Marietta Beats PHS For First Time In 25 Years
Game Statistics / Game Pictures
It was a long time coming but Marietta finally beat Parkersburg on the football field.
After 25 years and 12 straight losses, the Tigers spoiled the Big Reds homecoming with a 27-20 victory thanks mainly to the slight of hand tricks of quarterback Trent Dawson.
Dawson used his ball-handling skills to cause the PHS defense problems all night with three Tigers backs combining for 303 yards rushing on 49 carries.
Travis Moore ran for three touchdowns while Dominic Vanfossen picked up 144 yards on 25 attempts and Isaac Danford gained 98 on 14 tries. It was Dawson's faking ability which enabled those three to find holes behind the Tigers' veteran offensive line.
In addition to Parkersburg's problem finding the ball carrier, the Big Red offense suffered a turnover-plaqued attack with two interceptions and three lost fumbles. They were also penalized seven times.
Noah Weaver ran for two touchdowns for PHS while Bradley Craig threw to Easton Martin for the other.
The victory was the fourth of the year for Marietta (which won just three games a year ago) while dropping PHS to 0-4 going into next week's home game with Beckley Woodrow Wilson.
The Big Reds got off on the right foot by driving 63 yards on nine plays to score on their opening possession. A 15-yard one-handed grab by freshman Brenton Strange was a big play but the biggest was Martin getting behind the Marietta defense for a 32 yard bomb from Craig with 6:40 left in the first quarter.
The teams traded punts and then fumbles before Marietta took over at the 50 and used seven straight running plays to reach the end zone on a one yard run by Moore. Danford had two 13-yard runs and Vanfossen a 16 yard gain on the scoring drive.
But PHS regained the lead with a drive that took 7:23 off the clock and required 16 plays. A 17 yard scramble by Craig was the big play. The touchdown came when Weaver plowed over right tackle with 40 seconds left in the half. The extra point kick was blocked by Moore.
Marietta started the second half by running the misdirection offense to perfection, going 57 yards on seven plays with Vanfossen doing most of the work before covering the last 14 yards himself. Ben Dehmlow's kick put the Tigers up 14-13.
The Tigers added to their lead when Moore recovered a PHS fumble on the Big Reds' 37 and six plays later Dawson passed to Moore for a 20 yard touchdown. The kick was wide but Marietta had a 20-13 lead with 3:07 left in the third quarter.
Marietta fumbled the ball away on its own one yard line with 2.4 seconds left in the third quarter and Ethan Farinash recovered for PHS. On the next play Weaver went over the right side again for the touchdown. Chase Minnite's kick tied the score at 20-all as the quarter ended.
The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds and Marietta took over on its own 40. On the first play, Moore set up in the "Wildcat" formation, took the snap and raced up the right sideline for the touchdown just 13 seconds into the final quarter. The kick made it 27-20.
PHS fumbled the ball away on its next possession and then punted it away a little later.
Taking over on its own 16 with 2:14 left to play, Craig threw an incompletion and then ran for 16 yards on two plays before trying to complete a pass to Strange only to have the ball go off his fingertips and into the hands of, who else, Moore.
The PHS defense held and the Big Reds had one final chance from its own 47 with four seconds on the clock but Craig's "Hail Mary" pass was intercepted by Moore again.
Marietta had no turnovers and only five penalties while piling up 342 yards in total offense.
Parkersburg's defense was paced by Nick Johnson with 11 tackles (nine of them solo) while Weaver had nine stops and Ben McFarland eight.