The Parkway Panthers have breezed through their first two playoff games, but Parkway coach David Feaster expects his team to get a challenge tonight.
The No. 2 seed Panthers (11-0) play at the No. 10 Zachary Broncos (9-3) in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs at 7 o’clock.
“They are very capable,” Feaster said. “They do a lot of different stuff to score points. They don’t just sit tight in one scheme or one formation. They do a lot of halfback passes and screen passes and so forth to try to get the ball to their good athletes in space.”
Parkway can make history tonight by winning. The Panthers have tied the school single-season record of 11 wins set last year. Parkway also has never reached the semifinals. The Panthers lost to Barbe 45-35 last year.
Zachary’s road to the quarterfinals has been a bit more treacherous than Parkway’s.
The Broncos defeated No. 23 Thibodaux 43-40 in the first round and upset No. 7 New Iberia 34-30 in the second on a fourth-down touchdown pass with 15 seconds left.
The Broncos finished third in District 4-5A behind Central and Scotlandville. They lost to Scotlandville 38-19 in Week 4 and Central 35-0 in Week 8.
Zachary’s lone non-district loss was to Byrd, 58-21, in the season opener. Parkway defeated Byrd 52-29 in Week 8 after trailing early in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos are led on offense by sophomore quarterback Lindsey Scott and running back Forrest Town. Scott, a transfer from Dutchtown, took over a few games into the season.
He has completed 92 of 165 passes (55.8 percent) for 1,275 yards and 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He had 168 yards passing and 69 rushing against New Iberia.
“He’s a big kid, and he’s strong and fast,” Feaster said.
Town has rushed for 1,013 yards on 135 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. He had 159 yards on 18 carries against New Iberia.
Zachary has given up a lot of points in the playoffs, but Feaster said the Broncos play a blitzing defense that will be “coming at us from all angles.”
As have all of Parkway’s opponents, the Broncos will have their hands full with an offense averaging 50.7 points per game led by LSU signee Brandon Harris.
Harris has completed 147 of 264 passes for 2,893 yards and 29 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He has also rushed for 800 yards on 83 carries and scored 13 touchdowns.
Louisiana Tech commitment Brodrick Jefferson is the Panthers’ leading receiver with 44 catches for 1,065 yards and seven TDs.
But the Panthers have plenty of other playmakers such as receiver Cory Hamilton, running back/receiver William McKnight and running back Demetrius McAtee.
Defensive back Marquis King leads Parkway with 90 tackles and five interceptions.
Linebackers Trey Walker and Austin Averitt have recorded 89 and 87 tackles, respectively. Defensive back Dante Williams has 77 tackles and three interceptions.