Updated Thu, Sep 6, 2012 1:42 pm
Although Parkersburg record sits at 1-1, they could very well be winless just two weeks into the 2012 season. The Big Reds needed to come from behind to beat Brooke in the season opener and were walloped the following week by a tough Cabell Midland squad.
“They might be the best team in the state,” Parkersburg head coach Don Reeves said. “We were a little young and inexperienced. We found out the hard way.”
Parkersburg gave up 419 yards on the ground to the Knights last week in a 49-10 rout. Reeves said the defense has to step up as they prepare for Friday’s contest against Marietta.
“Our defense needs to grow up,” he said. “We need to put more athletes out on the field.”
Reeves expects Marietta to utilize the passing game as much as Cabell Midland went with the rushing attack, citing that the Tigers will throw 60 to 70 percent of the time.
Fortunately for Reeves and the Big Red defense, they will be getting two key components back into the lineup as Matt Santer, the team’s returning leading tackler from 2011, returns to the secondary and Tyler Drake, who Reeves said is the leader of their defensive corps, steps back in at inside linebacker.
Santer’s return is also good news for junior quarterback Aaron Roberts. Santer’s size and athletic ability will help open up the Big Red passing attack. He will be lined up across from sophomore Dan Fox, who hauled in a school record 10 receptions last week for 90 yards.
Roberts has fared well through two weeks, completing 29 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Reeves said he keeps getting better each week.
“Cabell put pressure on him and forced him to throw,” Reeves said. “He had to grow up real quick. It’s just a growing experience for him.”
Despite the additions to the passing game, pounding the rock with Adam Lindamood will still be Parkersburg’s bread and butter. The senior tailback has rushed for 205 yards and four touchdowns through two games this season. The Big Reds are also getting good production out of his backfield mate, Chandler Hamilton, who is averaging 16 yards per carry.
Marietta comes in with an identical record, beating Morgan in the opener and dropping their second game to Warren. Junior quarterback Anthony Kimbrough, who threw for 237 yards and two scores in their Week 1 win, leads the Tigers. He also threw a touchdown pass against Warren, which would account for the only points Marietta put up on the board.
Friday’s meeting will mark the 108th battle between the two schools, which up until 1994, was the oldest rivalry in the country. The rivalry took a 13-year hiatus, but kicked off again in 2008. Parkersburg has taken the last three victories and will look to keep that streak going Friday night in Marietta.