Parkersburg High defeats Woodrow Wilson for 1st win
BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles came into week three in unfamiliar territory under head coach Street Sarrett. They were 2-0 for the first time under the third-year head coach who has drawn praise from his colleagues for the turnaround. Parkersburg entered the night with the opposite fortune, boasting an 0-2 record.
Unfortunately for the Flying Eagles the dream of remaining undefeated was crushed as the Big Reds used three second half touchdowns to secure their first win, 28-7 at Van Meter Stadium on Friday night.
Neither team could get in groove early with penalties slowing down the pace of the game, leading to a 7-7 halftime stalemate.
“We had some stupid penalties there and just gave it away,” Sarrett said. “We played undisciplined football and that’s what happens when you play like that. We went down there and scored, but we had an interception that would’ve been a touchdown called back and we had another one called back. It was just undisciplined football.”
Sarrett wasn’t the only one who felt that way. His counterpart, Parkersburg coach Mike Byus attributed the penalties to mental errors that were easily correctable.
“It just seemed sloppy,” Byus said. “That’s our first win of the year, so I’m really glad to have it but I feel like we just played really sloppy. We’ve got to clean up the mental errors. I’m proud of our kids though.”
The penalties, while impacting both sides, were more costly for the Flying Eagles, negating not only turnovers, but touchdowns as well.
The first big play wiped out was a 45-yard Zach Weaver interception return for a touchdown that would’ve given the Flying Eagles a 13-0 lead in the final seconds of the first quarter. Despite the setbacks, the Flying Eagles defense did exactly what it has through the first two games, clamping down and recovering a Parkersburg fumble in the end zone for a touchback.
Both defenses continued to shine until Parkersburg receiver Brenton Strange caught a 4-yard pass to tie the game at 7-7 going into the half.
The Big Reds harnessed that momentum while penalties continued to plague Woodrow.
In a similar scenario, with Parkersburg driving, Weaver came up with another interception and returned it for a touchdown, but just like the previous one, it was called back on a roughing the passer penalty. Meanwhile the Big Reds’ began to execute and move the ball.
“We were lucky to be tied at the half,” Byus said. “We just executed a little better. We sat down and looked at what we thought would be good for us and we executed a little better. We kept getting penalties and shooting ourselves in the foot. When they picked that ball off and jumped the route, and had it called back, I thought that really hurt them momentum wise. In a close game like that it takes just one play to swing the game like that.”
The second half featured a healthy dose of Strange, who, on a gimpy leg, caught a 51-yard touchdown, finishing the night with 160 yards on seven catches and two touchdowns.
PHS, which plays host at 7:30 p.m. next Friday to Capital at Stadium Field, opened the second half with a Tyler Moler 1-yard TD run to give the visitors the lead for good. Moler finished with game-highs of 24 rushes for 151 yards as PHS held a commanding 476-234 advantage in total yards.
Big Red quarterback Jake Johnson hit 16 of 23 passes for 247 yards and rushed for an 18-yard TD following Moler’s score.
PHS fumbled four times and lost two while also throwing a red zone interception. The Big Reds were flagged 12 times for 121 yards, but converted 9 of 14 third-down conversions.
Micah Hancock’s 2-yard TD plunge with 2:35 left in the first quarter was the only score for the Flying Eagles. Hancock rushed 13 times for 31 yards while quarterback Peyton Shehan, who was 6 of 11 for 123 yards through the air, carried 13 times for 65 stripes.