Sept. 17, 2021 P. South Game
Game Statistics / Game Photos
Big Reds Hold On To Win Wild One Over Patriots, 28-19
There have been some wild games in the 54 history of the Parkersburg South and Parkersburg High football games but the 2021 version must go down as one of the wildest as the Big Reds held on to post a 28-19 victory over the visiting Patriots before a crowd of 4,000 fans.
Each team took turns blowing scoring opportunities from the beginning to the end but not until Austin Fleming grabbed an onside kick attempt with 15 seconds remaining and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown was the game outcome finally settled.
Call it nerves or opportunistic defenses or just plain offensive mistakes but the game had plenty of twists and turns with fans holding their breaths during the fourth quarter and especially over the last two minutes.
Starting the fourth quarter the Big Reds held what appeared to be a comfortable 21-6 lead but a short punt gave South the ball on the PHS 38 and the visitors ran off 11 plays, taking five minutes to cover that short distance, finally scoring on a fourth down pass from Robert Shockey to Cyrus Traugh. The extra point kick made it 21-13 with seven minutes left in the game.
A penalty and three plays later and PHS had to punt with Traugh returning the kick 29 yards to the South 45. Using the short passing game, South moved to a first down at the PHS 11 but a one yard completion followed by two runs put the ball on the three with a fourth down coming up. Shockey tried to keep but the Big Red line held firm and PHS took over on the three with just 2:12 remaining.
Three runs resulted in the unimaginable for PHS as a fumble gave South the ball on the PHS 20 with 35 seconds left.
Two plays later Shockey scrambled left and then cut back to score untouched and give the Patriots a chance to tie the game with 19 seconds remaining. But the center snap on the two-point conversion try rolled back to Shockey, who was pressured by Fleming and tried to lateral to his left but the play was covered by the Big Reds who maintained a 21-19 lead.
The first onside kick attempt was whistled for a penalty for something called a pop-up kick and the second attempt was snatched out of the air by Fleming who took it all the way to the end zone with 12 seconds left and Casey Stanley’s PAT kick made it 28-19.
The kick return was covered at the South nine as the game ended.
South, now 2-2, had a 23-12 margin in first downs and a 386-253 margin in total yards as Shockey threw for 182 yards and two touchdowns while running for 128 yards and another touchdown. Traugh had both scoring receptions while catching 11 passes for 106 yards and rushing nine times for 39 yards.
Fleming, filling in on offense as the running back, was the leading rusher for PHS with 78 yards on nine carries and one of the most incredible second-effort touchdown runs seen in quite a while. Singer picked up 61 yards on 18 tries and had a touchdown. David Parsons threw for 112 yards one touchdown, to Andrew Stalnaker who caught two passes for 45 yards. Anthony Ice had three catches for 41 yards.
South fumbled on its first offensive play of the game and that led to a short punt which gave PHS the ball just 23 yards from the Patriot goal line. But a fourth down play at the two was stopped by South for a seven yard loss and the Patriots got the ball back.
But South had to punt and PHS started from its own 38. A 22-yard pass to Singer and a four-yard penalty gave the Big Reds the ball at the South four for a first and goal. On second down Singer tried to go around left end but was hit and lost the ball which hit the goal line pylon, giving the ball to South and ending the second straight PHS scoring threat inside the five yard line.
The Patriots drove 73 yards in 17 plays, using 5:50 off the clock but came away empty when Shockey’s fourth down pass from the seven was broken up by Logan Hartshorn.
The Big Reds finally broke the scoring drought with a four-play, 47-yard drive that saw Parsons hit a streaking Andrew Stalnaker from 33 yards away with 4:40 left in the first half.
South gave PHS another opportunity two minutes later when the Patriots tried to run the ball on a fourth-and-one from their own 39 and Zach Howard and Kennedy Jeter came up with the stop.
Two plays later Fleming scored from 28 yards away on a run up the middle that saw him break four tackles and refused to be brought down before crossing the goal line. Stanley’s kick made it 14-0 with 2:10 left in the half.
Putting together a pro-like two-minute drill, South answered that touchdown with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that took just 1:50. Shockey hit a wide-open Traugh in the right corner of the end zone for the final 13 yard with just 12 seconds on the clock. The kick attempt failed and the score was 14-6 at the break.
A fumble punt return helped set up Parkersburg’s third score as Chris Salyers recovered on the South 19 yard line and after a four-yard run, Singer went up the middle for the final 15 stripes and a 21-6 lead.
South appeared to be ready to retaliate for that touchdown as the Patriots drove 64 yards in 10 plays but Stanley stepped in front of a Shockey pass intended for Traugh at the Big Red four yard line and returned it to the Big Red 23.
That set up a fourth quarter which went back and forth and put everyone on the edge of their seats until Fleming’s kickoff return.