Roney's Field Goal As Time Expires Carries Big Reds Over South 17-14 & Into Playoffs
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It was an ending which befitted the build-up as Parkersburg High hosted Parkersburg South Friday night.
Josh Roney kicked a 30 yard field goal as time expired to lift PHS to a 17-14 victory over South - a win which will put the now 15th-ranked ranked Big Reds in the playoffs against Cabell Midland in a rematch game next Saturday afternoon at Ona.
For the first time in the 48 meetings of the two city schools the game came down to the final play and for only the second time it was decided by a field goal - the previous dating back to 1979 when PHS won 3-0. The Big Reds now have won 35 times including two in a row.
The loss dropped the 12th ranked Patriots to 6-4 on the season (the same record PHS now has) and will put South at 16th place, meaning a first round game at Capital at a date and time to be revealed Sunday.
The game was played even almost from start to finish and it took the only turnover of the contest to decide the outcome.
South got the ball on its own 27 yard line with 2:42 left to play after a Roney punt. The Patriots needed only to get within field goal range of their talented kicker, Micah Boles, who had already kicked five field goals this year and made all 39 extra points he has attempted.
But on the first play from scrimmage, Max Chefren hit Brendan Schwendeman in the backfield for a four yard loss. On the next play, the Patriots ran up the middle and the ball was stripped by Austin Brown with Charley Conley recovering for the Big Reds on the 30 yard line with 1:52 on the clock.
The Big Reds ran the ball five straight times (giving them 52 rushes for the game compared to just 22 for South) to move the ball to the 13 yard line with 2.1 seconds remaining.
Roney, who had attempted just four field goals this year (making one from 27 yards away), calmly booted the ball out of Karson Snyder's hold and into the history books from 30 yards away. Chase Shank was the snapper.
Thus the senior kicker turned into the hero of the game and one of the heroes of a turn-around season for the Big Reds, who needed to win all three of their final games to make the playoffs and accomplished that feat with one triple-overtime victory and one last-play triumph.
Corey Burdette had both touchdowns for Parkersburg as he was the workhorse on the ground with 33 carries for 117 yards. The Big Reds had 226 yards rushing to go with 46 passing for a 272 total and 17 first downs.
South had 240 yards in total offense with 163 of it coming on the arm of Garrett Gilkeson as the junior quarterback completed 12 of 16 passes for both touchdowns - a 49 yard bomb to Schwendeman and a seven yard aerial to Cody Boggs, who was injured on the play (his fifth reception of the night) and did not return to action.
South had 14 first downs but ran just 38 plays compared to 62 by the Big Reds, who successfully played keep away from the Patriots' high-powered offense. PHS had the ball for 32:40 compraed to 15:20 for South. Tyler Greathouse, Burdette, Chefren and Shank led the PHS prevent unit as it turned in its fourth straight strong effort.
The Big Reds got in the red zone first in the game, advancing to the South 18 after an 11-play drive but were stopped when a fourth down pass fell incomplete.
Getting the ball back after a South punt, PHS this time went the distance, going 51 yards on nine plays with Burdette bulling over the right side from the nine yard line with 7:18 left in the first half.
But South answered with a touchdown bomb to a wide-open Schwendeman after a great pump fake by Gilkeson which fooled the PHS secondary and allowed the 49 yard scoring play with 3:17 remaining before intermission.
The Big Reds got the ball to start the second half and moved the ball for a couple of first downs before again failing on a fourth down pass play at the Patriots' 27.
A 20 yard pass to Boggs and a 36 yard scamper by Schwendeman gave South the ball at the PHS 12 yard line with the aide of a facemask penalty. Three plays later Gilkeson found Boggs at the goal line but the South receiver was hit hard as he caught the ball and was taken off the field with an apparent knee injury with 5:06 left in the third quarter and his team ahead 14-7.
But like two evenly matches fighters, the Big Reds answered that blow with a 57 yard, eight play drive that was highlighted by Burdette's one-handed reception for 19 yards. Josh Trembly also had a 10 yard run on the drive that finished with four straight runs by Burdette. The scoring play was a two yard carry over right tackle with 1:21 left in the third quarter.
Roney's kick tied the game at 14-all and had most fans thinking about overtime.
The defenses took over, forcing four punts, before PHS got the game's only break with the fumble recovery at the South 30. The Big Reds worked the clock and the running of Burdette, Dan Fox and Shank to set the stage for Roney's heroics.
#18 Patriots vs #12 Big Reds (Nov 07, 2014 at Parkersburg)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots.(6-4).................... 0 7 7 0 - 14
Big Reds.(6-4).................. 0 7 7 3 - 17
Qtr Time Scoring play
2nd 07:18 PHS - Corey Burdette 9 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 9-51 4:42
03:17 SOUTH - Brandon Schwendeman 49 yd pass from Garrett Gilkeson (Micah Boles kick), 7-80 4:01
3rd 05:06 SOUTH - Cody Boggs 7 yd pass from Garrett Gilkeson (Micah Boles kick), 6-73 1:41
01:21 PHS - Corey Burdette 2 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 8-57 3:37
4th 00:00 PHS - Josh Roney 30 yd field goal, 6-17 1:52
Kickoff time: 7:30 • End of Game: 9:45 • Total elapsed time: 2:15