Prep football: Parkway rolls past Natchitoches Central in 5A first-round game

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The Parkway Panthers failed to recover two onside kicks in the first quarter against Natchitoches Central on Friday night.

But that was about the only negative in a 46-14 rout of the Chiefs in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs before a large home crowd at Preston Crownover Stadium.

Parkway (10-1), the No. 6 seed, will host two-time defending state champion Acadiana (9-2) in the second round Friday. Acadiana, the No. 11 seed, routed Central Lafourche 55-7 in its first round game. Natchitoches Central closed its season 5-6.

The game will be a rematch of the 2013 state championship game. Acadiana’s veer option offense ran all over the Panthers in a 77-41 victory.

Friday’s game against Natchitoches Central was the first home playoff game since 2012 for Parkway because of LHSAA sanctions.

After the Panthers failed to recover the onside kick on the opening kickoff, the Chiefs moved into scoring position. The Panthers forced a fourth-and-11 and Lloyd Cole guarded the intended receiver closely, forcing an incompletion.

It took the Panthers just seven plays to take the lead for good. Robert McKnight keyed the drive with a 33-yard run on the first play and a 23-yard catch from Keondre Wudtee. He scored the touchdown on a 29-yard middle screen pass.

Once again the Chiefs recovered the onside kick attempt and moved right back into scoring position. But Semaj Tarver had a big sack for a 10-yard loss on third-and-7 from the 27, forcing a punt.

This time it took the Panthers just one play to hit the end zone again, an 87-yard run by McKnight.

In the second quarter, Wudtee fired touchdown passes of 69 and 60 yards to Terrace Marshall and the rout was on. One the second one, Marshall ran under a perfectly t2hrown ball around the 20 and sprinted to the end zone.

McKnight scored his third TD of the game on a 2-yard run in the third quarter. CJ Morgan scored the final two touchdowns on a 5-yard run and a 94-yard kickoff return, also in the third quarter.

The Panthers rolled up 566 total yards. Wudtee completed 15 of 25 passes for 361 yards and the three TDs. McKnight rushed for 122 yards on just four carries and caught four passes for 66 yards.

Marshall had a huge game, catching four passes for 182 yards. Elijah Rivers had two catches for 45 yards and Deonte’ Hawkins had two for 30.

Freshman Amani Larry made the most of his chance to play with a 48-yard run.

Natchitoches Central had some success throwing the ball as Austin Guy completed 21 of 37 for 258 yards. The Panthers held the Chiefs to just 50 yards rushing.

Tarver led the Panthers with six solo tackles and five assists, according to Parkway statistics. Ryan Black was in on 10 tackles and Lloyd Cole eight. Malcolm Banks was in on six tackles and had an interception. Greg Jones also had six.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com