BECKLEY -It's supposed to be baseball, not football, that is a game of inches.
But don't tell that to the members of the Parkersburg High School football squad, who lost a heartbreaker to Woodrow Wilson here Friday night, 27-26.
Twice in the final minutes of the Mountain State Athletic Conference contest, the Big Reds pulled to within one point. Both times, PHS elected to go for two. Both times, they came up short.
The first came following a Big Red score that put PHS down, 21-20. When the two-point attempt failed, it looked like Beckley might run out the clock. Instead the Flying Eagles scored to go up 27-20, but missed the extra point kick.
Still, PHS would have just 81 seconds to pull out a much-needed win. With just 11 seconds to go, quarterback Aaron Roberts capped off a brilliant drive with a 1-yard TD run. PHS decided to go for two and Roberts was stopped just short of the goal line.
It was a crushing loss for the Big Reds as it dropped PHS to 2-4 and virtually assured the Big Reds won't make the state playoffs without winning their final four games, including contests against Huntington and George Washington, both top five teams.
It didn't take Woodrow Wilson (3-3) long to light up the scoreboard and take the lead. After PHS received the opening kickoff, the Big Reds turned over the ball on an interception at its own 24. On Beckley's first play from scrimmage, quarterback Brent Osborne ran around the end and didn't stop until he was in the end zone. The game was just over one minute old and the Flying Eagles already had a 7-0 lead.
Things didn't get any better for PHS as its next two drives ended in another interception and a three-and-out. Following the latter, Beckley took over at its own 25 yard line and drove 75 yards for a touchdown just one minute into the second quarter on a 12-yard TD pass from Osborne to Chase Hancock. It was 14-0 Flying Eagles with 11:05 left in the first half.
Despite the two-touchdown deficit, PHS didn't panic.
Rather, quarterback Aaron Roberts led his team on a 12-play, 77-yard drive with Chase Shank covering the final 10 yards for a Big Reds touchdown. Parkersburg missed the extra point kick and thus still trailed by eight, 14-6.
When the first half ended, the statistics were virtually even with PHS actually holding the advantage for total yards and time of possession, but trailing due to committing the only three turnovers of the first 24 minutes, all interceptions.
The Big Reds will return home next Friday night against Huntington.