Marietta High football rolls past Big Reds, 49-13
A running clock early in the fourth quarter was the signal Marietta had come to play against long-time rival Parkersburg at Don Drumm Stadium Friday night.
The Tigers (4-1) lit up the scoreboard and their defense held a very athletic Big Red offense to just two scores in a 49-13 victory. The results were especially shocking after the Big Reds looked impressive in a loss to West Virginia Class AAA No. 1 Huntington last week.
“This was a totally unacceptable performance from both sides of the ball this evening,” said PHS head coach Don Reeves. “I never imagined the running clock rule would come into play against this Big Reds team versus Marietta. (Jason) Schob and company played hard and physical tonight and we didn’t. We had missed assignments on offense and defense. We weren’t competitive when it came to contesting some deep passes and Marietta moved the ball down the field on us.
“The Tigers killed us with short passes tonight; we had some opportunities to step up and make some plays, but they never happened. My staff and I thought we had put in some schemes to slow their offense down, but in the end we didn’t do that.”
Marietta, which has another big test next week when it welcomes ECOL foe Cambridge to town, jumped out to an early 21-0 lead before the visitors could even get on the board. Senior quarterback Trent Dawson hooked up with Isaac Danford a 5-yard scoring catch in the first quarter and two more from 6 and 7 yards out in the second.
The three first-half touchdown grabs were the first of Danford’s four on the evening. The elder classman snared five catches for 83 yards on the evening.
It appeared PHS would get on the board the very next possession. An Easton Martin-led rushing attack took the ball from the Big Reds’ own 35 to down to the Tigers’ 30. Unfortunately for PHS, a Corbin Alkire interception of an errant Ethan Airhart pass at his own 24 would snuff out the Big Reds’ scoring opportunity.
“We told our kids all week, ‘We have to start fast in the first half,'” said Schob. “We couldn’t afford another letdown because we dug ourselves a hole last week and couldn’t get out of it. The kids did a good job of buying into what we told them and played well early on.”
Bradley Craig and Rylan Hamilton got the visitors on the scoreboard after the former hooked up with the latter on a 42-yard double pass with seven seconds to go before the half. The score was a fortunate turn of events for PHS as it appeared the Tigers’ Danford was in perfect position to pick the ball off. However, the pigskin just slipped through his fingers and into the arms of Hamilton for the six-pointer.
“We got a little bit lucky with the trick score right before the second half and got a little momentum,” said Reeves. “Unfortunately, we came out and made some mistakes after getting the ball in the second half.”
After failing to score on their first two drives of the second half, the Big Reds were on the receiving end of an unfortunate bounce on a tipped ball. Marietta took over at its own 38 on its second drive of the half and used a heavy dose of the run game to get the ball down to the PHS 23-yard line. Marietta’s Schob called a high jump-ball pass on third and eight and it appeared Hamilton might pick the pass off. However, the ball tipped off his hands and was snagged out of the air by Travis Moore to put the orange and black up 28-7.
PHS responded with a five-play drive on its next possession, which ended when Airhart hit Karson Snyder from 10 yards out to cut the lead to 15. Dawson blocked the extra-point attempt by Christian Axman.
It appeared the Big Reds were set up to cut into the lead further when a holding call on the first play of the next Marietta series put the Tigers in a hole at their own 42. Yet again, Dawson proved them wrong when he hooked up with Travis Moore on a 47-yard bomb to put set up Marietta at the 32 of the Big Reds. On the next play, Dominic Vanfossen got loose and scampred 32 yards into the end zone while dragging PHS defenders behind him.
Dawson and Danford hooked up for both final scores of the evening when the quarterback got into hot water in the backfield and threw a desperation pass to his teammate. Danford, who was all alone, caught the ball and raced 35 yards to paydirt.
“It’s awesome; I know I can just throw the ball up there and they’ll make plays for me,” said Dawson. “And I’ve got to thank my line. They give me time to just relax and feel comfortable back there, so I can find these guys and let them make plays.
“Them blocking helps me make quick reads. The quicker I make a read. the more open they are and the more room they have to work with.”
Marietta’s celebration was capped off when Bailey Wright jumped all over an Airhart pass and raced into the end zone with 2:54 left in the game to set the final score at 49-13.
The Big Reds, who fell to 1-4 on the season, will be off next week before traveling to take on Woodrow Wilson at 7 p.m. in Beckley on Oct. 7.
“We are going to take this week to find out who we are as a team,” said Reeves. “We need to get some wins fast and are in heavy playoff mode. We need some wins quickly these last five games if we hope to get to the postseason.”
at Don Drumm Stadium
Marietta 49, Parkersburg 13
Parkersburg (1-4) 0 7 0 6 — 13
Marietta (4-1) 7 14 7 21 — 49
M: Isaac Danford 5 pass from Trent Dawson, Austyn Chen kick, 6:07 1st
M: Danford 6 pass from Dawson, Chen kick, 4:41 2nd
M: Danford 7 pass from Dawson, Chen kick, :36.3 2nd
P: Rylan Hamilton 32 pass from Bradley Craig, Christian Axman kick, :07.4 2nd
M: Travis Moore 24 pass from Dawson, Chen kick, 1:04 3rd
P: Karson Snyder 10 pass from Ethan Airhart, Axman kick, 11:30 4th
M: Dominic Vanfossen 32 run, Chen kick, 10:19 4th
M: Danford 36 pass from Dawson, Chen kick, 3:11 4th
M: Bailey Wright 42 interception return, Chen kick, 2:54 4th
Parkersburg: First downs: 10; Rushes-yards: 22-54; Passing yards: 145; Total yards: 199; Passing: 18-22-2; Fumbles-lost: 1-1; Penalties-yards: 3-39; Punts-average: 3-35.0
Marietta: First downs: 17; Rushes-yards: 24-86; Passing yards: 293; Total yards: 379; Passing: 24-27-1; Fumbles-lost: 0-0; Penalties-yards: 9-75; Punts-average: 1-43.0
Parkersburg: Rushing: Easton Martin 12-83; Rylan Hamilton 3-12; Bradley Craig3-(-8); Ethan Airhart 3-(-10); Passing: Airhart 17-21-2, 103 yards; Craig 1-1-0, 42 yards; Receiving: Brenton Strange 6-43; Karson Snyder 3-25; Hamilton 2-57; Craig 2-7; Martin 1-8; Tyler Lawrentz 1-5
Marietta: Rushing: Dominic Vanfossen 18-70; Isaac Danford 4-23; Trent Dawson 2-(-7); Passing: Dawson 24-27-1, 293 yards; Receiving: Travis Moore 12-154; Danford 5-83; Vanfossen 4-37; Bailey Wright 2-25; Jermaine Burke 2-14; Matthew Bertram 1-2
Next games: Parkersburg at Woodrow Wilson, 7 p.m. Oct. 7; Cambridge at Marietta, 7 p.m. Friday