RIPLEY, W.Va. -- With Parkersburg South coach Mike Eddy and Ripley coach David Tennant each making their coaching debuts with their respective schools on Friday, somebody was bound to pick up his first win in the state.
But Eddy had one thing that Tennant didn't -- Brendon Schwendeman
Schwendeman shredded the Ripley defense throughout the second half and recorded a calculator-busting 391 yards on 17 carries with five touchdowns as the Patriots turned an 11-point halftime deficit into a 47-35 win at Death Valley in both teams' season opener.
Schwendeman opened things with a 64-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage, but the South offense fell silent the rest of the half as the Vikings recovered to carry an 18-7 lead into the locker rooms.
Eddy said his halftime speech was simple, but whatever was said during that meeting in the South locker room at the break should be bottled for a later date.
"Halftime speech was, 'Don't quit, don't give up,'" Eddy said. "We wanted to prove something, that we're winners. But we've got to believe we can win and that's what the second half was about. We came out, proved to each other that we're going to stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder, and we're going to be winners, and that's what we proved tonight."
The Patriots wasted no time after the break as Schwendeman scored on runs from 43 and 81 yards out on his first two carries as South seized a 21-18 lead just five minutes into the third quarter.
Ripley answered with a 22-yard game-tying field goal from Easton Berry, but Ripley's defense couldn't slow down the South offense, which rolled downhill the rest of the way.
Quarterback Garrett Gilkeson hit Cody Smith on a 14-yard touchdown pass followed by a 65-yard touchdown scamper for Schwendeman to put South up 13 points early in the fourth quarter.