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PHS, Riverside eye third win of year

PARKERSBURG– A pair of 2-5 Mountain State Athletic Conference programs will collide at 7:30 p.m. Friday when Parkersburg invades Warrior Stadium to take on a confident Riverside squad.

The Warriors of head coach Alex Daugherty were coming off a 49-0 drubbing at the hands of George Washington two weeks ago.

Entering last Friday’s affair against then No. 8 South Charleston, it appeared the Black Eagles would roll to an easy victory after scoring the first 14 points of the affair.

However, that didn’t turn out to be the case as the Warriors tallied the final 22 points to stun South Charleston and garner their second triumph.

The Big Reds of head coach Mike Byus had what looked to be an aptly timed bye week after last playing and falling to the Black Eagles, 38-21.

“(Bryson) Singer is home sick again. He missed the whole bye week of practice,” noted coach Byus, who is hoping to have some injured guys back this week but has been dealing with a rash of illness throughout the squad. “We’re hoping to get him back.

“It’s possible we’ll get (leading tackler) Zach Howard back. (Receivers) Carter King is cleared and he may play and Kevin Hancock is cleared to play. We got Austin Fleming back Monday, but he missed the whole bye week.”

The coach said they were missing both Logan Hartshorn and Kennedy Jeter early this week due to sickness.

“We’ll have to go play them,” quipped Byus, who has dealt with a plethora of injuries and sickness since before the season started.

No matter who is able to dress for the game in Belle, the red and white defense will have to keep tabs on some key Warriors. In last week’s upset win, signal-caller Jake Walker hit 8 of 14 attempts for 137 yards. Senior Roger Gray made quite the triumphant return to the Warrior lineup as he finished with three touchdowns catches. Michael Terrell had a pair of two-point conversion receptions and Riverside tailback Andrew Baria rushed 27 times for 101 yards.

“They got a guy back last week that really helped them,” Byus said of Gray. “Pretty good player. He’s making a difference in their offense and defense. They are like Jekyll and Hyde as far as beating South Charleston and losing to Capital.

“From what I watched on film they look aggressive and don’t mind hitting you. I’m just more worried about what we are going to do. We got to get lined up right, execute better and eliminate all these darn turnovers.”

On paper, the Big Reds still have a shot at making the Class AAA postseason. Of course, they’ll have to beat RHS, win at home next week versus George Washington and then close the season with a victory at Musselman.

“That the biggest thing is consistency and getting enough consistent practice in to continue to get better,” added coach Byus. “That’s something we’ve always prided ourselves on, getting better week to week, but you can’t hardly do that when it’s different people every week.

“We are just working and staying positive. We’re going to keep working and working with who we have and we’re glad we’re getting a few people back and we’ll see how it goes.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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