Midland runs past Parkersburg
ONA — Fireworks weren’t the only thing to go off on Friday night at Cabell Midland High School.
In his first football home game with the Knights, Cabell Midland running back Teran Barnitz finished with 147 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries to fuel a 40-7 win over Parkersburg.
The opening for the Knights, which features the team’s pre-game chant and then a game-time entrance that features a motorcycle leading the team out with fireworks blasting off in the background, got Barnitz and his teammates fired up in the home opener.
“It was ballistic,” Barnitz said. “It’s not what I’ve been used to, but it was awesome.”
Those fireworks, which go off following each Cabell Midland score, continued to be prevalent throughout the game as the Knights rolled up big numbers for the third straight week.
Barnitz’ effort was part of a 519-yard rushing performance that saw he and fellow running back Kasey Thomas eclipse the 100-yard mark.
Thomas finished with 127 yards on 17 carries and a rushing score while opening the points barrage with a 67-yard punt return just two minutes into the contest.
Fellow running backs Donte Hendricks and Alex Childers also saw success on the ground. Hendricks finished with 84 yards on seven carries while Childers had 77 yards on nine carries with an 8-yard touchdown.
“It was kind of a prototypical game for us,” Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said. “Parkersburg held the ball a lot and schemed us for two weeks, so we had to do some things different, but at the same time, running the ball is who we are. The backs did a really good job and the offensive line did a much better job in the second half.”
The key to the contest came in the second quarter.
Cabell Midland’s offensive front dominated the line of scrimmage and churned out a pair of long drives that wore down the Big Reds defensively.
Barnitz’ 18-yard touchdown run capped a 12-play. 87-yard drive with 7:41 left to put Cabell Midland ahead 14-0.
The Knights defense then forced a three-and-out for Parkersburg and the offense went back to work, churning out an 11-play, 78-yard drive with Barnitz’ 2-yard run putting the Knights back in the end zone.
While the 6-foot, 215-pound running back bulldozed his way through tackles and acquired many of his yards after contact, he didn’t look at his physicality as the strength of his game.
“I think the strongest part of my game is mental,” Barnitz said. “It’s how far you want to take your team and how many tackles you want to break. You can do anything you want as long as you work hard and practice.”
The drive continued after Parkersburg was called for a pass interference penalty on fourth down.
Cabell Midland ran 27 second-quarter plays to only six for Parkersburg, who netted five yards from those plays.
That showed in the second half as the Knights’ offense gashed the Big Reds’ defense for 299 yards rushing on just 26 carries — an average of 10 yards per rush after halftime.
If there is one negative to the lopsided victory, it was once again the penalties for Cabell Midland, who finished in double-digits for the third straight week. The Knights had 13 penalties for 122 yards.
“Some of those are being aggressive, but we talked to the guys out there,” Salmons said. “We teach our kids to be physical, but you have to learn when to let up. We have to get that corrected.”
The win, coupled with Huntington High’s win, sets up a showdown of 3-0 teams heading into next Friday night’s Battle for The Shield at Huntington High.
PARKERSBURG 0 0 0 7 — 7
CABELL MIDLAND 7 14 7 12 — 40
CM — Thomas 68 punt return (Adkins kick)
CM — Barnitz 18 run (Adkins kick)
CM — Barnitz 2 run (Adkins kick)
CM — Thomas 8 run (Adkins kick)
CM — Barnitz 16 run (kick failed)
P — Stubbs 20 run (Roney kick)
CM — Alex Childers 8 run (kick failed)
First downs 11 25
Total yards 201 554
Rushes-Yards 34-63 58-519
Comp-Att-Int 10-18-1 5-9-1
Passing yards 138 35
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-49 12-122
RUSHING — P: Stubbs 12-46; Trembly 5-23; Shank 3-8; Hamilton 7-5; Burdette 1-3; Team 1-(-2); Thomas 2-(-8); Roberts 3-(-12). CM: Barnitz 20-147; Thomas 17-127; Hendricks 7-84; Childers 9-77; Ellis 2-43; Pettit 3-41.
PASSING — P: Roberts 10-18-1, 138. CM: Pettit 5-9-1, 35.
RECEIVING — P: Thomas 4-66; Fox 3-49; Shank 1-12; Trembly 1-6; Dailey 1-5. CM: Thomas 1-17; Hendricks 1-9; Chapman 1-9; Womack 1-6; Barnitz 1-(-6).