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PHS out for another victory

PARKERSBURG — It’s been nearly a month since Parkersburg’s season-opening setback at Spring Valley.

The same week the Redskins of Hurricane started the campaign with a 21-9 victory versus Huntington, but haven’t played since.

Jeremy Taylor’s club, a Class AAA playoff participant in 2019 after going 4-6, is led by signal-caller Ismael Borrero.

Fourth-year head coach Mike Byus’ Big Reds will be out for a fourth-straight triumph after dispatching Huntington last Friday, 25-14.

“We’ll just prepare and plug in their defensive schemes,” coach Byus noted of the Redskins. “They do a lot of different stuff on defense. They got a good backfield and they are pretty big and their back runs hard.”

Borrero accounted for all of the Redskins’ touchdowns against the Highlanders.

He scored twice on the ground and connected for a touchdown with JT James, who had five grabs for 80 yards.

The Big Red stop corps also will have to contend with senior tailback Tyrone Washington. He surpassed the century in the opener.

“They got a running quarterback and they will throw it some too,” Byus added. “They are not as much a pass team as they were last year, but they can still be efficient at it.”

Coach Taylor was quick to point out his squad “hasn’t practiced in two weeks. We turned red (on the state color map) Wednesday or Thursday a couple weeks ago and before that we were orange and all we could do was lift. We did lifting a couple days, lifting and running and we turned red and didn’t do anything and didn’t do anything the next week. Now we are green.

“We’ll get four practices in before we play. We got to get ready for a team that’s played four games in a row and has practiced. I am being kind of condescending. the other way is to just not play. I guess we’ll play and see what happens.”

The Big Reds (3-1) inserted Michael Owen at quarterback some during the second half of last week’s triumph and moved regular signal-caller Bryson Singer to tailback. Singer leads the team with 491 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He was plagued by drops last week and is 24 of 64 for 288 yards with four TDs and one interception.

“That’s the name of the game, you got to be consistent and you got to execute and when it comes time you got to make plays,” Byus said. “A lot of times you can attack the responsibility and divide it into thirds. Part of the responsibility is on the receivers and part of it is on the O-line and part of it is on the quarterback.

“There’s three phases to getting that done. You got to protect and get the ball in the right spot and catch it and makes plays and get open. I see signs of it getting better, so far we haven’t been able to take all three of those phases and put them together, but maybe soon. A lack of consistency on offense is the biggest thing.”

Obviously, the Redskins are more than amped to play, but coach Taylor has his reservations.

“It sucks, but what can you do?” Taylor pondered. “My biggest concern is a catastrophic injury from just playing and not doing anything for two weeks. It all leads back to not being able to do anything for four or five months. Parkersburg is pretty freaking good. They definitely got a tradition and they got an aura about them. The winningest team in the history of the state and the most state championships.

“We definitely have respect for them. I really hate their coach. I really wish he’d quit. He’s really good. No excuses. We are going to have to go play. We’re going to give it a shot and see what happens.”

Xadrian Snograss (52-218-1) is the second leading rusher for the Big Reds, who are paced in receiving by Carter King (8-95-3) and Jordan Martin (2-87-1). Justin Waybright leads the PHS defense with six fumble recoveries and four sacks. Casey Mahoney has a team-high 33 total tackles.

Freshman kicker/punter Casey Stanley has converted two field goals, made 10 of 11 extra points and has put 20% of his kickoffs in the end zone.

“He already is,” Byus said of Stanley being a weapon while adding of the Redskins, “they look pretty thick on film. You got to find an advantage. It’s hard to stop today’s offenses cold turkey. I know one thing, they (PHS defense) are working their tail off. The coaches do a great job of hard work and preparation and the kids are doing everything they are asked to do and I can’t complain at all.”

Coach Taylor is just glad to be back playing football. The coach is currently 0-3 against Byus, but he’s hoping that will change come 7:30 p.m. Friday inside Redskins Stadium.

Another area of concern for the HHS head man is “going out late in the game or whatever with our conditioning and running out of gas. That’s what I’m afraid of.

“We are going to come out and battle and fight and all that stuff. In the end, at the end of the game in the third and fourth quarters are we going to run out of gas?”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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