Updated Sat, Nov 9, 2013 9:43 am
After a two-year stint on the South side, the Richard Corbitt memorial trophy is back in Parkersburg High School.
In an intense matchup between crosstown rivals, the Parkersburg Big Reds proved to be triumphant in a 35-26 victory over the Parkersburg South Patriots at Erikson All-Sports Facility on Friday night to take back the Richard Corbitt Memorial Trophy.
Down 28-20, Parkersburg South found itself edging toward a game-tying score early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Garret Gilkeson drove the Patriots down to the Big Reds’ 26 yard-line. With 9:03 remaining in the game, Parkersburg’s Austin Life stripped running back Cody Smith on a run to the right to force a Patriots turnover. The fumble was one of four for Parkersburg South, all of which were recovered by the visiting white Parkersburg jerseys.
However, Parkersburg South’s defense held strong to give Gilkeson and the Patriots another chance.
With 7:24 remaining, Parkersburg South regained possession at their 36 yard-line via a Parkersburg punt. Gilkeson rallied the Patriots into Big Red territory in five plays, including a 4-yard rush by the Parkersburg South quarterback on a crucial fourth-and-1. Two plays later, Gilkeson found Cody Boggs open in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 4:59 remaining to cut the Big Reds’ lead to 2. Boggs had six receptions totaling a game-high 121 yards.
Parkersburg South failed to tie the game on the 2-point conversion when Gilkeson fired incomplete on a roll out to the right. Gilkeson finished with a game-high 236 yards, going 12-of-18 for two scores through the air.
On the ensuing kick, with three timeouts left, Parkersburg South booted the ball deep into the end zone for a touchback. The Big Red duo of junior running back Corey Burdette and senior quarterback Aaron Roberts proved to be fatal for Patriots’ defense. In the last drive of his Parkersburg career, Roberts led the Big Red offense on its most impressive drive of the night – a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a 3-yard run by the senior quarterback with 25 seconds left to assure the Big Reds a 35-26 win. Roberts accounted for four of Parkersburg’s touchdowns – two on the ground and two through the air – and finished with 75 rushing yards and 82 passing yards. Austin Life was on the receiving end for both of Roberts’ passing touchdowns – one for 34 yards and one for 28 yards.
Parkersburg jumped out to a 14-0 lead with 10:18 left in the second quarter. The Patriots responded fiercely with a four-play 81-yard drive to make it 14-7 with 8:58 remaining in the first half. The Big Reds and Patriots traded TDs before half, but a failed Parkersburg South extra-point created an eight-point difference at the break, 21-13.
The Big Reds scored on their first drive in the second half to arrive at a 28-13 lead. The Patriots retaliated with 2:53 on the clock in third quarter to cut the deficit to 28-20.
Despite the loss, Parkersburg South outgained Parkersburg in total yards, 383-328. The Patriots only punted once, but turned the ball over four times, while the Big Reds didn’t fork the ball over once.
Parkersburg South finishes the season 2-8 in their first season under coach Mike Eddy.
Parkersburg caps its season on a two-game win streak to finish 4-6.
Slideshow: Parkersburg 35, Parkersburg South 26
Photos by Kaleb Carter