Aug. 25, 2017 St. Albans: Game
Byus Era Begins With A Bang
Game Statistics / Game Photos
The Coach Mike Byus era started with a bang Friday night as the Big Reds bounced visiting St. Albans 49-10 thanks in large part to Tyler Moler, two interception return touchdowns and a 34-point third quarter.
A crowd of 4,000 fans were all anxious and curious about the 2017 version of the PHS football team under a new head coach. And it took just one offensive play for the fireworks to start as Tyler Moler broke off a record-tying 97 yard touchdown run on the first Big Red play from scrimmage.
Moler finished the night with 237 yards on just 17 carries (cracking the top 20 on all-time single game rushing yardage) while Jake Johnson and Brenton Strange both returned interceptions for scores. Strange, who returned two picks for touchdowns a year ago, now stands one away from tying the all-time career record for interception returns to the end zone.
The Big Reds broke the game open with those thefts and five touchdowns in the third quarter, forcing the mercy rule running clock in the fourth quarter.
Johnson, who is Moler's cousin, was forced to be the starting quarterback with the injury last week to Kam Mace and all the junior two-way standout did was run for 85 yards and complete six of 10 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively the Big Reds allowed just 105 yards on the ground as Wyatt Strobl led the way with 10 tackles. St. Albans entered the game with a highly regard offense led by freshman quarterback RT Alexander (son of former NFL star Robert Alexander). Alexander completed 17 of 31 passes for 151 yards but was sacked twice and intercepted three times.
St. Albans, coached by Scott Tinsley, got first possession and picked up a couple of first downs before punting to the PHS three yard line. On the first play, Moler went over the right side, bounced outside and went all the way to the end zone to tie a record set five years ago by Adam Lindamood (also against St. Albans).
The two-point conversion run by Christian Axman came after a muffed kick attempt.
The Big Reds got the ball back less than two minutes later thanks to a fourth-down sack by Strange at the PHS 46. A 29-yard run by Johnson took the ball to the 13 yard line but on third down a bad snap cost PHS 35 yards and the ball back near midfield.
An interception by Seth Dailey gave PHS the ball back but the hosts were forced to punt and St. Albans put together a long drive to the PHS 17 but on 33 yard field goal try by Sam Burford was wide left with 5:09 left in the half.
With Moler ripping off runs of 21 and 28 yards and Johnson completing a 20 yard pass to Dailey, the Big Reds moved quickly in seven plays to the Red Dragons five yard line. On fourth down from the four, Johnson beat a blitzing linebacker and found Strange in the end zone, who went to his knees to grab the ball in front of a defender for the touchdown.
Axman's kick made it 15-0 with 38.5 seconds left before intermission.
PHS started the second half with another bang as Shane Miller returned the kickoff 84 yards to the St. Albans four yard line. A penalty moved the ball to the two and from there Moler went over right guard for the score with just 19 seconds gone in the third quarter.
St. Albans responded by going 67 yards in 10 plays as 6-foot-5 split end Dionte Patterson took the ball away from two defenders for a 16 yard reception to the two yard line. On the next play Jayson Barrett scored. Alexander then found Patterson for the two point conversion to make it 22-8.
But from that point on the Big Reds left no doubt as they Johnson and Moler ran wild on the next series to set up a 28 yard touchdown grab by Dailey just beyond the goal line. Johnson ran for 14 and 13 yards before letting Moler ramble for 18. Johnson then scored on a 17 yard run that was called back by holding to set up the TD pass.
Axman's extra point kick hit the upright and bounced away but there was plenty more action to come in the third period.
A fumble recovery by Kionte Peacock gave the Big Reds the ball back and a 52 yard run by Moler took it to the three from where the junior tailback went over left guard for the score with 1:54 left in the period.
With 1:26 on the clock, Johnson picked off Alexander and took it 55 yards to score and 56 seconds later Strange did the same from 15 yard away. Axman's two kicks made it 49-8 and put the mercy rule into effect in the fourth quarter.
St. Albans did get two more points when a punt to the PHS one yard line enabled them to get a safety with 4:44 left to play.
In Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
St. Albans.......... 0 0 8 2 - 10
PHS ...................8 7 34 0 -49
Qtr Time Scoring play
1st 09:08 BIGREDS - Tyler Moler 97 yd run (Christian Axman rush), 1-97 0:15
2nd 00:39 BIGREDS - Brenton Strange 4 yd pass from Jake Johnson (Christian Axman kick), 11-80 4:30
3rd 11:41 BIGREDS - Tyler Moler 2 yd run (Christian Axman kick), 1-4 0:04
07:54 DRAGONS - Jayson Barrett 2 yd run (Dionte Patterson pass from R.T. Alexander), 10-67 3:40
06:42 BIGREDS - Seth Dailey 28 yd pass from Jake Johnson (Christian Axman kick failed), 5-62 1:12
01:54 BIGREDS - Tyler Moler 3 yd run (Christian Axman kick), 7-80 3:04
01:26 BIGREDS - Jake Johnson 55 yd interception return (Christian Axman kick)
00:30 BIGREDS - Brenton Strange 15 yd interception return (Christian Axman kick)
4th 04:44 DRAGONS - Will Anderson safety
St. Albans (0-1) vs. PHS (1-0)
Kickoff time: 7:30 • End of Game: 10:20 • Total elapsed time: 2:50