PHS invades George Washington

PARKERSBURG — A pair of three-win Mountain State Athletic Conference programs looking to gain some traction for a possible Class AAA home playoff berth will collide at 7:30 p.m. Friday when No. 10 Parkersburg tangles with No. 12 George Washington.

The 3-3 Patriots of head man Steve Edwards Jr. got a defensive stuff against Hurricane to outlast the Redskins last week in overtime, 28-27. HHS went for the win, but tailback Christian Hill was held out of the end zone on the two-point try.

GWHS, which lost to the Big Reds 32-7 a year ago at Stadium Field, received 16 rushes for 73 yards from tailback D’Anthony Wright in last week’s win.

Patriot signal-caller R.T. Alexander, who added 41 rush yards on 12 attempts, had a big night passing. He went 19 of 26 for 295 yards with four scoring strikes and one interception. His 20-yard connection with Brayden McCallister was the difference in overtime after Michael Hughes, who missed a 30-yard field goal at the end of regulation, converted the extra point kick.

“When he was younger he was more of a pocket guy. He’s a junior now. He’ll tuck it and run,” said Big Red boss Mike Byus of Alexander, who tossed two TD passes to Alex Mazelon and another to Luke Grimm last week.

“We’re trying to get as much speed as we have on the field to cover their guys and not make ourselves unsound in the run game. Typically, they are not completely balanced, but they are more balanced than maybe I’ve seen them in the past with the pass-run ratio.”

PHS entered its bye week at 3-2 after closing out September by doubling up Marietta, 42-21, on homecoming. That contest featured the return of tailback Anthony Craig, who nearly hit the century mark in the victory.

“Awesome. Wish we could have another one,” Byus quipped of the week off. “It was as good a time of any to have a bye. I think we’re healthy and we worked on some things and we’ll get refocused and hopefully we won’t have too big of a hangover from being off last week, won’t be too rusty and be able to get right back at it.

“No rest now until you’re done. They are a four-front team. They play a lot of man so we’ll have to run certain types of routes and we’ve been working on those during the week. Just execute well on the run game and we’ve been working on staying in our double teams a little longer and not come off of them so we can get movement up front.”

The hosts will have to contend with Big Red defensive ends CJ Wade and Justin Waybright. Wade leads the team with 51 total stops, seven sacks and eight tackles for loss. Waybright has four sacks and Mike linebacker Gage Fiore is second with 47 total tackles.

“We’ve got to be able to protect against the pass, but not get so weak against the run they just run all over us,” Byus said of the red and white stop corps.

Bryson Singer’s 532 rush yards on 81 attempts, good for 6.6 yards per carry, leads PHS. He’s also 39 of 85 for 712 yards through the air with six TD tosses and a quartet of interceptions.

Braeden Mason leads PHS with 28 catches for 482 yards and has one receiving score. Sam Potts has been the home run threat thus far with three TDs on seven catches for 234 stripes.

“We’ll have a chance. I think so. I hope,” Byus added. “You can’t win a game if you don’t get in a game.

“We’ve got to go in there and get in the game and compete and if we do that we’ll have a chance to see what we can pull out.”