Parkway advances to Class 5A title game

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Russell Hedges

Rhedges@bossierpress.com

 

The Parkway Panthers advanced to the Class 5A state championship game with a nailbiting 28-27 victory over the Covington Lions Friday night in Covington.

Parkway (13-0), the No. 2 seed, will face No. 1 Acadiana (13-1) for the state championship a week from Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Parkway will be the first Bossier City school to play for a state championship in the Superdome.  Parkway is the first Bossier Parish school to reach an LHSAA state title game since Haughton in 1978. Haughton was the last parish school to win a state title. The Buccaneers won the Class 3A title in 1977 Under coach Bobby Ray McHalffey.

Covington, the No. 14 seed, ended its season 9-5. It was the Panthers’ fourth straight road win in the playoffs.

Parkway turned the ball over three times in the first half and trailed 28-27. William McKnight scored to tying touchdown on a 36-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Avery Shoebridge’s fourth extra point of the game made it 28-27.

After struggling in the first half, the Parkway defense rose to the occasion in the second. Austin Averitt had into big interceptions. He also dropped CJ Sims for a loss on fourth-and-2 with 2:16 remaining in the game. Marquis King picked off a halfback pass inside the Parkway 5.

The Panthers rallied from deficits of 14-0 and 20-7. Quarterback Brandon Harris scored on a 33-yard run and hit Demetrius McAtee for 13 yards and a touchdown. Parkway took its first lead of the game on a 4-yard pass from Harris to Brodrick Jefferson, who played through an injury.

Covington regained the lead on a 1-yard run late in the half after intercepting a Harris screen pass.

Although he turned the ball over a couple of times, Harris again came through for the Panthers. He twice bulled his way for first downs on fourth and short in the second half.