WELLSBURG - Despite 156 yards in penalties, a missed opportunity to score on a first and goal from the two, and the loss of starting tailback Raliegh Mason to injury on the third play from scrimmage, Brooke still had hopes of grasping a victory over Parkersburg at home Friday.
"We've been talking all season that the thing we needed to work on was taking advantage of missed opportunities," said Brooke head coach Sean Blumette. "We had too many to count. Against a team like Parkersburg, that is traditionally a very solid team, we knew we were going to be in for a battle."
Unfortunately when an extra point sailed wide left after a score with 1:36 left in the game, the Bruins found themselves on the short end of a 35-34 decision to the Big Reds.
Photo courtesy Action Images
IN THE AIR — Brooke freshman Thomas Cole goes in the air to grab one of his two touchdown catches during Friday’s 35-34 loss to Parkersburg in Wellsburg.
"Unbelievable win for us when we had so much adversity coming into this," said Parkersburg head coach Don Reeves. "We had so many kids get hurt, and some more did tonight. We're playing guys that weren't even in our one, two, or three lineup a week ago.
"At times we had five sophomores on the field."
With the game tied at 28-all Parkersburg took over its own 28 yard line with 5:16 left. After a pair of 10 yard runs by Adam Lindamood and Chandler Hamilton set the Big Reds up at the 48 lightning struck the Bruins. Hamilton took a handoff and scooted up the middle for a 52 yard touchdown run. Codey Roney punched through the extra point and Parkersburg led 35-28 with 4:30 left.
Parkersburg 35, Brooke 34
Parkersburg 0 13 15 7 - 35
Brooke 0 21 7 6 - 34
B: Cole 8 pass from Buchmelter (kick failed)
P: Lindamood 11 run (Roney kick)
P: Lindamood 1 run (kick blocked)
B: Cole 14 pass from Buchmelter (Schwertfeger kick)
B: Wallace 18 pass from Buchmelter (Loughrie run)
P: Lindamood 16 run (run failed)
P: Safety, Lindamood sacked Buchmelter in end zone
P: Hoyler 9 pass from Roberts (Roney kick)
B: Buchmelter 1 run (Schwertfeger kick)
P: Hamilton 52 run (Roney kick)
B: Hildreth 11 pass from Buchmelter (kick failed)
RUSHING: Parkersburg 30-195-4 (Lindamood 19-121-3, Hamilton 5-90-1, Roberts 5-(-9), Fox 1-(-7)); Brooke 37-166-1 (Buchmelter 17-104-1, Smith 12-40, Loughrie 5-(-1), Mason 2-15, Hildreth 1-8).
PASSING: Parkersburg 9-12-109-1-0 (All by Roberts); Brooke 18-34-316-4-2 (All by Buchmelter).
RECEIVING: Parkersburg (Fox 2-25, Terrell 2-24, Thomas 1-15, Burdette 1-14, McCoy 1-12, Lindawood 1-10, Hoyler 1-9-1); Brooke (Hildreth 7-103-1, Loughrie 3-63, Wallace 3-35-1, Cole 3-26-2, Tate 1-42, Morris 1-30, Staffileno 1-17).
FIRST DOWNS: Parkersburg 18; Brooke 22.
PENALTIES-YARDS: Parkersburg 10-52; Brooke 21-156.
FUMBLES-LOST Parkersburg 4-2; Brooke 1-1.
Bruins' signal caller Alec Buchmelter was up to the task on the ensuing possession though, driving his squad 61 yards on nine plays. Buchmelter had a 20-yard run to go with four completions for 38 yards, including an 11-yard score to Heath Hildreth that made the score 35-34. That's when kicker Jake Schwertfeger's point after sailed wide left.
Brooke had one more chance, getting the ball back with 19 seconds, but Buchmelter's desperation heave with five second left was picked off by Parkersburg's Skyler Terrell to preserve the win.
In a game of momentum shifts one of the biggest came at the start of the second half with Brooke leading 21-13.
A failed onside kick attempt by the Bruins left the Big Reds with great field position at their own 48. On the third play of the drive, Lindamood scored from 16 yards out, dragging a host of Bruin defenders with him for the final few yards. The 2-point conversion pass to tie the game failed and the score was 21-19 Brooke.
Lindamood tied the game four plays later on defense when he sacked Buchmelter in the end zone for a nine yard loss and a safety that made the score 21-21.
Parkersburg was again set up nicely after the free kick, taking over at the Brooke 36-yard line. It took three plays to score from there as Aaron Roberts hit Lantz Hoyler for a 9-yard scoring strike and Roney punched through the extra point for the 28-21 Big Reds lead.
The remainder of the game's scoring came in the second quarter.
Brooke got things going with Buchmelter threw the ball up for grabs to 6-foot-5 freshman Thomas Cole who outjumped and outmuscled the defensive back for the 8-yard touchdown. The extra point went off the upright and the score was 6-0 Brooke.
Parkersburg picked up the next two scores on Lindamood runs. The first, an 11-yard scamper, was paired with a Roney point after for a 7-6 lead.
The second came from 1-yard out and when the extra point was blocked by Brooke's Ryan Browning the score read 13-7 Big Reds.
The Bruins' second score came on another Buchmelter to Cole hook up. This time Cole went up over a pair of Parkersburg defenders for the 14-yard touchdown. Schwertfeger put the P.A.T. through for the 13-all tie.
The next score came with 40 seconds left in the first half when Buchmelter hit Hunter Wallace for an 18-yard score. Justin Loughrie ran the two-point conversion in for the 21-13 Brooke halftime lead.
Buchmelter was fantastic for the Bruins, going 18-for-34 through the air for 316 yards and four touchdowns to go with 104 rushing yards on 17 carries and another score. His top target was Hildreth who caught 7 passes for 103 yards and his fourth quarter score.
"Two years ago we came up here and as a sophomore he proved to me he was one of the better quarterbacks in the state two years ago," said Reeves of Buchmelter. "I think he's just progressed since then. I think he's one of the best. I was intimidated by him because he can run and throw."
Added Blumette of his signal caller's performance, "After Raliegh came out, he and Buck talked, and one of the things Raliegh said and that they talked about was that it was Buck's game now.
"Buck was going to have to carry it, and he said 'give me that chance'."
Parkersburg was paced by Lindamood's 121 yards and three scores on 19 touches with Hamilton adding five carries for 90 with a score. Roberts was 9-of-12 for 109 yards and a touchdown.
"We knew we had to depend on our running game because our quarterback has played only one junior varsity game in his lifetime," said Reeves. "We have two experienced guys in the backfield. Our first and second split ends are injured and we're playing sophomores, and guys that didn't play much on varsity last year so with our inexperience we had to depend on our guys in the backfield."
Brooke (0-1) hosts St. Clairsville Friday.
"We told the team we're not going to point fingers and say you should have done this, or you should have done that, but we're going second guess this one for a while," said Blumette.
"We have to get back to work tomorrow though and get ready for St. Clairsville."