Prep football: Tigers tamed by PHS

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg flirted with delivering the complete package in a 35-10 win against Marietta Friday night at Stadium Field.

On offense, the Big Reds produced 378 yards, including 152 yards on 13 carries by quarterback Aaron Roberts. Defensively, the Big Reds pitched a shutout for more than a quarter and half before taking a 21-10 lead into halftime.

“Aaron feels a little bit more comfortable running the football because he is almost like a fullback,” PHS coach Don Reeves said.

The score stayed status quo midway into the fourth quarter and gave Marietta hope until the Tigers were flagged for roughing the punter which kept a PHS drive alive deep in its own end.

The Big Reds took advantage of its second chance and provided the knockout punch when Josh Trembly found Stephen Dailey wide open for a 14-yard touchdown completion to cap off the 96-yard drive.

On the very next play from scrimmage Marietta quarterback John Henry was sacked and the ball popped loose. Trembly recovered the fumble and several minutes later Roberts galloped 38 yards for the final touchdown of the game.

PHS, which sacked the quarterback four times in the second half and came up with interceptions from Roberts and Dylan Thomas, improves to 2-2. Marietta drops its fourth game in a row and falls to 1-4.

“We played about a quarter and a half in both the first and second half, so we’re still needing to play four full quarters,” Reeves said. “We’re still hurting ourselves – I think we had five holding penalties.”

Parkersburg’s defense looked invincible while building a 21-0 lead midway into the second quarter.

The first three Marietta possessions resulted in a net 4 yards and no first downs. The Tigers’ longest play from scrimmage occurred with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter on a 9-yard completion from Henry to Quinton Coffield. Only one other play turned into positive yardage.

“I’m proud of the defense – they stepped it up tonight,” Reeves said. “We put pressure on the quarterback.”

The PHS offense, on the other hand, piled up the yardage and finished 219 yards for the first half. Of the five times the Big Reds had the ball, twice they failed to score only because of a missed 36-yard field goal and a turnover on downs which led to Marietta’s final three points of the first half.

Otherwise, the Big Reds made quick work on their three scoring drives. Chase Shank’s 7-yard touchdown run at the 3:06 mark of the first quarter capped a five-play drive which covered 47 yards.

On their next series, the Big Reds needed just four plays to cover 55 yards. On the first play from scrimmage of the second quarter, Chandler Hamilton busted the seam and rambled 39 yards for the score.

Following a Marietta punt, Roberts called his own number four times for 46 yards. But it was Shank again who reached the end zone – this time from 6 yards out. With 7:38 remaining before intermission, PHS led 21-0.

The Marietta offense suddenly woke up on the ensuing drive. Coffield’s 24-yard gain on an end around to open the series gave the Tigers their initial first down of the game at the 7:24 mark of the period. On third-and-20 from the PHS 36, Henry and Coffield again hooked up – this time for a 34-yard completion.

Two plays later, Garrett Davis put Marietta on the board from 1 yard out and the Tigers trailed 21-7.

After PHS failed to convert a first down on the ensuing possession, Marietta marched 31 yards in seven plays. With five seconds showing on the clock, Brent Huck booted a 32-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 21-10.

“We allowed Marietta to stay in the game,” Reeves said. “We got lucky with that roughing the punter because we missed a block we should have made. That roughing the punter turned the reflection of the game.”

Hamilton finished with 83 yards on 10 rushes and Shank tacked on 67 yards on 18 attempts.

Coffield was Marietta’s leading ballcarrier with 34 yards on five rushes. Henry added 26 yards on 14 attempts.