Nov 2, 2018 Parkersburg South: Game
Defense, Johnson, Moler Lead PHS To 28-10 "Upset" Win Over South
Game Statistics / Game Photos
It was a tale of two halves and an unheralded defensive effort combined with two cousins rushing for over 100 yards each as 10th ranked Parkersburg “upset” fifth ranked Parkersburg South in convincing fashion Friday night at Stadium Field by a 28-10 score.
In retaining the Dr. Corbitt Cup as city champions, the Big Reds dominated the second half as they had done a year ago by displaying an effective running game against a South defense which had been called the best in the state prior to the game. Cousins Tyler Moler and Jake Johnson ran for 108 and 128 yards respectively and Shane Miller rushed for two touchdowns as the Big Reds ran for 209 yards on 38 attempts in the second half alone.
Meanwhile the PHS defense outshone the much heralded South prevent unit by not giving up a touchdown and allowing only 82 yards rushing and just 62 yards passing to a Patriot team which had been scoring 34 points per game while rushing for 214 yards and passing for 165 yards per game.
The win was not enough to give PHS a home playoff game next week but it will certainly give plenty of momentum for a return meeting with Wheeling Park, a team the Big Reds beat 57-51 in a wild finish. Wheeling Park will host the Big Reds next weekend at a time and day to be determined by the PHS coaching staff at Sunday’s playoff meeting. Wheeling Park earned its home berth by beating John Marshall 35-7. South beat Wheeling Park 30-0 last Friday.
South started off in fine fashion, driving from its own 40 to the PHS 16 in 12 plays and taking over five minutes off the clock before settling for a 33-yard field goal by Ben Haught. Haught remained perfect this season with his sixth straight three-pointer with 6:40 left on the first quarter clock. It was a grind-it-out drive with eight running plays including a fourth-and-two quarterback sneak by Brayden Mooney.
The Big Reds’ try to answer was halted on downs at the South 26 and the rest of the half was a punting contest until South made its most serious offensive threat to score late in the second quarter.
The Patriots took over with 8:01 remaining in the half and drove to the PHS two yard line where Mooney tried to pick up a needed yard for a first down but was stopped by a swarm of Big Red defenders led by Justin Waybright, Gage Fiore and Co. That 13-play drive was aided by a facemask penalty that gave South a first down on the 11. After the penalty Mooney ran to the four but then was hurried into an incompletion by a pursuing Brenton Strange. Mooney then found Levi Rice for seven yards back to the four yard line to set up the biggest defensive play of the season for PHS.
At the half PHS had just 77 yards in total offense and ran the ball only nine times for 46 yards. Through the air Johnson was six of 12 for only 31 yards and was sacked once.
But it was a different Big Red team that came out to start the second half, taking the kickoff and consuming half the quarter with a 16-play, 63 yard scoring drive capped by Miller’s three yard plunge over the left side. After starting the drive with three pass completions and a three-yard run by Strange, the Big Reds turned blocking back Miller into a runner before letting Johnson and then Moler take turns carrying the ball. Biggest play was a 10 yard run on third-and-12 by Johnson that set up a three-yard first down run by Moler to the seven-yard line. Isaac Withrow’s kick made it 7-3 and PHS never looked back.
Forcing another South punt, PHS again used Johnson and his sidecar running backs Moler and Miller to push the ball 58 yards to the South seven before two incompletions put the Big Reds in a precarious position on fourth and goal. But Johnson rolled right and found Strange coming back in the end zone the senior end caught the ball just inside the goal line for the touchdown with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
The Big Reds forced another South punt to end the quarter and wound up having possessed the ball for 10 of the 12 minute period.
PHS started the fourth quarter with a 70-yard, eight-play drive capped by Miller diving over from the one to make it 21-3 after Withrow’s kick. Johnson had a 23-yard run on the drive.
After another South punt, PHS had to punt and the kick was blocked by Brett Hearn with Rice picking the ball out of the air and scoring from 18 yard away to close the score gap to 21-10 with 6:28 left in the game.
But the Big Reds responded with an old style 60 yard drive, all on the ground, for an insurance touchdown on a one yard sneak by Johnson. Johnson had a 41 yard run on the third play of the drive while Moler carried five times, mainly behind the blocking of Miller.
South’s final possession ended when Kionte Peacock picked off Mooney on the goal line.
PHS finished with 344 yards in total offense as Johnson completed 12 of 21 passes for 89 yards with Dylan Shaver catching four for 45.
Defensively, Brandon Braham led the way with nine tackles, eight of them solo. Joel Butcher and Miller had sacks while Peacock’s interception was his seventh of the year (3 away from the school record).