Big Reds hold on
QB Singer had 223 passing and 171 rushing yards
PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg exploded for 28 points in the opening quarter Friday night at Stadium Field and then held off pass-happy Hurricane for a key 42-28 Mountain State Athletic Conference victory.
Third-year head coach Mike Byus’ No. 13 Big Reds, now 4-3 with a home game next Friday versus Spring Mills, scored on their first four possessions, only to have the No. 15 Redskins make a game of it by scoring thrice in the third.
Nate Barham’s third touchdown catch from Austin Womack in the third quarter — an 18-yarder — made it 35-28 with 16.5 ticks left in the stanza.
However, the only scoring in the fourth quarter came on an Anthony Craig 1-yard TD plunge at the 7:59 mark. His TD was set up when CJ Wade stripped Womack and Justin Waybright recovered his second fumble of the affair. In the two previous PHS drives, punter Matt Curry had boots of 47 and 35 yards to help keep HHS pinned deep.
“They are a good football team,” Byus said of the Jeremy Taylor-coached 3-5 Redskins, who visit South Charleston next week. “I think they probably played a little flat in the first half like we did last week (at George Washington). It’s what I said a couple weeks ago. You could throw us, GW and Hurricane in a hat, shake them up and it might come out different in a round-robin every time.
“I’m pleased that we played such a good first half. The second half, I don’t understand why we can’t play two halves. We started our second half off with two straight drives of lack of focus penalties. It takes you out of drives and you keep giving them chance, chance, chance, chance. We’ve just got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.”
The Big Red offense was firing on all cylinders early. In fact, PHS had 22 first downs at halftime and held a 460-137 advantage in total yards. PHS finished with just one second-half first down and held a 499-434 margin in total yards.
PHS sophomore quarterback Bryson Singer got the fans going with a 47-yard keeper on the game’s first play. The scoring drive ended when Braeden Mason, who had six catches for a game-high 157 yards, hauled in a screen pass that went for 13 yards as the senior made a jitterbug move, turned up the field, raced down the sideline and dove inside the pylon. Sam Potts made the first of his six extra points for the early 7-0 lead.
Following a Singer 31-yard gallop, he found Carter King open down the seam for a 37-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead at the 8:36 mark.
Womack, who finished 41 of 67 for 434 yards, hit tailback Christian Hill for a 65-yard catch-and-run TD to cut the deficit in half just 12 ticks later after Cole Bumgarner’s PAT.
After Singer bolted in from 30 yards out, the PHS defense held and Mason snared a fade with a leaping catch for a 14-yard touchdown and a 28-7 bulge with 1:27 still showing on the first quarter clock.
Although JT James returned an interception 44 yards for the Redskins, which led to a first-and-goal opportunity at the 7, the visitors fumbled the snap on third down and Waybright recovered. Four plays later and following a hold, Mason broke free down the middle of the field and Singer hit him in stride for a 90-yard TD bomb.
Barham’s first two TDs after the break covered 35 and 60 yards.
In the first half alone, Singer was 9 of 14 for 223 yards and had 18 rushes for 160 stripes. He finished 10 of 20 for 234 yards and added 171 rush yards on 26 attempts. Craig churned out 85 yards on 17 totes.
Hill was held to just 14 yards on 13 carries, but had 10 catches for 85 yards. Overall, HHS was held to negative 2 rush yards on 20 attempts. Aside from Hill, Abel Cunningham (11-92), Barham (5-115), Ryan Moses (10-122) and Chase Hager (5-22) did all the receiving damage.
Hurricane ended up with 22 first downs while the Big Reds were flagged 13 times for 82 yards.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org