Over eight thousand fans came out to watch the Parkersburg High School Big Reds host their nearby neighbors, the Parkersburg South High School Patriots. This West Virginia rivalry dates back to 1967 and the teams boast numerous state titles between the two, including Parkersburg back-to-back titles in 2006-2007. Both teams are coming off playoff appearances last season and sporting identical 4-3 records entering the contest. Though Parkersburg holds the all-time series lead, recent history has been in favor of the Patriots from Parkersburg South. Tonight held much of the same as the Big Reds had the advantage going into intermission, but Parkersburg South won the second half decidedly to walk away with their second consecutive Great American Rivalry Series win over their arch rivals 28-10.
A beautiful night greeted those in attendance and the game lived up to the hype preceding the contest. Parkersburg jumped out to an early lead following a 40yd run by their their starting running back junior Kwante Johnson down to the Patriots’ 10yd line. A couple of plays later senior Matt Kanter took a direct snap and powered his way into the end zone for a 3yd touchdown with only four minutes gone in the opening stanza.
Turnovers were a big story of the first half, and the first would occur on the ensuing Patriot possession. A fumble on their own 35yd line was scooped up quickly by the Big Reds and they found themselves in prime position to take a big early lead. However, the turnover bug looked to be contagious as two plays later, Braxton Johnson for South outjumped the Big Red receiver at the goal line for an apparent interception. However, there was a flag on the play for roughing the passer and Parkersburg kept the ball. Unable to keep the drive moving, however, the Big Reds settled for a field goal from place kicker Cody Roney for the 10-0 lead at the end of the quarter.
South took the kickoff and, following a nice return, marched into Parkersburg territory. A tipped pass however bounced off several players before falling into the hands of the Big Red defender. Both teams would trade possessions until five minutes to go in the half when Parkersburg South quarterback Tyler Bolen found paydirt to open the scoring for the Patriots. The score would remain 10-7 through halftime.
The Big Reds received the ball first in the second half, but a three and out started the shift in momentum towards their neighbors from the South. A good drive, highlighted by a big runs from senior running back and eventual Great American Rivalry Series MVP Jordan Quiocho to get into Parkersburg territory and Johnson’s 41yd touchdown scamper to give the Patriots their first lead of the night. Two minutes later that lead was extended when senior defensive back Logan Cox, an All-State selection in 2011, intercepted a pass and took it 37 yards to paydirt. The Patriots now led 21-10.
Parkersburg quickly responded after a 65yd run from senior Adam Lindamood set the Big Reds up on the Patriot five-yard line. Chandler Hamilton would pick up where Lindamood left off and scored a touchdown on a five-yard carry. The Big Reds called timeout before the extra-point attempt and came back to the field with their offense lined up for a two-point conversation. The Patriots were fooled by a play-action pass completed to the fullback, Cody Burdett, who was left completely alone in the back of the end zone, bringing the score to 21-18.
At the start of the final quarter, the Patriots were forced to punt and did so beautifully pinning the Big Reds back inside their own ten-yard line. After putting a drive together that got them nearly to midfield, Parkersburg found themselves facing a long 3rd and 10 after a false start penalty. After escaping pressure junior quarterback Aaron Roberts threw a pass across his body deep down the middle of the field to a wide open receiver, who just couldn’t reel it in. That play knocked the wind out of the Big Red faithful, and, after a Parkersburg punt, Quiocho made sure they would not recover when he scampered up the middle untouched for a 43yd touchdown. The Patriots led by a score of 28-18 after the extra point.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hamilton broke free up the left side and returned the ball to midfield, giving the Parkersburg fans reason to believe there was still an opportunity to pull off the victory. Cox, however, had a different story in mind as he made a great play to intercept his second of the game for the Parkersburg South Patriots.
After two kneel downs, Quiocho sealed the game when he broke loose down the right side of the Big Reds defense for another big gain. One more kneel down brought all zeros to the game clock, and gave the Patriots another win in this Great American Rivalry Series match-up. Final score on the night was 28-18.
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- Parkersburg vs South 2012