ONA - Were it not for two kickoff return touchdowns by the same player, Parkersburg's Big Reds would have pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in school history and definitely the biggest upset of the Class AAA high school football playoffs.
As it was the 15th ranked Big Reds nearly gained revenge for a regular season lop-sided loss and threw a giant scare into a team that was supposed to reach this year's state finals. The Knights were the second-ranked team in the state going into the first round of the playoffs.
In the end PHS came up three points short and suffered a 45-42 loss. Oddly enough, it was by the margin of a field goal that the Big Reds reached the playoffs (17-14 victory over Parkersburg South last week) and it was by the margin of a field goal that they were eliminated.
Showing incredible resilience and heart, the Big Reds overcame two kickoff return touchdowns by little-known Brady Elkins only to be unable to overcome a field goal with just over two minutes to play against the home-standing Knights, who had beaten PHS 42-21 back in the third week of the regular season.
Elkins returned the opening kickoff 66 yards for a touchdown and ran another back 65 yards in the middle of the second quarter while the Knights were putting on their usual potent running attack with 445 yards on the ground, 268 by Caperton Humphreys and 176 by Alex Childers.
But PHS was able to counter-punch with 300 yards passing and three touchdowns from Josh Trembly, who completed 12 of 19 passes with one interception. Included in that aerial attack was two TDs to jayvee quarterback/backup split end Karson Snyder, who was moved into the lineup due to the loss of two of PHS' regular receivers. Snyder caught only two passes but they were for touchdowns of 31 and 56 yards.
Dan Fox caught the other touchdown and also ran for a score while Austin Life was the leading receiver with 126 yards on four catches.
The Big Red passing game worked because Midland bunched all 11 defenders within a few yards of the line of scrimmage to stop the PHS run game and that worked well as the Big Reds were able to gain just 109 net yards on the ground although that did include minus 19 yards by Trembly.
Overall, Midland had 474 yards on 63 plays while PHS had 409 yards on 52 plays.
After the opening kick return TD by Midland, PHS was able to answer with 5:30 left in the first period when Snyder made a catch at the goal line with a Knight defender all over him.
A 51-yard run by Childers set up his five yard run with 4:12 on the clock to make it 14-7.
The Knights then put PHS in the hole with a punt to the Big Reds' nine yard line which was immediately followed by a five yard penalty. Josh Roney had to kick from his own three and Midland got the ball back just 31 yards from the end zone. In two plays Childers scored again to make it 21-7 with 11 minutes left in the first half.
But PHS responded with a 73 yard drive in just six plays to cut the lead to 21-14. A 36 yard pass to Brannon Turner set up a 23 yard scoring run by Fox with 8:21 on the second quarter clock.
The comeback momentum ended just 15 seconds later when another squib kickoff to gathered by Elkins, who did a rerun of his first score - but from one yard shorter. That touchdown made it 28-14 with 8:08 left before the half.
Again PHS responded, going 56 yards in just five plays with Corey Burdette covering the final five yards with 6:24 to play to again cut the margin to a touchdown at 28-21. The big play was a pass of 42 yards to Life.
With just 47 seconds remaining in the first half, Knight quarterback Coy Pettit scored from 16 yards away on a keeper to push the halftime lead to 35-21.
Midland looked like it was about to put the game on ice early in the second half when Humphreys broke away for a 55 yard touchdown run with just 1:46 gone in the third quarter. That made it 42-21 and Knight fans were starting to breath easier.
But there was no quit in the Big Reds as they answered in just six plays with Trembly hitting Fox from the 25 yard line after having connected on another bomb to Life for 33 yards. With 8:03 left in the quarter it was now 42-28.
Midland proceeded to use up 10 plays to go just 23 yards as they were hit with four penalties. The turned the ball over on downs at the Parkersburg 29 but the Big Reds suffered an interception at the Midland 20 late in the third period.
Again the Knights ate up clock time with 12 plays but again turned the ball over when Noah Weaver and Max Chefren stopped Childers for no gain on a fourth and one play at the 16 yard line.
Four plays later Chase Shank broke away for a 40 yard touchdown run to close the gap to 42-35 with 7:49 to play in what was now becoming a wild, wild west kind of shootout.
