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Parkersburg South drops 4th-straight in 33-19 loss vs. Linsly

South drops 4th-straight in 33-19 loss v.s. Linsly

Parkersburg South’s Levi Rice (11) runs with the ball during the team’s 33-19 loss against Linsly on Friday at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. (Photo by Jordan Holland)

PARKERSBURG — Hunter Kelley rushed for two scores, Joao Lima booted a pair of field goals and Luca DiLorenzo had two interceptions as visiting Linsly dominated the second half here Friday night at Erickson All-Sports Facility en route to handing Parkersburg South its fourth straight setback, 33-19.

Linsly, which improved to 4-2 and plays host next Saturday afternoon to Kiski Prep (Pa.), had bus issues and the game started 15 minutes late.

Returning from a one-game absence due to being banged up, Kelley was picked off by Cyrus Traugh on his first pass attempt.

Following a scoreless opening stanza, the Patriots eventually got on the board at the 8:26 mark via a 6-yard touchdown run by Devin Gaines, who finished with game-highs of 24 rushes for 151 yards.

Levi Rice converted a fake punt on fourth down when he raced 21 yards and Traugh had a key 18-yard touch pass catch-and-run from Sam Schuler, who finished 14 of 27 for 163 yards.

Holding the 6-0 advantage, the Cadets were soon down 12-0 when Schuler connected with Traugh for a 64-yard touchdown pass. Traugh got the ball about 20 yards downfield near the Linsly sideline and then used a pair of spin moves to break free before racing to paydirt.

Despite the missed extra point, second-year Patriot head coach Nathan Tanner’s squad led 12-0 with 5:53 to play.

Linsly finally got things going on its ensuing drive. Kelley, who rushed 12 times for 55 yards and hit 17 of 26 passes for 240 yards, had a 19-yard pass to Steve Felton and then a 43-yard bomb to Nathan Coleman, which made it first-and-goal.

Kobe Hill scored via an 8-yard Wildcat run, but Lima’s extra point drilled the top of the left upright.

The Cadets used sacks by Liam Lyck and Adam Dolata to thwart the Patriots’ last drive of the half, which allowed the visitors one more chance to score. DiLorenzo had a 24-yard catch on first down and Lima eventually booted a 38-yard field goal as time expired.

After running 12 times for 34 yards in the first half, Linsly had 28 attempts after intermission for 196 yards. Although South held a 214-190 total yards advantage at halftime, Linsly finished with a 470-344 overall edge.

“Blown assignments. Stupid penalties,” noted coach Tanner of his 1-5 team, which is set to welcome in Morgantown next Friday to the EASF. “I think some of it is just mental fortitude and we’ve been struggling with that and we’re intentional about it in practice.

“We do work on it. We hit a lot and try to get our guys tougher. Just got to keep swinging. I think offensively we had tons of blown assignments tonight. I don’t know the answer.”

Following DiLorenzo’s second pick, the Cadets finally took their first lead of the affair. Felix Reitter had a 54-yard catch and after Coleman hauled in a 15-yard reception, Kelley took off for a 17-yard TD run and it was 16-12 following Lima’s extra point.

Patriot upman Aidyn Cooke fielded the kickoff and fell to the ground. Following a pair of runs from Gaines, which covered 13 yards, Schuler did a touch pass with Traugh, who went for a 40-yard score and a 19-16 lead with 7:25 left following Nick Murphy’s PAT.

However, the visitors took the lead for good less than 4 minutes later on Zachai Simmons’ 2-yard TD burst.

Kelley added an 11-yard touchdown run with 9:14 left to play and Lima’s 26-yard field goal with 5:49 to go set the final score.

“It was kind of a whirlwind week for us to be honest,” admitted Linsly head man B.J. Depew, who also got solid rushing efforts from Felton (7-61), Spencer Knight (9-59) and Simmons (7-57). “We were really thankful South picked us up last second. We lost a game. I think we were supposed to leave Wheeling at 3 and at 4 we were still trying to leave Wheeling because we had to switch busses. It was a rocky start.”

Despite the tough beginning, Depew was proud of his team for sticking with it even after falling behind early.

“They were playing well and we weren’t,” added the coach. “We were shooting ourselves in the foot on offense. We had a heckuva time stopping the run. Their line did a great job and their back ran really hard. That (second-half running attack) was a big key because we didn’t get it going last week either. To be able to run between the tackles and for Steve Felton to have the kind of night that he did, it sparked us. He’s one of our leaders.

“He (DiLorenzo) really emerged again tonight and started to make some big plays and that’s the thing. In high school football it’s a game of emotions and those big plays can spark the entire group. We were fortunate we had some guys step up tonight because we were up against it with South. They played well.”

Traugh had game-highs of seven grabs for 137 yards. Jake Hogsett had five catches for 18 stripes in the setback.

Felton added three grabs for 28 yards while Feitter (3-62), Coleman (2-58), DiLorenzo (3-52) and Hill (4-27) also had productive receiving efforts.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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