PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Second-year Parkersburg Catholic coach Lance Binegar expects to learn a lot about his team in its next two games.
For now though, Binegar is enjoying watching the Crusaders resurgence, which continued Saturday with a resounding 46-6 victory over Calhoun County.
Not only did the win improve Class A’s No. 6 team to 7-0 overall, but it came on a day Parkersburg Catholic played its first-ever home game on campus directly behind the school.
“It was 98 degrees which was awful, but other than that, the fans were great,” Binegar said. “It was a great atmosphere and I hope we get to do it again in the future.”
Between the Crusaders’ unbeaten record and the venue for the game, there was no shortage of excitement on the part of PC ahead of its matchup with the Red Devils. Parkersburg Catholic wasted little time in showing that, jumping out to an 8-0 lead 2:07 into the action after Ty Sturm’s 66-yard touchdown run was followed by Jeb Boice running in the two-point try.
The Crusaders threw an incomplete pass on fourth and goal on the first play of the second quarter, leaving the deficit at eight points for Calhoun, which fell to 1-6 overall.
PC’s next drive also came to an end via turnover on downs, but the Crusaders immediately got the ball back when Sturm recovered a fumble by Red Devils’ quarterback Adam Parsons.
The turnover allowed the Crusaders to start at the Calhoun 25-yard line, and Sturm scored on a 16-yard run on the second play of the series. Boice ran in the two-point try to make it 16-0 with 6:58 to play in the first half.
“My job’s not hard. I get the ball and I run,” Sturm said. “The (offensive line) are the ones that do the work for me. I just have to run. I can’t be more blessed to have them out there blocking for me.”
Sturm finished off a five play, 49-yard drive with his third touchdown of the opening half on a 24-yard run 2:29 before halftime. The Crusaders upped their lead to 24-0 when Xavier Collie found Ethan Lang on the two-point pass play from the 12 following a holding penalty.
“That one play that (Sturm) had when he stretched out, ran over somebody and leaned to get in, that was pretty much beast mode right there,” Binegar said of the 24-yard TD run. “That was all him and all heart. With him doing that and the way our line is blocking, that’s awesome.”
The Red Devils responded with their only scoring drive of the game as Parsons threw a 30-yard pass to Kyle Persinger followed by a 30-yard TD pass to Levi Walker that made it 24-6 with 1:54 to play in the first half.
The Crusaders settled for the 18-point halftime lead but added to it soon after the start of the third quarter when Boice capped a nine play, 65-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run. Sturm successfully converted the two-point conversion with a run, leaving the Crusaders with a 32-6 lead at the 7:25 mark of the third quarter.
Calhoun struggled to put anything together offensively in the second half and after punting on its initial series, the Crusaders added to their lead with another 1-yard touchdown run by Boice. Clayton Dexter made the point-after kick, leaving PC with a 39-6 advantage and 2:36 to play in the third quarter.
Boice’s 10-yard TD run and another PAT by Dexter finished off the scoring with 5:48 remaining.
One year after finishing winless, PC is now through 70 percent of its regular season with an unbeaten mark. But the Crusaders, whose only victory over a team with a winning record came in week 2 against Ritchie County, welcome Notre Dame next week before playing at Williamstown.
“We’re still riding our wave of success, which is great, but with Notre Dame coming, they throw the ball a lot,” Binegar said. “That’s our Achilles heel for the most part, so we have to shore some things up and we’ll take care of it.”