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High school football: Richmond, big fourth quarter lift Parkway past Alexandria in first round of 5A playoffs

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Senior Ron Richmond has come up big for the Parkway Panthers all season. Friday night was no exception.

Richmond scored five touchdowns and rushed for 314 yards on 26 carries to lead No. 18 seed Parkway to a 41-27 victory over No. 15 Alexandria in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs in Alexandria.

Parkway (7-4) gets a rematch with District 1-5A foe Captain Shreve in the second round. The No. 2 seed Gators (10-1) defeated No. 31 Live Oak 31-7 in the first round.

Shreve won the first meeting 46-21 in Week 5 at Lee Hedges Stadium. The Panthers were within striking distance late in the third quarter before the Gators pulled away.

The rematch will be at Bobby Marlow Field at Preston Crownover Stadium Friday night.

Alexandria, the 2020 state runner-up, closed its season 7-4.

The victory was Parkway’s first in the playoffs in five years.

“I don’t know if y’all realize what you did,” Parkway Head Coach Coy Brotherton said he told his team after the game. “It’s hard to go on the road and win and you just beat the state runner-up. Pretty excited.”

Parkway amassed 622 total yards (406 rushing, 216 passing) against the Trojans. 

Jaylan White rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries. Cannon Link completed 13 of 19 passes. Two of the completions went for touchdowns.

In addition to his rushing yardage, Richmond had seven receptions for 82 yards. 

White caught just one pass, but it was a big one. His 74-yard touchdown catch gave Parkway on third down gave the Panthers a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Of course, Richmond, White and Link didn’t do it on their own.

Tackles Malachi White and Devon Hall, guards Solomon Washington and Jake Morton, center Chandler Davis and tight end Ja’Tavious Calhoun paved the way and helped the Panthers rally from a 13-6 halftime deficit.

Parkway scored 28 points in the fourth quarter after tying it at 13 in the third.

“The second half we just  started running the ball and staying behind our offensive line and our tight end,” Brotherton said. 

Alexandria scored late in the game to cut Parkway’s lead to 33-27. But the Panthers recovered an onside kick and picked up a couple of first downs. Richmond then scored his final touchdown from 13 yards out on fourth-and-2.

Richmond’s other touchdowns covered 9, 16, 29 and 73 yards.

Brotherton said the Panthers defense did their part, especially in the first half.

“First half they played awesome,” he said. “They got us off the field a few times with some big stops.”

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