Jalin Thomas and the Byrd Yellow Jackets were too much for the Parkway Panthers to handle in a 49-34 loss Friday night at Lee Hedges Stadium.
Thomas rushed for 342 yards, third best in the school’s long history, on 27 carries and scored three touchdowns.
Parkway dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in District 1-5A. Byrd improved to 5-2 and 3-1.
The Jackets, who scored on seven of their nine possessions in the game, led 35-7 going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers made things interesting in the final 12 minutes, getting to within 14 points twice. But Parkway simply couldn’t stop Byrd’s option running attack. The Jackets didn’t attempt a pass.
Byrd also had only one turnover, a fumble, that Parkway used to get within 35-14 early in the fourth.
Parkway senior Eric “EJ” Williams turned in another outstanding effort. At times taking the direct snap from center, Williams rushed for 211 yards on 20 carries and scored on a 3-yard run.
Williams went over 200 yards for the second straight game.
Amani Larry completed a 10-yard TD pass to Israel Mukuamu and ran 11 yards for a score. Larry rushed for 56 yards on 11 carries. He completed nine of 16 passes for 161 yards.
Kendall Brown, who rushed for 43 yards on three carries, scored on an 8-yard run.
Chase Turner caught four passes for 113 yards.
Mukuamu caught another TD pass on the game’s final play from his younger brother Emmanuel, the backup QB.
Senior linebacker David Morales, the team’s leading tackler, was injured in the third quarter and did not return.
Parkway hosts Homer in a non-district game Friday. The Class 1A Pelicans (2-5) lost to Jonesboro-Hodge 28-14 Friday night.
Parkway entered the game at No. 18 in the Class 5A power rankings. One more win could be good enough to get the Panthers in the playoffs.
Parkway closes the regular season at Haughton and at home against Southwood.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org