PARKERSBURG - No. 17 Wheeling Park scored two touchdowns in a span of 1:22 late in the first half to take the lead and no points were produced in the second half as the visiting Patriots prevailed against No. 14 Parkersburg South, 17-14, on Friday night at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.
The victory improved Park's hopes for a Class AAA playoff berth while staggering South's playoff possibilities. Park is 6-3 while South is 5-4 and must defeat John Marshall next Friday at Erickson and keep its fingers crossed on making the AAA playoffs.
Bryce Ingram tallied both Park TDs, scoring with 2:43 left in the first half on a 15-yard run, then with 1:21 to go until halftime on a 57-yard aerial strike for a 17-14 lead at halftime. Ingram rushed 137 yards on 23 carries and caught two passes for 74 more yards.
Park stopped a drive by South on the game's first possession when Quashad Pugh intercepted at the Park 35 at 7:43 of the opening quarter.
Liam Casey booted a 35-yard field goal for Park at 5:15 of the first for a 3-0 lead.
But South's Logan Cox broke loose up the middle for a 51-yard dash to the Park 22 to set up Jordan Quiocho's 7-yard dart into the end zone at 2:03 of the first to lift the home team into a 7-3 lead.
After South's Brendan Schwendeman recovered a Park fumble at his own 42, quarterback Tyler Bolen connected with Jordan Braniff on a 20-yard pass to set the stage for a Bolen TD toss to Quiocho two plays later. From the Park 38, Bolen fired a perfectly timed pass down the sideline that Quiocho caught in stride behind his defender at the Park 20 and scooted into the end zone at the 10:42 mark of the second stanza for a 14-3 South lead.
But Ingram twisted free and got outside and raced 15 yards to paydirt at 2:43 of the second to narrow the gap to 14-9, then snagged the 57-yard TD pass, outrunning South defenders to score.
The third quarter saw South getting an interception from Tyler Rouse and fumble recovery by Cody Smith, but also Park's Theo Blackson picking off Bolen.
In the fourth quarter, South got the ball for the final time with 2:45 to play at its own 14 and got out to the 45, before a fourth-down pass went incomplete at 1:45 and Park proceeded to run out the clock.