Nov. 9, 2018 Wheeling Park: Playoff Game
Big Reds Beat Patriots Again;
Get First Playoff Win Since 2007
Game Statistics / Game Photos
WHEELING – Kionte Peacock’s 87-yard kickoff return touchdown and a 51-yard pooch punt by quarterback Jake Johnson proved to be the key plays here Friday night as Parkersburg advanced to the Class AAA quarterfinals with a 28-21 victory over Wheeling Park.
The win was the first playoff victory for PHS since the state championship season of 2007 and pits the Big Reds against either #1 ranked Martinsburg and its long winning streak or 16th ranked Hurricane. Martinsburg and Hurricane meet Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in a first-round game. Should Hurricane pull the upset, they will travel to Parkersburg next weekend. A Martinsburg victory will mean a trip to the eastern panhandle for the Big Reds. The date and time will be determined at Sunday’s playoff meeting.
It was a game that went down to the wire much as the regular season meeting did when PHS pulled off the 57-51 triumph in the final seconds. This time it was Peacock’s scoring run that came just 13 seconds after Wheeling Park had tied the score on quarterback Alex Dunlevy’s eight-yard touchdown run.
Peacock took the kickoff on his 13 yard line and raced up the right sideline to score what proved to be the game-winner.
After that score the teams traded punts with Park getting the ball back on its 42 with 2:40 left in the game. On fourth and one from the PHS 49, Gage Fiore and Ryan Creech led a charge that stopped the Park running back for no gain and gave the ball back to PHS with 1:19 remaining.
The Big Reds ran two plays, losing two yards, and on third down coach Mike Byus elected to have Johnson pooch punt the ball from the shotgun formation and the play caught Wheeling Park by surprise with the ball rolling dead on the two yard line with 57 seconds left.
Dunlevy ran and passed his team to the 16 before a personal foul penalty on PHS moved the ball to the 30. Dunlevy ran for eight but on third down he was sacked by Justin Waybright. A fourth down pass was ruled incomplete as the receiver tried to catch and lateral but couldn’t pull off the play that had beaten his team in Parkersburg.
The Big Reds out-gained the Patriots 391-264 with Johnson having a hand in 297 of them as he completed 16 of 22 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown while also rushing 17 times for 62 yards.
The touchdown went to Brenton Strange who caught seven passes for a whopping 206 yards. He would have had a second TD to his credit after going 74 yards with a pass only to be ruled out of bounds on the one yard line. That helped set up one of two short Shane Miller touchdown runs. Strange was also outstanding on defense with nine tackles (8 solo), a sack, another tackle for loss and a pass tipped away.
Miller finished with 43 yards rushing on 11 carries as he had to take up the slack when Tyler Moler went out with a re-aggravated injury. Moler carried the ball just five times.
Dunlevy finished with 162 yards passing as he completed just nine of 22 with one interception (by Brandon Braham) and was sacked three times.
The continuing resurgence of the PHS defense was evident on the first series as the Big Reds forced the Patriots to punt and Coach Byus started his offensive game with a double pass from Peacock to Strange for 28 yards to the Wheeling 33.
But PHS came up short on its first series as well when Johnson hit Strange for 10 yards on a fourth-and-11situation.
After forcing another Park punt, PHS was able to reach the end zone on its next try, going 58 yards in 10 plays with all but one of them being on the ground. Miller got the six points on an eight yard run with 2:03 left in the first period.
Park took advantage of the one PHS mistake in the game, a fumble on the Big Reds’ 15 yard line, to push across a one yard touchdown run by Rapheal Bradley with 9:51 left in the half to tie the game at 7-all.
But retaliation came quickly for PHS in the form on a 74 yard pass completion to Strange, who appeared to score only to be ruled out of bounds on the one by an official who was clearly 30 yards behind the play. It didn’t matter as Miller ran it in on the next play and Issac Withrow’s kick made it 14-7 at the half.
Wheeling Park managed to tie the game in the middle of the third quarter thanks to a 53 yard pass to Devaughn McWhorter that put the ball on the PHS 13. A holding penalty stopped that threat momentarily before a 17-yard pass to McWhorter set up Kenya Robinson’s one yard scoring run with 4:22 on the clock.
The Big Reds missed a change to go up by three when Withrow’s 26 yard field goal was wide left. PHS had advanced all the way to the three on a 48 yard pass play to Strange but a bad snap from center lost 16 yards and two incompletions set up the three-point try.
PHS took to the air to start the fourth quarter to take a 28-21 lead as Johnson hit Braeden Mason, Dylan Shaver and Mason again before lobbing the ball over the middle to Strange on a 23-yard pass and run play with 10:16 left in the game.
But again Park came back, going 60 yards on eight plays with the biggest being a 35 yard pass over the middle to Jack Stakem (who had scored two touchdowns in each of his last two games against PHS). But Strange brought down the speedy Patriot at the eight only to have Dunlevy run it into the end zone on the next play. To square things at 21-apiece and set up Peacock’s electrifying kickoff return touchdown and set the stage for exciting finish.
#9 Parkersburg vs #8 Wheeling Park (Nov 09, 2018 at Wheeling)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 - Total
Parkersburg 7 7 0 14 - 28
Wheeling Park 0 7 7 7 - 21
Qtr Time Scoring play
1st 02:03 PHS - Shane Miller 8 yd run (Issac Withrow kick), 10-58 4:03
2nd 09:51 WP - Rapheal Bradley 1 yd run (Andrew Glass kick), 4-15 1:49
09:22 PHS - Shane Miller 1 yd run (Issac Withrow kick), 2-75 0:19
3rd 04:22 WP - Kenya Robinson 1 yd run (Andrew Glass kick), 5-66 1:16
4th 10:16 PHS - Brenton Strange 23 yd pass from Jake Johnson (Issac Withrow kick), 7-41 2:04
07:11 WP - Alex Dunlevy 8 yd run (Andrew Glass kick), 8-60 2:55
06:58 PHS - Kionte Peacock 87 yd kickoff return (Issac Withrow kick)