here Friday night, but the Big Reds came up two points short in dropping a 21-19 decision to South Charleston in a Mountain State Athletic Conference contest.
Parkersburg (2-3) was victimized by a poor start as the Big Reds allowed South Charleston to score on its second possession of the game on a 20-yard pass from Kantre Grier to Fred Crosier for a 7-0 Black Eagles lead with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
Then, on Parkersburg's next possession, Marquell Hampton intercepted a Big Red pass at the PHS 31 and SC needed just two plays to take a 14-0 lead on a 21-yard Grier-to-Kevin Forrest pass.
But Parkersburg didn't quit. The Big Reds fot on the scoreboard late in the first quarter when Aaron Roberts intercepted a pass at the Black Eagles 10 and returned it for a TD. A missed extra point left the PHS deficit at eight, 14-6, with 1:20 left in the opening stanza.
The score stayed that way until midway through the second quarter, when Parkersburg took advantage of a short South Charleston punt and drove 33 yards to paydirt with Roberts scoring from a yard out with 3:54 left in the first half. PHS decided to go for two but Roberts' pass fell incomplete.
It took South Charleston (4-2) just two plays to get that score back as the Black Eagles returned the ensuing kickoff to the PHS 34 and then scored when Forrest scored from 5 yards out for a TD and a 21-12 lead.
The second half was a defensive battle with neither team able to crack the end zone until Roberts hit Josh Trembly with a 14-yard TD pass with just 1:29 to play. Josh Roney's extra point cut the deficit to 21-19, giving hope PHS could pull out a last-minute win.
But, South Charleston recovered the onside kickoff and managed to run out the clock, preserving a hard-fought win in an evenly-matched game.
PHS was led by Chase Shank, who rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries. PHS ran the ball 45 times for 173 yards.
The Big Reds will hit the road again next Friday, traveling to Beckley to meet Woodrow Wilson.