Leading by only a single score, Midland drove into the red zone again thanks to a 50 yard run by Childers but again the PHS defense rose up and held them at the three yard line, forcing Chris Heiner to come on and boot a 20 yard field goal with 5:36 still left to play which made it 45-35.
It did not take PHS long to answer that score however as Snyder got behind the Midland secondary again and hauled in a pass for a touchdown on a play that covered 56 yards and made it 45-42 with still 3:58 on the clock.
The Big Reds held the Knights to a three-and-out punt and got the ball back on their 29 with 2:06 remaining.
Three plays later PHS tried some trickery as Fox attempted a halfback pass but it was intercepted and Midland was able to run out the clock to preserve the victory.
The Big Reds went into the game without starting tackle Ben McFarland, who suffered a leg injury in practice this past week, and two of their regular receivers.
#15 Big Reds vs #2 Knights (Nov 15, 2014 at Ona, WV) Score by Quarters.... 1 2 3 4 Total
Parkersburg Big Reds (6-5) 7 14 7 14 - 42
Cabell Midland Knights (10-1) 14 21 7 3 - 45
Qtr Time Scoring play
1st 11:49 MIDLAND - Brady Elkins 66 yd kickoff return (Chris Heiner kick)
05:30 PHS - Karson Snyder 31 yd pass from Josh Trembly (Josh Roney kick), 5-52 2:21
04:12 MIDLAND - Alex Childers 5 yd run (Chris Heiner kick), 5-31 0:11
2nd 11:00 MIDLAND - Alex Childers 3 yd run (Chris Heiner kick), 2-31 0:17
08:21 PHS - Dan Fox 23 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 6-73 2:32
08:08 MIDLAND - Brady Elkins 65 yd kickoff return (Chris Heiner kick)
06:24 PHS - Corey Burdette 5 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 5-56 1:43
00:47 MIDLAND - Coy Pettit 16 yd run (Chris Heiner kick), 6-42 2:00
3rd 10:14 MIDLAND - Caperton Humphreys 55 yd run (Chris Heiner kick), 1-55 0:10
08:03 PHS - Dan Fox 25 yd pass from Josh Trembly (Josh Roney kick), 6-65 2:10
4th 07:49 PHS - Chase Shank 40 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 3-84 1:20
05:36 MIDLAND - Chris Heiner 20 yd field goal, 6-62 2:13
03:58 PHS - Karson Snyder 56 yd pass from Josh Trembly (Josh Roney kick), 4-70 1:35
nRoney's Field Goal As Time Expires Carries Big Reds Over Patriots 17-14 & Into Playoffs
It was an ending which befitted the build-up as Parkersburg High hosted Parkersburg South Friday night.
Josh Roney kicked a 30 yard field goal as time expired to lift PHS to a 17-14 victory over South - a win which will put the now 15th-ranked ranked Big Reds in the playoffs against Cabell Midland in a rematch game next Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Ona.
For the first time in the 48 meetings of the two city schools the game came down to the final play and for only the second time it was decided by a field goal - the previous dating back to 1979 when PHS won 3-0. The Big Reds now have won 35 times including two in a row.
The loss dropped the 12th ranked Patriots to 6-4 on the season (the same record PHS now has) and will put South at 16th place, meaning a first round game at Capital at a date and time to be revealed Sunday.
The game was played even almost from start to finish and it took the only turnover of the contest to decide the outcome.
South got the ball on its own 27 yard line with 2:42 left to play after a Roney punt. The Patriots needed only to get within field goal range of their talented kicker, Micah Boles, who had already kicked five field goals this year and made all 39 extra points he has attempted.
But on the first play from scrimmage, Max Chefren hit Brendan Schwendeman in the backfield for a four yard loss. On the next play, the Patriots ran up the middle and the ball was stripped by Austin Brown with Charley Conley recovering for the Big Reds on the 30 yard line with 1:52 on the clock.
The Big Reds ran the ball five straight times (giving them 53 rushes for the game compared to just 22 for South) to move the ball to the 13 yard line with 2.1 seconds remaining.
