Parkway defeated the Booker T. Washington Lions 35-8 in their season opener Friday night in Neil May’s debut as head coach at Bobby Marlow Field at Preston Crownover Stadium, but neither the Panthers nor May were in a mood to celebrate.
Senior quarterback Justin Rogers, the Offensive MVP on the 2016 All-Parish team who is considered among the best in nation at his position, suffered a dislocated right knee in the first half. The injury occurred as he was being tackled at the end of a 23-yard run about halfway through the second quarter.
May released a statement Saturday afternoon about 4 p.m. through the Bossier Parish School Board.
“On behalf of Justin Rogers’ family and Parkway High School, we would like to thank everyone for their concern and prayers for his injury,” the statement read. “Justin is at home with his family now and is in good spirits. At this point, the Medical Professionals and his family will make the decisions on how to go forward with his treatment. Please continue to keep Justin in your thoughts and prayers.”
According to a post on Facebook by Rogers’ father Cameron, Rogers’ knee was reset and put back in place Friday night. As of Saturday afternoon, the family was waiting on the interpretation of an MRI, according to another post by Cameron.
“Justin rested well last night and had no discomfort,” Camereon Rogers posted. “We are waiting on MRI results to be interpreted by Dr. (Eddie) Anglin, again thank you for words of concern and prayers. I will be making updates through out the day. You guys and girls have truly blessed my life and its my prayer for you all that God gives each and everyone of you a100 fold return.”
Rogers was the subject of many sympathetic messages on social media, including one by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Before his injury, Rogers had completed nine of 10 passes for 83 yards, including a 1-yard TD pass to Amani Larry. He had also rushed for 38 yards on five carries.
Rogers was replaced by Larry, who completed nine of 14 passes for 87 yards and rushed eight times for 84 yards, including a 29-yard run.
Eric Williams led the Panthers with 106 yards on 16 carries and touchdown runs of 3, 2 and 10 yards. Kendall Brown scored Parkway’s first touchdown on an 11-yard run.
Parkway senior receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., like Rogers considered one of the best in the nation at his position, caught six pases for 73 yards. Israel Mukuamu had six catches for 58 yards.
Louis Espino was 5-for-5 on PAT kicks.
The Panthers defense held the Lions to 172 total yards, including just 50 passing, per Parkway stats. Linebacker David Morales led the team with five solo tackles and five assists. Caleb Reese had two solo tackles and five assists.
Derious Bradford, Jaylon Hall, Trace Schmid, Jacoby Taylor and Brandon Nelson were all in on four tackles.
Parkway faces Pearl, Miss., in the annual Battle on the Border at 8 p.m. Friday at Independence Stadium. Pearl improved to 3-0 with a 17-7 victory over Northwest Rankin, Miss., last Friday.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org