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Big Reds emerge victorious on PKs

Photo by Josh Hughes Parkersburg South’s Christian Barton battles Parkersburg’s Terrance Wright for the ball during the Big Reds’ 1-1 PK shootout win over the Patriots Tuesday in a Class AAA Region IV, Section 2 semifinal at PHS Stadium Field.

PARKERSBURG –A full 80 minutes and two 10-minute overtimes weren’t enough, as Parkersburg and Parkersburg South had to take a regional semifinal to penalty kicks on Tuesday night from Stadium Field. Parkersburg got the 4-3 PK victory after being unable to break a 1-1 tie in regulation and overtime, but South made the Big Reds work for it.

It was a defensive showcase for Christian Altizer and the No. 4-seeded Patriots, as they faced 15 shots on goal. PHS couldn’t take advantage of multiple shots deep into PSHS territory. After an opening score from Shawn Cross in the 4th minute, PHS had to play the waiting game and struck back in the 36th minute, as Kota Butcher ripped a shot going from right to left past Altizer.

PHS kept firing late in the contest with a barrage of corner kicks and close throw-ins that couldn’t find the mark, so to penalty kicks the two sides went.

After a pair of South misfires and one PHS miss, Tanner Marlow finally broke the scoreless futility. He scored the first tally of the penalty kick phase, as South needed an answer. Ayden Willison, who previously played a big role in having his goalkeeper’s back in regulation, tied up the period. Landon Shedd’s make past Altizer gave PHS a 2-1 advantage. Tobi Adebulu kept the pressure on, as he squared the PK session back up at 2. Sam Chicester and Kellson Cobble respectvely made shots for their teams, and it was all up to Grant Miller. Miller fired a shot to the right side of Altizer, who couldn’t get to the ball in time.

That secured the victory. Top-seeded PHS survived the upset bid and will play in a regional final on Thursday at home against Hurricane.

“They are a great team, and it’s a rivalry, too,” PHS head coach Billy Shedd said of South. “You just never know what’s going to happen. They came out and put a lot of pressure on us. We had to make some quick decisions, and they jumped on us by scoring off a (Dylen White) free kick. But we started playing better and got a goal back. Hats off to them. I appreciated that.”

For his part PSHS head coach Jamie Whitlach was complimentary of his team after a roller coaster of a season came to a close.

“We lost, but we didn’t lose in regulation. Our two centerbacks are the best in the state. They need to get votes for that, because those two kids have made this team better,” he said. “(altizer) needs votes for all-state, because he played his butt off. The rest of the team did not quit. They did not back down or lower themselves. PHS has a lot of quality kids, and the staff pushes them to the limit.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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