Southwood passed with the greatest of ease on its first two series against Parkway Friday night, but the Cowboys eventually shot their foot off with miscues.
Although in only its first season with the increasingly popular spread offense, Southwood quarterback Chris Black ran it to near perfection early on, leading the Cowboys to scoring drives their first two possessions.
Whenever the Panthers’ defensive secondary played close to the line of scrimmage, he made them pay with double moves by receivers for long gains; if the Panthers played deep, he would find open receivers and dink and dunk his way down the field.
Panthers coach David Feaster said coming into the game his staff had a great deal of respect for the Cowboys.
“People looking just at the scores of some of their games might think the games were lopsided but when you look on tape you see they’ve played hard and played well,” Feaster said. “Not everyone has seen them play. I thought that when cooler weather got here, that some of their people who play both ways would make them a much stronger team.”
But Parkway clearly was the stronger team Friday. The Panthers scored 42 unanswered points en route to a 49-12 victory in a District 1-5A opener at Preston Crownover Stadium.
The Panthers improved to 6-0 overall, while Southwood dropped to 1-4.
Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris had 230 yards passing and three touchdowns. Brodrick Jefferson had 120 yards and two receiving TDs plus a kickoff return for a TD, and Corey Hamilton had 86 receiving yards.
Feaster credits his defensive coaches for making some minor changes that had a big impact on the course of the game.
“We were playing very close in the first half but on fourth down or third down they couldn’t get them (Cowboys) off the field,” Feaster said.
Southwood scored on a 17-yard, fourth-down pass from Black to Keytron Crowder on its first series.
Jefferson returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown and the Panthers led 7-6 at the 9:22 mark of the first quarter.
Southwood responded with a quick drive, with Dezarrien Clark scoring from four yards out on fourth down with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter.
No one knew it at the time, but that TD turned out to be Southwood’s final points of the game.
Harris found Jefferson for an 8-yard TD that put the Panthers up for good 14-12 with 4:09 remaining in the first quarter.
Parkway dominated the rest of the game as Southwood committed six turnovers on its first nine possessions.
A fumbled punt put the Panthers in business to make the score 21-12 at the end of the first quarter on a Demetrius McAtee run, and Harris found Hamilton for a 13-yard TD to make the score 28-12 with 7:33 remaining in the first half.
Things got out of hand in the first minute of the second half, with Black throwing back-to-back pick 6s to make the score 42-12. Elijah Barrett scored the first 24 yards on a ball tipped by Marcus Harper, and Marquis King returned the other 24 yards for a score.