By JERRY BYRD JR., Journal Sports
Parkway head coach Coy Brotherton preached to his team this week to not take the winless Southwood Cowboys lightly.
Quarterback Ashton Martin & Company were listening as the unbeaten, state Top 10-ranked Panthers used the momentum of a 38-point halftime lead to roll the Cowboys, 55-6, Thursday night in a District 1-5A matchup.
“They told us in practice this week how Southwood had beaten us a couple of years ago,” Martin said. “We came out tonight determined to not let that happen to us.”
Martin completed 13 of 15 passes in the first half for 140 yards. Six of his passes went to Jaylan White, who scored on a pair of them from Martin in the first quarter including one on the last play to give the Panthers a 21-0 first quarter lead.
Parkway’s first touchdown came on the heels of a Ray Mayweather blocked punt, which gave Parkway the ball at the Southwood 1-yard-line. Jatavious Calhoun put the Panthers on the board with a touchdown run on Parkway’s first snap.
In the second quarter, the Panthers got a couple of scores from backup running backs. The first came on a 10-yard run by Antonio Gladney with 5:58 to go in the first half. Andreas Abner scored from one yard out on Parkway’s next possession.
Aeron Burrell, who was good on three out of four of his extra point attempts, kept the Cowboys pinned back with his kickoffs, almost all of which sailed into the end zone for touchbacks.
Martin and Calhoun started the second half the same way they started the game. On Parkway’s second play, Martin found Calhoun wide open in the middle of the Southwood secondary for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
On Parkway’s next possession, Martin connected with White to cash in on a fourth-and-goal from the Southwood 12.
Southwood brought in Detonion Arkansas in the fourth quarter with 10:15 remaining in the game. Arkansas guided the Cowboys on a seven-play, 71-yard touchdown drive against the Parkway junior varsity defense. Arkansas capped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run with 6:40 remaining in the game.
Parkway’s Demond Blackwell answered with a 55-yard touchdown run with 3:44 to give the Panthers their final score of the night.
“I think tonight is definitely a reflection of team effort,” Brotherton said. “Several guys got in the end zone tonight and it’s nice to see them get rewarded for all of their hard work.
Parkway, 6-0, now turns its attention to Byrd next Friday night. Brotherton said the Panthers still have some areas to improve on.
“We just have to continue to play with a mentality that there are no do-overs,” Brotherton said. “We get in practice and make a mistake and have a ‘do-over,’ but in these district games, if you make a mistake you’re not going to have that opportunity.”
Martin mentioned Parkway’s goals heading into the back half of the season.
“We want to win a district championship and make a deep playoff run,” Martin said.
Southwood, who started the season 2-0, but was forced to forfeit those wins due to playing an ineligible player, drops to 0-6. The Cowboys will host Benton next week.
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Parkway 55, Southwood 6
Score by quarters
Parkway | 21 | 13 | 14 | 7 | – 55
Southwood | 0 | 0 | 0 | 6 | – 6
P – Jatavious Calhoun 1 run (Aeron Burrell kick)
P – Jaylan White 17 pass from Ashton Martin (Burrell kick)
P – White 6 pass from Martin (Burrell kick)
P – Antonio Gladney 10 run (kick failed)
P – Andreas Abner 1 run (Burrell kick)
P – Calhoun 26 pass from Martin (Dean kick)
P – White 12 pass from Martin (Dean kick)
S – Arkansas 10 run (pass failed)
P – Demond Blackwell 55 run (Dean kick)