By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Inside Parkway’s 1 with 12 seconds left in the first half, Captain Shreve was set to take the lead into the locker room when chaos ensued.
An official’s error sparked confusion on the Gators’ sideline and made Shreve head coach Adam Kirby’s decision even tougher.
Kirby opted to attempt a field goal to seemingly guarantee his team a little momentum at halftime.
“The ref told us it was third down, but my guy in the press box said it was fourth down, so we had to call another timeout because we had a great (third-down play) called,” Kirby told The Journal. “I figured we would just take the lead.”
An 18-yard attempt by John Chance was blocked by Panthers’ defensive end Ray Mayweather, who then scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 91 yards for a touchdown to give Parkway a stunning nine-point lead at the break.
Parkway took the second half kickoff and capped a seven-play drive with a touchdown from Jaylan White, who made school history during his team’s 25-13 victory on the sparkling surface at Preston Crownover Stadium.
The Gators never seemed the same. After scoring on its second drive of the game, Captain Shreve didn’t score against until 2:41 left in the game.
“Did it hamper us? Probably so,” Kirby said. “Human nature is to get upset and hang your head because that was a huge swing right there. It was unfortunate, but I think the kids battled hard in the second half. We drove the ball but couldn’t punch it in.”
Parkway head coach Coy Brotherton felt for his counterpart.
“We had one early in the game and we chose to go for it (and failed),” Brotherton said. “It was the right decision for (Kirby) to do that, but fortunately for us it flipped the momentum – flipped the game.”
The last blocked field goal return for a touchdown by a Captain Shreve opponent came from Southwood (Jeremy Washington, 68 yards in 2010).
Mayweather’s score wasn’t the only dose of special teams magic to help the Panthers move to 5-0 (2-0 in District 1-5A) for the first time since 2013. Kicker Aeron Burrell added four field goals (34, 43, 31, 43).
“Special teams — we work at it every day and the kids have bought in that it’s important,” Brotherton said.
White continues his remarkable career with 281 yards on 29 rushes. His penultimate carry of 18 yards broke a 45-year-old Parkway career-rushing record. The previous mark of 2,789 yards was held by Roy Spencer (1975-77).
“I have to keep on getting more yards so no one can break it,” said White, a senior.
Just halfway through the regular season, White has 776 rushing yards and nine touchdowns rushing or receiving.
“He rises in big games,” Brotherton said. “We haven’t had to lean on him much. The most carries he’s had is 11 so far this year. Tonight, he was a workhorse. He got stronger as the game went on.”
After a 3-0 start, Captain Shreve dropped its second straight game. The Gators (3-2, 0-2) were led by running back Jayden Edwards (144 yards on 24 carries).
“We’re fine,” Kirby said. “Would we have liked a district championship? Absolutely, but we lost to two damn good football teams. We have a chance to go 8-2 and that will likely get us a first-round bye in the playoffs. There is a lot to play for.”
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Parkway 25, Captain Shreve 13
Score by quarters
Captain Shreve | 7 | 0 | 0 | 6 | – 13
Parkway | 3 | 13 | 6 | 3 | – 25
CS – Jayden Edwards 1 run (John Chance kick)
Pw – Aeron Burrell 34 FG
Pw – Burrell 43 FG
Pw – Burrell 31 FG
Pw – Ray Mayweather 91 blocked FG return (Burrell kick)
Pw – Jaylan White 10 run (pass failed)
Pw – Burrell 43 FG
CS – Antonio Thornton 9 pass from Kenyon Terrell (pass failed)
Rushing: CS, Edwards 24-144, Terrell 10-36, Jamarlon Otis 3-1, Marquez Stevenson 1-1, Brodie Savage 3-minus-14, Parkway, White 29-281, Barrett Newman 5-25, Ashton Martin 2-2.
Passing: CS, Terrell 8-18-0, 106 yards, Savage 2-2-0, 29 yards. Parkway, Martin 4-10-1, 57 yards.
Receiving: CS, Keaton Flowers 2-48, Cam Wilson 1-57, Jordan Wiggins 2-9, Stevenson 2-1, Thornton 1-9, Edwards 1-8, Caleb Randolph 1-3. Parkway, Trenton Lape 3-61, Jatavious Calhoun 1-minus-4.