Nov. 3, 2017: Game

Big Reds Rally Behind Moler's Running; Beat Patriots 27-24, Earn Home Playoff

Game Statistics / Game Photos

All season long the Big Reds had made a living off their big play offense.

Friday night at Parkersburg South when they found themselves trailing at halftime, new head coach Mike Buys dusted off an old playbook and sent Tyler Moler off with the ball 29 times in the final 24 minutes.

The junior tailback ran for 122 yards and a touchdown in the second half to lift PHS to a 27-24 victory and their first home playoff game in a decade.

The Big Reds will host John Marshall next weekend (day and time to be determined by John Marshall) in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs as the number nine seed (their highest regular season ranking since 2007). The game is expected to be played Friday night at 7 o'clock.

Of the last 26 plays by the Big Reds, 25 of them were runs by Moler. The only exception came on the go-ahead touchdown when quarterback Kam Mace faked to Moler and found a nearly wide open Brenton Strange in the end zone from 19 yards away with 7:06 left in the game. Moler had run the ball 11 straight times before the pass to Strange.

Leading by just three points, PHS got the ball back with 4:56 remaining when Kionte Peacock made a circus interception as he first tipped the ball into the air then grabbed it and ran 31 yards towards the South goal line.

With 4:56 remaining in the game it was Moler Time again as he ran 10 times in a row to run out the clock and secure win number seven.

For the game the hard-running PHS tailback churned out 155 yards on 38 carries in an effort reminiscent of traditional Big Red durable backs like John Richards. He also had the game's first touchdown on a six yard run.

The Big Reds finished with 219 yards on the ground and 341 yards in total offense, running 63 plays to 48 for South.

Kam Mace picked up 65 yards rushing on seven carries and completed 12 of 17 passes for 122 yards and set a single-season pass completion record with 127 in just eight games played. The old record was 121. Mace threw a third quarter touchdown to Strange which set a team record with the 21st TD pass of the year.

For South Nick Yoho ran for two touchdowns and 108 yards on 15 carries while quarterback Brayden Mooney added 53 yards on 16 attempts but completed just three of eight passes for 45 yards with two interceptions.

PHS got on the board first thanks to the first of those interceptions as Jake Johnson picked off a pass at the South 29. The Patriots then got a taste of what was to come as Moler ran four times before there was an incomplete pass and two more Moler rushes for the touchdown from six yards away with 8:10 left in the first quarter. The extra point kick was wide.

South responded by driving from its own 47 to the PHS one yard line but on fourth down Strange led a defensive charge that stopped Yoho just inches short of the goal line.

The poor field position enabled South to get the ball back on the PHS 27 after a short punt and four plays later Ahmed Ali kicked a 43 yard field goal.

After another PHS punt, South put together a 70 yard drive that took 11 plays and ended when Yoho ran a wheel route out of the backfield and was wide open for a 28 yard pass and run touchdown with 2:33 left in the first half. Ali's kick made it 10-6 in favor of the home team.

The Big Reds came out to start the second half and drove 65 yards on nine plays with a 29 yard scramble by Mace being the big gainer. The touchdown came when Mace tossed a high lob to Strange, who out-leaped the defender to complete a three yard pass play and put PHS on top 12-10 after the extra point was blocked.

The lead was short-lived however as Tyee Gibson, a former Big Red player as a freshman, returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards up the left sidelines for a touchdown and a 17-12 South lead.

The Patriots stretched that lead to 24-12 and put the pressure directly on PHS when Yoho broke off a 38 yard run and a penalty placed the ball on the seven. Yoho then eluded a tackler in the backfield and went around end for the touchdown with 6:30 left in the third quarter.

But with 3:35 left in the third quarter the Big Reds began their comeback with a 39 pass to Shane Miller. Then came the steady diet of Moler runs as the junior standout carried seven straight times for 33 yards and a touchdown. Christian Axman's kick made it 24-19 with 1:20 left in the quarter.

A sack by Brandon Braham got PHS the ball back just 17 seconds into the fourth quarter and It was Moler running again, and again, and again to set up the TD toss to Strange from 19 yards out. The extra point pass went to Jake Johnson, who caught the ball on his toes on the goal line to put PHS up by three.

Then came Peacock's interception with 4:56 left and more and more Moler to complete the victory and end South's hopes of winning three straight over PHS for the first time in history.

Date and time of the playoff will be determined at a meeting Sunday at the Secondary School offices. 2017 Contact Webmaster