Roney, who had attempted just four field goals this year (making one from 27 yards away), calmly booted the ball out of Karson Snyder's hold and into the history books from 30 yards away. Chase Shank was the snapper.
Thus the senior kicker turned into the hero of the game and one of the heroes of a turn-around season for the Big Reds, who needed to win all three of their final games to make the playoffs and accomplished that feat with one triple-overtime victory and one last-play triumph.
Corey Burdette had both touchdowns for Parkersburg as he was the workhorse on the ground with 33 carries for 117 yards. The Big Reds had 226 yards rushing to go with 46 passing for a 272 total and 17 first downs.
South had 240 yards in total offense with 163 of it coming on the arm of Garrett Gilkeson as the junior quarterback completed 12 of 16 passes for both touchdowns - a 49 yard bomb to Schwendeman and a seven yard aerial to Cody Boggs, who was injured on the play (his fifth reception of the night) and did not return to action.
South had 14 first downs but ran just 38 plays compared to 62 by the Big Reds, who successfully played keep away from the Patriots' high-powered offense. PHS had the ball for 32:40 compraed to 15:20 for South. Tyler Greathouse, Burdette, Chefren and Shank led the PHS prevent unit as it turned in its fourth straight strong effort.
The Big Reds got in the red zone first in the game, advancing to the South 18 after an 11-play drive but were stopped when a fourth down pass fell incomplete.
Getting the ball back after a South punt, PHS this time went the distance, going 51 yards on nine plays with Burdette bulling over the right side from the nine yard line with 7:18 left in the first half.
But South answered with a touchdown bomb to a wide-open Schwendeman after a great pump fake by Gilkeson which fooled the PHS secondary and allowed the 49 yard scoring play with 3:17 remaining before intermission.
The Big Reds got the ball to start the second half and moved the ball for a couple of first downs before again failing on a fourth down pass play at the Patriots' 27.
A 20 yard pass to Boggs and a 36 yard scamper by Schwendeman gave South the ball at the PHS 12 yard line with the aide of a facemask penalty. Three plays later Gilkeson found Boggs at the goal line but the South receiver was hit hard as he caught the ball and was taken off the field with an apparent knee injury with 5:06 left in the third quarter and his team ahead 14-7.
But like two evenly matches fighters, the Big Reds answered that blow with a 57 yard, eight play drive that was highlighted by Burdette's one-handed reception for 19 yards. Josh Trembly also had a 10 yard run on the drive that finished with four straight runs by Burdette. The scoring play was a two yard carry over right tackle with 1:21 left in the third quarter.
Roney's kick tied the game at 14-all and had most fans thinking about overtime.
The defenses took over, forcing four punts, before PHS got the game's only break with the fumble recovery at the South 30. The Big Reds worked the clock and the running of Burdette, Dan Fox and Shank to set the stage for Roney's heroics.
#18 Patriots vs #12 Big Reds (Nov 07, 2014 at Parkersburg)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots.(6-4).................... 0 7 7 0 - 14
Big Reds.(6-4).................. 0 7 7 3 - 17
Qtr Time Scoring play
2nd 07:18 PHS - Corey Burdette 9 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 9-51 4:42
03:17 SOUTH - Brandon Schwendeman 49 yd pass from Garrett Gilkeson (Micah Boles kick), 7-80 4:01
3rd 05:06 SOUTH - Cody Boggs 7 yd pass from Garrett Gilkeson (Micah Boles kick), 6-73 1:41
01:21 PHS - Corey Burdette 2 yd run (Josh Roney kick), 8-57 3:37
4th 00:00 PHS - Josh Roney 30 yd field goal, 6-17 1:52
Delozier, Kirby Final 2014 Inductees to Hall of Fame
Brian Delozier ................Nathan Kirby
One of the most versatile Big Reds ever and one of the best defensive players in the history of Parkersburg High School are the final two inductees of 2014 into the Football Hall of Fame at PHS.
They were introduced Friday night Nov. 7 at Stadium Field prior to the Parkersburg South game. A reception was held to honor the two former players in the Hall of Fame Museum room.
