HURRICANE — Parkersburg quarterback Jake Johnson rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another in leading the Big Reds past Hurricane 38-14 Friday night.
Johnson, a senior, found holes in the Redskins defense in the rushing and passing game, but shined particularly with his legs, as he rushed 15 times for 110 yards and three scores.
“He’s got great legs, so we have to use his assets,” Parkersburg coach Mike Byus said. “He has a great mind, great legs, and he throws the ball well. He’s a complete quarterback.”
The Big Reds (5-3) led 20-7 at halftime and continued to build on their lead thanks to Johnson, who carved the Redskins (3-5) with his speed.
“I saw openings tonight and I took them,” Johnson said. “It was a fun game to play tonight. Coach knows I can run the ball, so if I see it, I run it.”
In total, Parkersburg rushed 50 times for 262 yards, with Tyler Moler leading the way. He finished with 27 carries for 135 yards and one touchdown.
Hurricane played without coach Jeremy Taylor, who was ejected at Huntington on Oct. 5 in the team’s 34-21 loss, when he and/or his team incurred three penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With defensive coordinator Jason Pratt serving as interim coach, the Redskins defense started strong by forcing three first-quarter turnovers and six for the game. However, Hurricane failed to turn the opportunities into points.
“We did have our chances, but in the end we didn’t play to our identity,” Pratt said. “We didn’t execute very well. We got some turnovers on defense, but we didn’t tackle very well, and when you don’t play to your identity a football team, you just can’t expect to be there in the end fighting against an opponent that’s such a proud team as Parkersburg.”
Following the flurry of first-quarter fumbles, Parkersburg struck first in the second quarter when Johnson scored his first rushing touchdown, an 11-yard scamper. The extra-point kick was blocked, though, and the Big Reds led 6-0.
Hurricane responded on the ensuing drive, with Redskins quarterback Nathan Roy capping a four-play, 53-yard drive. Roy scored on a 1-yard run and, with the successful extra-point kick, the Redskins led 7-6 with 8:23 left in the second quarter.
The Hurricane lead proved brief, however, as Parkersburg scored on its next possession. Johnson hit Moler for a screen pass on third-and-11 and Moler turned it into a 33-yard touchdown. Johnson later added another touchdown on a 2-yard run with 23 seconds left in the second quarter.
At halftime, Parkersburg held a 20-7 advantage, outgaining Hurricane 333-135. The Redskins completed just one pass for 4 yards in the opening half.
With the victory, the Big Reds have won four straight games.
Hurricane next hosts South Charleston at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Parkersburg next plays at Huntington at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26.