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South flies by Woodrow

Patriots pick up win No. 1 with 42-6 stomping

Parkersburg South’s Cyrus Traugh (1) and Levi Rice (11) try to bring down Cabell Midland’s Jacob Caudill in the Patriots’ opener last week. The Patriots picked up their first win of the season Friday night in Beckley. Photo by Joe Albright

BECKLEY — One of the uncertainties surrounding Parkersburg South this season was settling on a replacement for quarterback Brandon Penn.

Sam Schuler seems to fit the bill nicely.

The Patriots senior threw for five touchdown passes in leading his team to a 42-6 win over Woodrow Wilson at Van Meter Stadium.

South (1-1) is coming off an 11-win season that ended with a Class AAA semifinal loss at eventual state champion Martinsburg. Penn was a big reason for that success, finishing as a Kennedy Award finalist and the winner of the J.R. House Quarterback Award.

“Last year he was Brandon’s backup, but he still got tons of reps in practice. We always had him ready,” second-year South coach Nate Tanner said. “His development throughout last year has made a big difference for this year. This summer he worked his tail off despite all the COVID-19 thing. He’s just capitalizing on his hard work right now. He’s executing what he’s being coached to do. He’s just a really great kid, too, so it’s nice to see.”

The Patriots’ first five scoring drives ended with Schuler TD passes, including 64 yards to Levi Rice to make it 7-0 late in the first quarter.

He also hit Landon Francisco from 63 yards out to put South ahead 21-0 33 seconds before halftime.

His other touchdowns went to Braedyn Jones (11 yards), Cyrus Traugh (21) and Gage Wright (9).

Schuler unofficially was 26-of-31 for 350 yards and threw one interception. And he did it all with a sidearm-type delivery.

“Something I always tell our quarterbacks, sometimes that’s a position that can be overcoached,” Tanner said. “Everybody talks about their delivery, certain things with their footwork, and we do pay attention to those details, work on their mechanics every single day. But whatever they feel most comfortable with, if they’re able to deliver the ball on time and get it to where it needs to be, that’s what we roll with. We don’t overcoach it.”

Devin Gaines ran for a 10-yard touchdown with 4:56 to play to close out the scoring for the Patriots.

Woodrow (0-2) was able to avoid the shutout when Maddex McMillen connected with Jake Colucci for a 3-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.

South is scheduled to visit Princeton next Friday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m.

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