Brian Delozier (1986-88) was a three-year standout for coach Buddy James who scored 32 touchdowns in his illustrious career. A two-time first team all-state defensive back, Delozier scored four touchdowns as a sophomore, 12 as a junior and 16 as a senior, helping the Big Reds compile an 18-12 mark.
Delozier amassed over 2,000 all-purpose yards during his career. The epitome of an “all-purpose player”, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder scored touchdowns five different ways. He tallied 21 rushing touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns. He also returned two interceptions for scores, two punts for touchdowns and ran a kickoff back.
Delozier was a particular nemesis to cross-town rival Parkersburg South, tallying seven touchdowns in three games, including an interception return for a score as a sophomore and a punt return for a touchdown as a junior.
He and his family still reside in Parkersburg and his daughter Alex is a sophomore on the Parkersburg Big Reds girls basketball team.
Nathan Kirby (1993-95) was a three-year starter at linebacker, a two-time all-state performer and the 1995 Sam Huff Award winner as the top defensive player in West Virginia.
A rare sophomore starter at linebacker in 1993 as the Big Reds finished 4-6, the future grid star help lay the foundation for the team’s return to prominence.
Anchored by the aggressive 6-foot, 195-pounder, PHS returned to the playoffs in 1994 for the first time in nine years. Kirby led the team with 160 tackles as the Big Reds finished 7-4, losing an opening round playoff game to St. Albans – Parkersburg’s first playoff contest since playing for the 1985 state championship.
Kirby won the high school version of “the triple crown” in 1995 as he was the captain of the all-state defense, the unanimous choice as the Huff Award winner as the outstanding defender and the Gatorade Player of the Year – one of only three Big Red players to ever earn that accolade.
He registered 122 tackles as a senior for a first-team defense that surrendered just 35 points and posted five shutouts. The Big Reds finished the 1995 season with an 11-2 record, losing in the state semifinals to Hedgesville.
Also a city resident, Kirby played collegiately at Pitt.
PHS Jayvees Finish Unbeaten
Kason Snyder hit Zack Blosser with a 57 yard touchdown pass just before halftime and Parkersburg’s swarming defense made that score stand up as the Big Red junior varsity finished an unbeaten season with a 20-8 victory at Riverside.
PHS trailed 8-0 late in the second quarter but scored twice in the final 1:57, first on Snyder’s 10 yard run and then Blosser got behind the Warrior secondary with just 23 seconds left in the half.
Steve Scholl Issiah Gossett, Joel Carty and Chance Rawson keyed a strong second half defensive effort that limited Riverside to 68 yards after intermission.
Jarrid Winters, who scored the game’s final TD on a 16-yard scamper, led PHS with 71 yards rushing while Dakoda Sims added 45 and a two-point conversion and Snyder contributed 41 yards on the ground and hit all four of his passes for another 70 yards.
Scholl recovered a muffed punt, recorded a sack and had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage while Gossett was again dominate from his defensive end position.
In seven games, the PHS jayvees allowed just five touchdowns.
Junior Varsity Football Parkersburg (7-0) 0 14 0 6 - 20 Riverside 0 8 0 0 - 8
R – Mark Scites 8 run (Joshua Sullivan run) 6:06 2nd
P – Karson Snyder 10 run (Dakoda Sims run) 1:57 2nd
P – Zack Blosser 57 pass from Snyder (kick failed) 0:23 2nd
P – Jarrid Winters 16 run (kick failed) 1:55 4th Team Statistics
Rushing Yards – PHS 166, Riverside 167. Passing Yards – PHS 70, Riverside 35 Individual Leaders
PHS – Rushing: Jarrid Winters 10-71, Dakoda Sims 7-45, Karson Snyder 7-41, Jaden Lecario 2-12, Zack Blosser 2-(-3). Passing: Snyder 4-4-0 70, Sims 0-1-0. Receiving: Blosser 2-62, Joel Carty 1-10, Lecario 1-(-2). Defense: - Steve Scholl sack & 2 TFL, Jesse McGrew sack, Max Turner sack, Kendall Leary TFL, Ethan Farinash TFL, Henry Hickman TFL, Chance Rawson interception.
Note: PHS jayvees finish undefeated. Game with Parkersburg South canceled by South.
