High school football: Alexandria hands Parkway first loss

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Parkway head coach Neil May scheduled Alexandria this season because he knew the Trojans were likely going to be among the state’s best Class 5A teams. 

He figured the Week 3 matchup would give him, his staff and team an idea how the Panthers measure up. Alexandria came into the game ranked No. 8 in the LSWA Class 5A poll.

The bad news is the Trojans (3-0) showed the Panthers they have a ways to go before being considered among the state’s elite, winning 42-0 on a homecoming Friday night at Bobby Marlow Field/Preston Crownover Stadium.

The good news is Parkway (2-1) still has plenty of time to reach May’s goal.

“We want to be a state powerhouse,” he said. “We don’t want to just play locally so we scheduled this team to see where we’re at. And we’re not ready for that. They’re a very good team. I think we were a little intimidated, did not play well and have got a lot to work on.”

In the first quarter, it looked like the game was going to be a defensive struggle. Parkway forced a punt and stopped the Trojans on fourth-and-2.

The quarter ended with no score. But the second quarter was all Alexandria. 

The Trojans put together a sustained drive for their first touchdown. The second and third came on passes of 58 and 35 yards. 

When Jarvis Newton returned the second-half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and 28-0 lead, the game was all but decided.

Alexandria boasted a big defensive line featuring Jacobian Guillory, a 6-foot-2, 320-pound senior considered among the best in the nation.

The Trojans put a lot of pressure on quarterback Gabe Larry, forcing him to scramble or throw on the run. Larry, who passed for more than 200 yards in the first two games, completed just one pass in eight attempts for 10 yards.

Because of sacks, Larry finished with minus-39 yards rushing.

“ASH has got a lot of speed on defense,” May said. “They close really well on the pass routes and things like that and that’s something we don’t see around here a whole lot. That was the difference tonight.”

Jamall Asberry had some success running with 71 yards on nine carries. But the Panthers could never sustain any offensive momentum.

Per Parkway stats, Alexandria outgained Parkway 445 to 85.

May said the Panthers are going to quickly put Friday’s game behind them. Parkway opens District 1-5A play at Benton (3-0) on Friday.

“We’re going to flush this,” he said.  “We’re going to watch the film and see what we can do better and get ready for Benton next week.”