High school football: Parkway gets first win for new head coach Brotherton

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Coy Brotherton picked up his first victory as head coach of the Parkway Panthers on Friday night at Bobby Marlow Field at Preston Crownover Stadium.

After falling behind 20-0, Parkway outscored the Knights 36-6 en route to a 36-26 non-district victory.

The Panthers improved to 1-4. Woodlawn, a member of District 1-4A, fell to 1-3.

While of course pleased to get his first victory, Brotherton was more happy for his players who have persevered through losses to tough opponents.

“It was fun for the kids,” Brotherton said. “Just to see them. It’s been a long time since they won. They finished last year on a four-game losing streak. It’s kind of fun to see them win and how they reacted and how excited they were after the game.”

Parkway snapped an eight-game losing streak. The Panthers’ last victory was over Byrd on Oct. 11, 2019.

Woodlawn didn’t make it easy. In addition to falling behind 20-0, Parkway trailed 26-14 late in the third quarter.

The Panthers had sliced the Knights’ lead to six on a 3-yard run by Jaylan White. But Woodlawn answered with a 65-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

It didn’t take long for the Panthers to regain the momentum.

After a personal foul penalty against Woodlawn, it took Parkway just two plays to score.

Rontavious Richmond broke loose for a 37-yard run to the Knights 6 and scored on the next play. Aeron Burrell’s PAT got the Panthers within five.

One play after the kickoff, Parkway took its first lead of the game. Darriusz Patterson intercepted a pass and returned it 65 yards for a TD. A two-point conversion put the Panthers on top 29-26 with 14 seconds left in the third quarter.

Two penalties pinned Woodlawn back at its 17 and Parkway forced a punt from the 30. 

Taking over at its 35, Parkway took eight plays to score behind the running of White and Richmond, who scored from six yards out. The offensive line also did its part, dominating the line of scrimmage.

“They were just gassed,” Brotherton said of the Knights. “We were just able to run the football. It wasn’t really any big adjustments we made. We just had to keep playing our game and they just wore down.”

Richmond entered the game as the leading rusher in Bossier Parish. He was injured on the first play and White, a sophomore, stepped in.

White finished with 76 yards rushing on 18 carries. He also caught six passes for 104 yards yards. Richmond was able to return in the second half and had 67 yards on 10 carries.

“Jaylan White came in and had a huge night,” Brotherton said. “Ron was able to come back in the second half and he had fresh legs. They were both able to be workhorses tonight for us.”

Brotherton also praised the play of quarterback Cannon Link, who completed 13-of-22 passes for 194 yards.

Link’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Jalun Reed with 2:45 left in the first half kickstarted the Panthers’ comeback from the 20-0 deficit.

Reed caught five passes for 98 yards, including one for 50 yards on the second touchdown drive.

The Knights built the early lead on a 14-yard touchdown run, a safety and TD passes of 28 and 25 yards.

But the Parkway defense kept them out of the end zone for the rest of the game.

“We played pretty well,” Brotherton said. “Those guys are pretty good over there. They got after us.”

Per Parkway stats, Patterson led the defense with seven tackles. Quincy Jones and Ted Nealams were in on six each. Connor Norcross, Chris Mendiola, Trenton Defatta, Noah Wolf and Barrett Newman were in on four apiece.

Parkway was supposed to play District 1-5A rival Airline, but the Vikings had to cancel because of a COVID-19 issue.

Parkway will try to keep the momentum going when the Panthers host Natchitoches Central on Friday. The Chiefs (0-5, 0-3) lost to Captain Shreve 23-3 Friday night.