Big-time victory: PHS sends Class AA No. 1 Bluefield back home with a loss
PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg’s defense held top-rated Class AA Bluefield to less than 200 total yards of offense on a crisp Friday night at Stadium Field as the Big Reds secured a 29-8 victory.
The Class AAA No. 18 Big Reds of head coach Mike Byus appeared as though they might be in a shootout after holding a 15-8 lead after one quarter, but the Beavers never scored again and PHS added a pair of six-pointers in the fourth.
“Great team win,” said Big Red Justin Waybright, who had two sacks on Carson Deeb and rushed seven times for 53 stripes.
“Defense just had the one big run we let up. We were supposed to lose by 30 tonight. I think we showed up to play.”
Jaeon Flack intercepted PHS signal-caller Bryson Singer to end the first series of the tilt, but what would prove to be a theme throughout the evening followed. The Big Reds got a combined sack from Austin Fleming and Jake Barnette on a second down play and Fleming then forced a punt after he batted down a ball at the line of scrimmage.
PHS put together a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive culminated by a 28-yard Singer to Carter King touchdown pass. Singer, who hit 8 of 16 attempts for 106 yards and added game-highs of 24 rushes for 141 more, was nearly sacked but stiff-armed a defender to the turf.
That score with 2:08 left in the opening stanza was answered almost immediately when Amir Hairston raced 65 yards untouched to paydirt just 18 seconds later.
Deeb’s two-point attempt was nearly grabbed by Keenan Curry, but lineman Bryce Gamble caught the deflection for an 8-7 lead.
Jordan Martin got the hosts going with a 39-yard reception to start the next drive. PHS, which got the ball at its own 44 after the kickoff went out of bounds, used a 2-yard rush by Xadrian Snodgrass and then King hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass. PHS went for two and Martin’s grab made it 15-8 with 47.2 still on the clock.
Jacob Martin’s fumble recovery in the second quarter set the Beavers (4-1) up first-and-10 at the Big Red 18, but a Deeb sneak was stopped on fourth-and-inches at the 9.
Singer had a 29-yard burst to get PHS out of its own end zone before Casey Stanley was called on to punt. Bluefield, which entertains Oak Hill next Friday, had three first downs on its last drive of the half, but a pair of passes fell incomplete on third and fourth downs with the Beavers needing 15 yards from the red and white 30.
PHS lost the ball on its first series of the second half when Juwaun Green stripped it and Flack recovered. Despite later having it first-and-goal at the 7, a holding call proved costly and the Beavers turned it over on downs.
Coach Byus’ squad, now 4-2 with a game next Friday at Woodrow Wilson, put together another 80-yard drive after the stop. This time it was 12 plays and Aaron Kupfner cradled in a 7-yard TD pass from Singer at 11:10 of the fourth. Stanley’s extra point made it 22-8.
Deeb, who finished 9 of 20 for 85 yards, hit Brandon Wiley on a 37-yard pass to get a first down on the next drive, but another holding call helped lead to a punt after Chris Farson registered a sack on third down.
Waybright then ripped off a combined 31 yards on consecutive carries and Singer later bulled in from the 4 with 5:23 to play.
“We had a great scheme,” Byus noted. “The defensive coaches worked their tails off. For the most part we did a good job tackling.
“I think one of the biggest things was we were able to get pressure tonight. I think that really dictated the game.”
Bluefield head coach Fred Simon, whose program was last held to single digits by a West Virginia team during a 54-3 setback to Wayne in 2011, said “we’ll learn from it. Getting better at practice and getting our heads better before a game. I think that’s what we are looking for.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org