Sept. 8, 2017 PHS at Capital

Big Reds Fight Back But Fall Short To #3 Cougars By 40-21 Score

Game Statistics / Game Pictures

CHARLESTON - Trailing 27-0 with just over two minutes left in the first half against the number three ranked team in the state, most teams would have packed their bags and called it a night.

But the 2017 Big Reds are not like most teams.

They fought back to pull within six points at 27-21 late in the third quarter and made another run in the fourth quarter that was halted by a close call that cost PHS an interception return touchdown before bowing to host Capital 40-21 here Friday at the University of Charleston stadium.

As usual Capital took advantage of a couple of turnovers and some big offensive plays to build the 27-0 lead.

A tipped pass that was intercepted by Capital at the PHS 28 set up the game's first score, a four yard run by Kerry Martin. A 22-yard run by Keyshawn Gray was the big play on the three play drive.

Martin finished with 80 yards rushing on just eight carries and passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cougars actually drove for their second score, a four yard run by Gray, who finished with 86 yards on 15 carries, but a fumble on the Capital 40 enabled them to go 60 yards on five plays with the big play being a 45 yard scramble by Martin. The touchdown came on a six yard run by 256 pound fullback Kalai Clark.

Generating no offense in the first half (0 rushing and 61 passing total), PHS went for it on fourth down from its own 40 and failed to pick up the yardage. On the next play Matin hit Deishawn Harper with a pass and run completiong for the touchdown. After a penalty, soccer player Zack Ihnat (who kicks for the football team only on game nights), booted the 43-yard extra point to make it 27-0 with 2:12 left in the half.

But the Big Reds started their comeback, led by junior Jake Johnson, and scored with no time left on the clock when the quarterback sneaked over from the one yard line. Johnson hit five of six passes on the 69 yard drive, finding Shane Miller three times for 29 yards and hitting Anthony Craig for 15 yards down to the one with 12 ticks remaining.

In the second half PHS was able to move the ball for nine first downs and 217 yards as Johnson scrambled, ran and passed with much more effectiveness. For the night he completed 22 of 33 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns with Brenton Strange catching seven for 94 yards.

The visitors took the second half kickoff and drove to the 35 but a fourth down pass fell in complete and Capital responded by driving to the Big Reds' 26 where Kionte Peacock came up with an interception at the goal line and returned in 27 yards.

PHS then drove for its second score with Johnson completing four of six passes including the final one for eight yards to Seth Dailey after a wild scramble by Johnson to get clear. A 32 yard bomb behind the Cougar secondary to Anthony Craig after another scramble was the big play on the drive that just the lead to 27-14 with 3:49 on the third quarter clock.

Capital punted to the PHS 31 and on the next play Johnson found Shane Miller over the middle and the Big Red junior stepped out of the tackle at the 15 and went into the end zone to complete the long scoring play. Christian Axman's kick cut the lead to 27-21 with 35.4 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Cougars answered that score with another long one of their own when Martin threw over the middle to Kerion Martin, who stopped, sidesepped a defender and raced 56 yards to the end zone with just 14 seconds gone in the final quarter. The extra point pass failed and it was 33-21 on the scoreboard.

PHS had to punt and Capital got the ball back on its own 33 with 10:10 left in the game. The Cougars moved to near midfield but on third down Martin threw one deep that was tipped and landed in the hands of Peacock, who headed for the end zone.

However, the nearby official signaled incomplete pass and no interception even though it appeared the ball never touched the ground and there was no whistle blown. Peacock scored but most of the Cougars did not give chase, believing the play had been blown dead despite the lack of a whistle. After watching the replay on video, it did appear the ball hit the ground and bounced into Peacock's hands.

So Capital got the ball back and punted, thankful the touchdown which would have made it 33-28 with 7:52 remaining was disallowed.

The Big Reds had to start from their own 28 and moved to the Capital 30 thanks to a great catch off a tip by Strange which garnered 33 yards. But on fourth down Johnson was forced to scramble and threw incomplete.

Capital got a cushion TD with 2:25 left on a 28 yard pass to Harper to make it 40-21 only to have another weird officials' call follow two plays later.

The Big Reds, from their own 26, completed a pass to Tyler Moler for a gain of 12 yards but a flag was thrown, apparently for an ineligible receiver downfield. The penalty was apparently declined but the ball went back to the 26 yard line instead of the 36.

PHS was able to only advance to near midfield before a fourth down sack of Johnson ended any comeback hopes. Johnson was sacked or hit for total of 51 yards in losses during the game.

#13 Big Reds vs #3 Cougars (Sep 08, 2017 at Charleston)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
Big Reds .........0 ..7 14 ..0 - 21
Cougars ..........6 21 ..0 13 - 40

Qtr Time Scoring play
1st 04:00 CAPITAL - Kerry Martin Jr 4 yd run (Arlie Watson pass failed), 3-28 0:55
2nd 10:31 CAPITAL - Keyshawn Gray 4 yd run (Zack Ihnat kick), 8-69 4:29
04:03 CAPITAL - Kalai Clark 6 yd run (Zack Ihnat kick), 5-60 1:59
02:12 CAPITAL - Deishawn Harper 40 yd pass from Kerry Martin Jr (Zack Ihnat kick), 1-40 0:12
00:00 PHS - Jake Johnson 1 yd run (Christian Axman kick), 10-69 2:06
3rd 01:51 PHS - Seth Dailey 8 yd pass from Jake Johnson (Christian Axman kick), 10-73 3:49
00:36 PHS - Shane Miller 69 yd pass from Jake Johnson (Christian Axman kick), 1-69 0:14
4th 11:46 CAPITAL - Kerion Martin 56 yd pass from Kerry Martin Jr (Kerry Martin Jr pass failed), 2-64 0:42
02:25 CAPITAL - Deishawn Harper 28 yd pass from Kerry Martin Jr (Isaac Abdalla kick), 7-70 2:32 2017 Contact Webmaster