Updated Thu, Aug 28, 2014 8:17 pm
On Friday night, the Parkersburg South Patriots will welcome in the Ripley Vikings for the start of the 2014 season. The Patriots currently hold bragging rights over the Vikings, after beating them 47-35 last year.
Parkersburg South coach Mike Eddy is back for his second season with the Patriots focused on making 2014 a better year than 2013, which ended with a 2-8 overall record.
"Obviously, last season was not acceptable," Eddy said following a preseason practice. "We have put in a lot of work and spent a lot time this offseason changing the culture of this team. "
The Patriots return a wealth of offensive led by junior quarterback Garrett Gilkerson. Gilkerson is coming into this season off a year where he threw for over 1,100 yards in his first season as the starting quarterback. The Patriots also return running back Brendan Schwendeman who put up 407 yards—yes 407 yards—and five touchdowns against Ripley last season. Also coming back is receiver Cody Boggs who will be a big target for Gilkerson this season.
Even with Schwendeman back, the Patriots are still expected to share carries with several different guys throughout the season.
“We are going to be by committee,” Eddy said. “We have tremendous level of talent at the skill position and don’t really have to rely on one guy”.
It is highly unlikely that Schwendeman runs over the Ripley defense again like he did last season, so expect Gilkerson to get the ball to his receivers and playmakers early and often and let them make plays.
Kickoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m.
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