By TEDDY ALLEN, Journal Sports
Parkway jumped from the ice chest into the frying pan last week when District 1-5A play opened against Haughton.
Didn’t take but a few minutes into what would be a nail-biting 17-14 Panthers win to knock off the chill and feel the heat.
“It was the first time we’d faced any adversity,” said Parkway coach Coy Brotherton, whose team had beaten its first three opponents by a combined score of 131-20 and had pitched two straight shutouts. “Felt it was a little easy for them. We got woke up the first half against Haughton, that’s for sure; that really brought us back to reality.”
It keeps on being for real tonight when Parkway, 1-0, 4-0, welcomes Captain Shreve, 0-1, 3-1 to newly-turfed Preston Crownover Stadium at 7.
While Parkway won a close one last week, Shreve rallied from being down 17-0 at the half to Byrd before losing, 25-20. That’s old news now to the Gators, who’ve had to think on their feet just to get through a challenging pre-district schedule.
“One thing about this team is they buy into the ‘one play won’t win you the game, and one play won’t lose you the game; one game won’t win district for you, and one loss won’t lose it for you,’’’ Shreve coach Adam Kirby said. “This week we’ve had three of our best practices so far. They’re focused, and our goals are still in reach.
“I’m so proud of their effort in the second half (last week),” Kirby said. “They could have folded. I’m seeing the hunger, the desire to want to get back at it.”
To do it, the Gators will have to slow the fastest player on the field in running back Jaylan White (43 carries, 495 yards, 7 TDs), who finished tied for No. 17 in the state in the 100 meters.
“He’s electric,” Kirby said. “Coy does a fantastic job of getting the ball into his hands in all sorts of different ways. Fans are going to see two of the fastest players in the state between him and (Shreve receiver) Macho (Stevenson, 10 catches, 177 yards, 2 TDs).”
Parkway’s defense has its own challenges, starting with containing Gator quarterback Kenyon Terrell, who’s thrown just one interception in 86 attempts.
“He extends a lot of plays and can hurt you either running or throwing,” Brotherton said. “You think you’ve got him bottled up and, somehow, he makes a good play.”
Whatever happens, it will be in an atmosphere that illustrates “big boy football,” Kirby said.
“It’s tough over there man,” Shreve’s rookie head coach said. “They’ve done a good job. Hat’s off for finding something and getting it really going. They’ll have fireworks before the game, a deejay … It’ll be a playoff atmosphere. I’ve told our guys, you’ve got to treat this like a district title game. (The Panthers) play hard and it’s tough.”
“There’s the new turf, a lot of buzz, 4-0, and we’re playing a team we’re familiar with, separated by only a river,” Brotherton said. “I think a lot of people are going to be there. It’s a big game, our band is top notch … it’s going to be loud. For even the casual football fan, I believe this will be the place to be.”
Contact Teddy at teddy@LaTech.edu
Captain Shreve (0-1, 3-1) at Parkway (1-0, 4-0), Bobby Marlow Field at Preston Crownover Stadium
Series: Captain Shreve 30-16
Last year: Parkway 30-23 in playoffs
Last week: Captain Shreve lost to Byrd 25-20; Parkway beat Haughton 17-14
Rankings: Captain Shreve is No. 3 in SBJ Top 10; Parkway is No. 2 in SBJ poll
Radio: Captain Shreve (KLKL 95.7 FM)
Notable: Head Coach Adam Kirby insists losing the district opener has not put any additional pressure on the Gators. “Our job is to control what we can control. We’ve got six weeks of football left. As long as we continue to play hard, our goal is still within reach” … the last two weeks, Shreve has shown they have two productive running backs in Jayden Edwards and Jamarlon Otis. “I think it’s a huge advantage, because both are extremely talented,” Kirby said. “It helps you in-game, and in game preparation, to have two guys that can get you positive yards every time they touch the ball” … Friday’s game is against the team that knocked Shreve out of last year’s playoffs (second round). “None,” Kirby said, when asked about the loss being motivation for this year’s team. “We treat each game the same, regardless of who it is. We really try to focus on ourselves and how we play, and focus on what we can do better day-to-day. It’s 2022, and what happened last season doesn’t affect this season.”
Parkway quarterback Ashton Martin will face his former team … the teams split last year – Shreve won 46-21 in the regular season, but the Panthers took a 30-23 second-round playoff victory … running back Jaylan White needs 262 rushing yards to break the school’s career record … White is averaging 11.5 yards per carry this season.
Natchitoches Central (1-0, 2-2) at Airline (1-0, 1-3), M.D. Ray Field at Airline Stadium
Series: Airline leads 24-15
Last year: Natchitoches 28-7
Last week: Natchitoches Central beat Southwood 27-0; Airline beat Benton 75-59
Rankings: Airline is No. 5 in SBJ Top 10 poll
Radio: NCHS (95.9 FM, Kix Classic Country, http://18.104.22.168:8192/kixstl)
Notable: Airline set a school record for points scored in the Vikings’ 75-59 victory at Benton last Friday night and earned the title of “Team of the Week” by the Shreveport-Bossier Journal … QB Ben Taylor threw seven TDs and Daxton Chavez caught five … Junior RB Tre’ Jackson had 15 carries for 173 yards and 1 TD … Sr RB Kylin Jackson had 120 yards on six carries with 1 TD … but the Secret Weapon was an offensive line that did the dirty work: LT Jackson Warren, LG Reid Hawsey, C Hunter Kendrick, RG Hunter Howard, RT Artis James, and backups Malik Word and Nathan Hill. SBJ Hat Tip … Special teams got in on the scoring too: JoJo Johnson returned a kickoff 85 yards for a TD … not to be dismissed, the Vikings gave up 59 points, but that’s something Airline HC Justin Scogin wasn’t overly concerned about. “One (TD) was a kick return, and there was kind of a lull in the game when we got a little too comfortable,” he said. “And there are still a few things schematically we’re trying to get installed. Our defensive coaches were upset, but minus a handful of things, I think we’ve been pretty good defensively all year. Our defensive staff does a fantastic job.” … Scogin also isn’t worried about a letdown after last week’s record-setting result. “Practice has been upbeat and all that, but not any more than usual,” he said. “I think they understand last week was just one game and we’ve got to keep our foot on the pedal as far as getting better to build this program.” … Taylor ranks third in the state with his 1,090 passing yards, according to GeauxPreps.com … the Chiefs have been playing a pair of sophomore quarterbacks since senior standout B.J. Young suffered a shoulder injury early in the jamboree against Loyola.