09,15, 2017: at Huntington Game
PHS Falls To Huntington, 35-21
Game Statistics / Game Photographs
HUNTINGTON - It was another tale of two halves of football for the Parkersburg Big Reds here Friday night.
For the second week in a row it was a lackluster first half followed by a strong second half that caused the Big Reds to lose to second-ranked and undefeated Huntington by a 35-21 score. PHS fell behind 14-0 in the first half and 21-0 early in the third quarter before rallying to outscore the Highlanders 21-14 over the last 17 minutes.
A week ago against third ranked Capital, PHS fell behind 27-0 before outplaying the Cougars the entire second half.
Huntington turned loose a two-headed rushing attack and got some accurate passing from lefty Luke Zban to pile up 544 total yards. Chris Rogers rushed for 168 yards and Jadon Hayes 167 while Zban completed 12 of 22 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Mikal Dawson caught both scores on plays covering 73 and 25 yards. Hayes had a 78 yard punt return touchdown while Rogers scored on runs of 42 and nine yards.
The Big Reds got three touchdown passes from Kam Mace, who returned to action from a shoulder injury to completed 12 of 24 passes for 255 yards including two long touchdowns to Brenton Strange and one to Seth Dailey. Strange tied a school record with an 88 yard touchdown reception while also catching one for 33 yards and finished with 123 yards on four catches. Dailey’s scoring play covered 53 yards.
PHS finished with 375 total yards and 16 first downs after compiling just 69 yards and four first downs in the first half.
Huntington broke on top with 4:05 left in the first quarter when Zban found Dawson on a 73 yard touchdown play.
The Highlanders got a break moments later when they recovered a pooch kickoff on the Big Reds 41 and four plays later Zban found a slanting Dawson for a touchdown from 25 yards out.
The second half started with the Big Reds driving to the Huntington 28 before a fourth down sack ended the drive. After forcing a punt, PHS fared little better and Matt Curry, who kept the Huntington offensive bottled up most the night by averaging 44.7 yards on six punts including three inside the 20 (to the four, five and 10 yard lines), then kicked to the opponents 22 yard line but Hayes gathered it in and raced up the middle for the touchdown to make it 21-0.
The Big Reds’ offense finally got untracked on its next possession when Mace hit Dailey with a 53 yard pass and run play with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
Huntington answered with a 42 yard scoring scamper by Rogers but the Big Reds took just two minutes to respond with a record-tying reception. Strange went 88 yards to tie the record for longest receiving touchdown in school history (also held by Dan Fox from Josh Trembly in 2014). That cut the lead to 28-14 with 1:16 left in the third period.
The Highlanders were able to control the ball for most of the fourth quarter, adding a nine yard TD run by Hayes with 1:42 left although PHS scored again 74 seconds later on a 33 yard catch near the goal line by Strange.
Defensively, Strange had a big game with 13 tackles (one for loss) while Brandon Braham had 12 and Kionte Peacock contributed nine stops respectively.