A strong second half lifted the Parkway Panthers over the North DeSoto Griffins 35-14 on Friday night in Stonewall.
Leading just 6-0 at the half, the Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter and improved to 2-0.
Parkway’s defense played well throughout the game, but the offense struggled in the first half, including a lost fumble on one drive.
“Just some things weren’t right,” Parkway head coach Neil May said. “Our offensive coaches were able to go in at halftime and make some adjustments. We came out in the second half clicking. Things were working and we were able to get up on them good.”
Parkway never trailed in the game, but North DeSoto (1-1) got within 21-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Panthers junior quarterback Gabe Larry answered with a 61-yard touchdown run. Parkway’s final touchdown came on a 21-yard pass to Quincy Jones with 5:06 left in the game.
Larry followed up his six-touchdown performance in the Week 1 victory over Minden with another outstanding game.
He passed for three touchdowns in the second half. One of those was a short pass that Rontavious Richmond turned into an 83-yard touchdown.
Larry also completed a 9-yard pass to Jones for the Panthers’ first TD of the second half. His two-point conversion pass to Jamall Asberry made it 14-0.
For the game, Larry completed 12 of 21 passes for 220 yards. He also rushed for 92 yards on nine carries.
“He had a great night,” May said. “We had some situations where Gabe was just scrambling around making a play and some kids caught the ball.”
Asberry, who scored the lone first-half TD on a 3-yard run, rushed for 109 yards on 22 carries.
“Our backs really ran well,” May said.
Jalun Reed had four catches for 74 yards.
Parkway amassed 457 yards total offense, 237 passing and 220 rushing.
Per Parkway stats, the Griffins completed 10 of 27 passes for 231 yards, but the Panthers had three interceptions.
Dariusz Patterson, Isaiah Robinson and Malik Cooper all had one pick.
The Panthers defense gave up yards grudgingly on the ground.
“Our defense just really played well, got after them,” May said. “They wore out a little bit in the second half. North DeSoto started to run some tempo on them.”
Per Parkway stats, linebacker Adam Johnson led the defense with 10 tackles (three solo, seven assists). Robinson was in on nine and Conner Norcross eight. Ty Shelton was in on six. Anthony Watson and Deangelo McCoy were in on five each.
Norcross and Terrence Murray had one sack each.
While obviously pleased with the 2-0 start, May isn’t satisfied with where the Panthers are at just yet.
“We’ve still got a ways to go,” he said. “We feel like as a coaching staff that these kids have still not reached their potential yet. Trying to coach ’em and get it out of them. But at the end of the day we won and we’ll take it.
Parkway hosts Alexandria Senior High on Friday. The Trojans (2-0) defeated Brusly 21-17 Friday night.