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South, Woodrow both looking to pick up win No. 1

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg South’s Sam Shuler, right, looks to pass as teammate Devin Gaines blocks during a high school football game against Cabell Midland last week at Erickson All-Sports Facility.

PARKERSBURG — Woodrow Wilson head coach Street Sarrett’s concerns about his team’s 7 p.m. Friday contest with Parkersburg South are understandable.

Chances are his Flying Eagles are in for quite the jump in competition in Week 2.

While the Patriots and his Eagles both come into this game off losses, those setbacks weren’t created equally.

Where Woodrow struggled in the red zone in a 39-12 loss to Greenbrier East, the Patriots’ offense, on just hours notice, still put up over 400 yards of offense and scored 34 points against Cabell Midland. At times, Nathan Tanner’s club played evenly with the 2019 Class AAA runner-ups.

The performance easing many of Tanner’s concerns.

“I am not worried after watching film. Something to keep in perspective is what Cabell does is unique and differs from the vast majority of the teams we play. The flexbone option takes time to prepare for and it is super tough,” he said. “They got us on a few splash plays and morale got kind of down on our sideline but I was pleased how are kids fought back.

“We just need to clean things up especially the 12 penalties. You can’t have false start penalties and holding calls behind the chains because it puts more pressure on our players. We also tackled very poorly. All of these are easy fixes.”

As such, the leader and company are confident their group can get back to .500. “We have some really good kids and I think they are resilient to things because at the end of the day they just want to play football,” he said.

Sarrett expects Tanner to have his group ready to go. “He really does a great job and we are fixing our mistakes and getting ready for the Patriots. Our defense is going to have to step up and play a lot better,” Sarrett said. “And our offense is going to have to be on point.”

For the Eagles, this means receiving solid play from quarterback Maddex McMillan and running back Hezekyiah Creasy. Creasy ran for 154 yards on 21 carries against the Spartans. McMillen completed 12 passes for 188 yards.

When the ball isn’t in their hands, it likely will be in the mitts of one of three wide receivers Tanner is making sure his defense is well aware of in Tylai Kimble, Jace Colluci and Devin Jett. Six of McMillen’s passes went to those three last week.

“They have some very explosive athletes who can get the ball out in space and do some damage. We need to game plan how we need to and our defense needs to bring a lot of pressure,” he said. “They are not going to be a pushover.

Throw in the fact this is the Eagles’ opener and that it is sure to be a hostile environment, and the Patriots further need to be on their toes. Sarrett’s certainly preparing for things to be much different in his team’s second contest.

“I am just hoping our kids step up and play football the way they have been taught and coached. Hopefully it is a successful night for us,” Sarrett said.

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