Parkway coach David Feaster doesn’t want anyone to think that his team’s 34-3 victory over the Haughton Buccaneers Friday night in Haughton was “just another win.”
The Panthers improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in District 1-5A. They clinched a share of the district title and can complete the school’s first undefeated regular season with a victory over Airline at Preston Crownover Stadium Friday.
All that is well and good, Feaster said, but the win over Haughton is something to savor.
“We are very proud of ourselves,” he said. “We are very excited about this win over Haughton. It’s not just, ‘hey, it’s another win’ on our way to trying to have the first undefeated season ever. It’s Haughton. It was a very good team.”
Haughton dropped to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in district. The Bucs will definitely be in the playoffs, but they may need a win over sixth-ranked Byrd Thursday night at Lee Hedges Stadium to host a first-round game.
While the final score made it look like another ho-hum victory for the Panthers, it was anything but.
Time after time in the first half, Haughton moved deep into Parkway territory. But the Bucs came away with just three points.
The game turned on a 14-point swing in the final minute of the second half.
Haughton running back Jarred Craft, seeing significant playing time for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in Week 6, ran 45 yards to the Parkway 22.
Four plays later Haughton had a second-and-goal at the 3.
But the the Bucs lost three yards on second down and six on third, both running plays. Willie Johnson, Kyle Still and Dante Williams were among the Parkway defenders making stops.
That forced a 30-yard field goal attempt that went wide left with 46 seconds left.
Two plays later, Brandon Harris threw a short pass in the left flat to William McKnight. McKnight cut back and ran all the way across the field toward the Parkway bench. He turned the corner, dodged a Bucs defender, got a couple of blocks and scored with 13 seconds left.
So instead of perhaps trailing just 20-10 at the half, the Bucs went into the lockerroom down 27-3.
It was that kind of a frustrating night for Haughton coach Rodney Guin.
“It’s tough,” Guin said. “We can’t run our quarterback (Will Haines). He’s hurt and he’s one of our best runners. We were kind of handicapped there a little bit, but we’ve got to make some plays. They don’t give you many chances and we’ve got to capitalize and we didn’t.”
McKnight and Harris were among the stars on offense for Parkway along with Brodrick Jefferson and Stacy McCray.
With running back Demetrius McAtee out with an injury, McCray took up the slack and scored on runs of 23 and 44 yards.
Jefferson, a Louisiana Tech commitment better known for his receiving abilities, rushed for 107 yards on six carries.
He also turned a short pass from Harris over the middle into a 30-yard score.
Harris completed 11 of 18 passes for 188 yards.
Parkway outgained Haughton 486-294. Craft led the Bucs with 96 yards on 16 carries.
“Our defense was bend-but-don’t break, but we stepped it up when we needed to,” Feaster said.
Craft led Haughton with 96 yards on 16 carries. Haines completed 10 of 17 passes for 103 yards.
Benny Broadway kicked a 22-yard field goal after Haughton’s first drive of the game stalled inside the 10.