Updated Sat, Oct 19, 2013 4:59 pm
The West Virginia Class AAA top-ranked Huntington Highlanders assured their No. 1 ranking Friday night, as they routed the Parkersburg Big Reds, 55-14. The Highlanders jump to a 7-0 unblemished record thanks to four first half touchdowns, while the Big Reds fall to 2-5.
The Highlanders dominated the Parkersburg defense by way of the big play. Quarterback Clark Wilson put the Highlanders on the board midway through the first quarter when he connected on a 76-yard touchdown strike to running back Charles Crawford. Wilson only completed one more pass on the night to finish 2-of-6 for 93 yards.
Huntington proved its playmaking capability again when running back Paden Christian weaved his way through eleven stumbling Big Reds for a 60-yard run to the house in the closing seconds of the first quarter to put the Highlanders up, 14-0. Christian finished with 113 yards on eight carries.
Although the backdrop at Stadium Field was a clear night sky, the big plays kept on raining in for the Huntington Highlanders.
Running back Nick Tubbs joined in on the action with a 70-yard touchdown run with 9:40 remaining in the second quarter. As Tubbs crossed the goal line, his right index finger waggled at the crowd drawing a plethora of yellow laundry onto the field. Parkersburg blocked the ensuing extra point attempt to maintain a 20-0 deficit.
The 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty forced Huntington to kick from its own 25 yard line, affording Parkersburg great starting field position at the Huntington 49 yard line.
After two quick plays, the Big Reds faced a crucial third-and-one at the Highlanders’ 40 yard line. But with 8:41 remaining, a stadium light on the Parkersburg sideline blacked-out causing an unexpected delay. Upon return to play, quarterback Aaron Roberts called his own name two plays in a row. Both plays resulted in no gain and a turnover on downs.
As if Parkersburg momentum surge wasn’t cut short already, the Huntington offense put on a seven-play, 61-yard grind-and-bump drive complete with a 13-yard touchdown run by Wilson to put the Highlanders up, 27-0.
Parkersburg responded before half by way of a 3-yard touchdown pass from Roberts to Stephen Dailey. Roberts finished 7-of-16 for 93 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were caught by Dailey. Tubbs helped put the game out-of-reach with a 94-yard marathon touchdown run in the second-half. Tubbs had 167 yards on only five rushes and scored three times throughout the night.
Parkersburg will host Class AAA No. 2-ranked George Washington on Oct. 25, while Huntington will travel back home to face St. Albans.