Freshmen Fall To Spring Valley 32-6
The injury-riddle PHS freshman football team closed its season with a 32-6 loss to visiting Spring Valley despite outstanding defensive efforts by Tyee Gibson and Elijah Hearn.
Gibson, who scored the only PHS touchdown on a 41 yard reception from end-turned-quarterback Nathaniel Steed, led the way with 14 tackles while Hearn contributed 11 stops.
9th Grade Football Spring Valley 6 8 0 18 - 32 Parkersburg (3-3-1) 0 0 0 6 - 6
SV – Owen Porter 4 pass from Derek Johnson (pass failed) 6:26 1st
SV – Johnson 5 run (Porter run) 1:20 2nd
SV – Damien McBride 3 run (run failed) 9:53 4th
SV – Porter 58 run (kick failed) 5:08 4th
P – Tyee Gibson 41 pass from Nathaniel Steed (run failed) 3:52 4th
SV – McBride 36 run (run failed) 1:31 4th
First Downs - Spring Valley 12, PHS 6
Rushing Yardage - Spring Valley 34-252, PHS 29-67
Passing Yardage - Spring Valley 75, PHS 70
Punts - Spring Valley 1-13, PHS 3-31.3
Fumbles-Lost - Spring Valley 1-0, PHS 3-1
Penalties - Spring Valley 11-65, PHS 3-25
Rushing - Spring Valley: Owen Porter 11-95, Derek Johnson 3-12, Josh Pennington 2-11, Damien McBride 16-141, Ryan Bailey 2-(-7). PHS: Zion Atkinson 12-72, Tyee Gibson 4-3, Nathaniel Steed 9-(-10), Cameron Day 1-1, Darohn Barber 3-1.
Passing - Spring Valley: Johnson 5-11-0 75 yards; PHS: Steed 4-11-1 70.
The 2015 Parkersburg football schedule has been announced and contains more than a few oddities.
PHS will open with home games against George Washington and St. Albans before traveling to Huntington for the second year in a row and then playing three straight home games against Capital, Marietta and Beckley.
After an open week the Big Reds travel to Ripley and then Warren. They wind up the regular season with games at Cabell Midland and Parkersburg South. The Cabell Midland game is scheduled on Thursday and might be the first PHS game played on the night in recent history although the Big Reds used to make an annual event of playing Marietta on Thanksgiving Day.
St. Albans and Ripley replace Riverside and South Charleston from this year's schedule.
Commemorative t-shirts and bracelets are available and donations can now be made online here at the football web site by clicking on the PayPal icon under the t-shirt photograph on the left side of the page. Online contributions will be added to the sponor lists if the amount is sufficient.Contributors are reminded that tax deductible checks will be accepted. They should be made out to PHS Stadium Committee.
Sponsors are being sought with 10 levels of donations - Seat Named $200, Bronze $500, Silver $1,000, Gold $2,000 and Platinum $2,500, Team Captain $5,000, Reserved Seat Row $10,000, White $15,000, Team Spirit $20,000, PHS Big Red $50,000. Sponsors will have three years to honor their pledges. Sponsors meeting any of the pledge levels will be listed on a plaque to displayed prominently in the Stadium.
Donations from fans and alumni who are proud of Stadium Field and its storied 93 year history may also be sent to Parkersburg High School in care of Charlotte Potter, Stadium Field Committee, 2101 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101.
The home side finished product!
History of Stadium Field
In the spring of 1923 a group of men got together to form a stadium committee whose sole intent was to build a stadium for the newly constructed Parkersburg High School.
Those men included John S. Echols, President of the Board of Education, C.M. Martin, Sherman Dils, J.H. Biddle, C.T. Hitshaw, Herbert Smith, John Randolph, and Paul L. Summers. The committee was incorporated on July 14, 1923 and became known as the Parkersburg High School Corporation. The process of forming a corporation was necessary because the bonded indebtedness of the Board of Education was then at the peak permitted by law. Also serving on this committee was Fayette Smoot, H.L. Martin, Edward Doesch, H.R. Debussey and W.O. Holiday. The corporation leased the back campus from the Board of Education. It was impossible, according to the law of the time, for such a corporation to build any structure on land owned by a board of education. Therefore, the board had to turn over the land known as Stadium Field, on a 99-year lease to this corporation. The bonds were then released. The money for the bonds was to be recovered through football games and other activities held at the stadium.
