"That shouldn't hamstring us,'' Mays said. "It's a matter of pride. We talk about pride all the time, about running your feet and making sure you do your job [on the offensive line], accounting for people you're supposed to block so we can get a hat on a hat and maybe bust a seam.
"We're not a complicated team. We just make it harder than what we need to do because sometimes we're not focused. This being homecoming week, we're still not going to make excuses. You've got to come to play every night. If it wasn't for football, we wouldn't have homecoming anyway.''
Parkersburg was able to stay within striking distance despite not moving the football very well, especially through the air.
Besides his interception runback, Roberts had a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter and his 23-yard pass to Josh Trembly shaved SC's lead to 21-19 with 1:29 left in the game. Richardson recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal it for SC.
Chase Shank (19 carries, 71 yards) and Roberts (13 carries, 62 yards) took turns hammering the ball at SC, mostly between the tackles. Roberts threw for a mere 28 yards, completing 2 of 9 passes.
"That's exactly what we wanted,'' said Big Reds coach Don Reeves of the slower offensive pace, "but probably not that much. We wanted to control the clock and keep them off the field.
"We told our defense they played as well as we've played maybe in the last year or two. We'll take that and work with it. But on the opposite side, we have to find a better way to handle the offense and the kicking game. Special teams hurt us. When you start chasing that extra point, usually you can't catch up.''
SC led 21-12 at halftime, getting the two TD passes from Grier and a rather fortuitous bounce of the ball to earn its third score.
Leading 14-12, the Black Eagles got a 47-yard kickoff return from Richmond to place the ball at the Parkersburg 32. From the 18, Richmond burst up the middle into the clear, but the ball was knocked out of his grasp when he was tackled at the 5. The ball trickled into the end zone, where it was covered by Forrest for a TD with 2:25 left before halftime.
That made it 21-12, which gave SC just enough of a margin.
"It was antsy there for a while,'' Richardson said, "but our defense, we were just focused on stopping them every drive. We weren't really paying attention to the score. We knew what we had to do.''
The Big Reds played their second game without top running back Melvin Stubbs, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.
SC plays three of its final four regular-season games on the road, starting next Friday at Ripley.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.