The stadium was the first of its kind (concrete) in West Virginia and must have been the first of its kind to be built for the use of tax-supported institution without the investment of a single tax dollar.
The plans were to build one side of the stadium in 1923 and to build the other side the following year. The end of the U-shaped stadium was to be completed in the third year. When finally, completed it was to seat about 13,000 people. The end or bowl section of the stadium was never completed according to plans. The total cost of construction for the two sides was $104,000.
In just one day after the meeting in which the stadium plan was revealed, a total of $33,000 worth of bonds was sold.
In September of 1923 the first concrete was poured for the West stands of the stadium and on Oct. 4, 1923, the first game in the new stadium was played between the Big Reds of Parkersburg High School and Athens, Ohio. The Big Reds won by a 14-13 score. Ticket prices were 25 cents for student seating, 15 cents for student standing room. For the general public, the price was season ticket was $5 for seats and $4 for standing room.
In 1925 the stadium was officially dedicated. As part of the dedication, a race from Parkersburg to Marietta was held.
The installation of the stadium lights during the fall of 1940 made it possible for football games to be played at night. Until that time, most games were played on Saturday afternoon. The lights were installed by the Parkersburg Junior Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $7,000.75. The electric bill for the use of the lights was $3.25 per hour or about $10 for each game.
The lights were put in for the dual purpose of protecting the health of the players from the intense heat and to increase attendance. Among other reasons cited for the lighting was so that persons who worked Saturday afternoon could see the Big Reds play and so that the Stadium could be used for the purpose of holding other outdoor events such as political rallies or church events. Businessmen also felt that by playing Friday night games, Saturday afternoon business would be bolstered.
The first night game at PHS Stadium was Sept. 6, 1940 with the Big Reds beating Grantsville 50-0.
During the 1984-85 football season part of the stadium stands were closed for safety reasons. On June 13, 1988 it was recommended that both sides of the stands be closed. On June 14 the Board of Education accepted that recommendation.
During the summer of 1988 temporary bleachers were purchased and put up. Remodeling was done with funding help from C.O. Erickson and began in 1992. It was totally completed in 1994 with structural steel and concrete used to repair the stands.
In 1995 PHS qualified for home playoff games. After beating North Marion in the first round, the Big Reds were scheduled to host Wheeling Park. The Patriots protested the playing conditions at Stadium Field (no grass and nothing but mud) and a state inspection committee upheld the protest – moving the game to Tyler Consolidated High School. PHS won that game 28-7 and got to host the semifinal game after much work was done to repair the turf. But Hedgesville won the game 18-0 and the drive to install artificial turf on Stadium Field began in earnest.
The Stadium Renovation committee had its first planning session on Jan. 4, 1996 with more than two dozen members. In almost no time there were plans for an artificial surface to be added to the football field along with an 8-lane Eurotan track surface, new sidewalks, asphalt parking lot and refurbished concession stands.
On Aug. 30, 1996 the first game was played on AstroTurf Xl surface between Parkersburg South and Wheeling Park. On Sept. 6 the Big Reds played host to Hurricane on the new turf.
The cost of the new surface and renovations came to $1.25 million dollars which included $400,000 worth of in-kind services, $400,000 for advertising signs, $250,000 in donations and five bank loans of $400,000.
New light standards were installed in 1998. In 1999 new locker rooms were built in the Mary Lou Hague Memorial Sports and Arts complex at a cost of $536,390. In 2005 the restoration of the concrete stands was done at a cost of $129,356. In 2006 the turf was replaced at a cost of $295,000 with ProGrass artificial surface. In 2009 a new concession stand and restrooms were built on the home side at a cost of $195,000. The track was resurfaced in 2010 at a cost of $75,000 and in 2012 handrails were installed at a cost of $68,090.
In 2013 the home side bleachers were replaced in time for the second home game of the season. New seats were also installed with backs for the reserved seat section. The visiting bleachers still need to be replaced and contributions are still being taken.