Parkway 79, Bastrop 56
Basketball season hasn't started early, but the line reading “Parkway 79 Bastrop 56” probably had fans throughout the state doing a double take as they glanced at Friday night's prep football scores.
Combining for 135 points, 20 touchdowns and 1,538 yards of total offense, the two offenses ran up and down the field at will.
Parkway coach David Feaster offered the best explanation for the offensive free-for-all.
“Both of us like to play fast,” Feaster said. “The style of play lent itself to both defenses getting tired. It was Oregon playing Oregon.”
Sans the snazzy uniforms, the Panthers' offense bore a striking resemblance to the Ducks. Scoring on 12 of 15 possessions (counting the final series in which it simply ran out the clock), the visitors from Bossier City averaged over 14 yards per snap on just 55 offensive plays.
In contrast, the Rams ran 101 offensive plays and had possession of the ball for nearly 29 minutes.
On a night that produced an abundance of offensive stars, Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris shined the brightest. Single-handedly accounting for 531 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns, the LSU pledge rushed for 159 yards and four scores, while passing for 372 and three TDs. Demetrius McAtee added 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers, while Cory Hamilton and Brodrick Jefferson both topped the 100-yard receiving mark.
Bastrop quarterback Christian Doaty may need time to rest his arm between starts after completing 32- of-51 passes for 461 yards and four touchdowns without throwing a pick. Jamari Payne was on the receiving end of 13 of Doaty's passes for 226 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Isaiah Graham had a breakout game with nine catches for 167 yards and three scores. Sophomore Jerry Powell rushed for a career-high 120 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
“Isaiah stepped up and made some plays tonight,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. “This is the type of game we've been waiting on him to have. He's still young, so he's only going to get better.”
You get the idea, the game was an offensive showcase.
Ultimately, however, Parkway's defense made enough plays in the second half to decide the outcome. Leading 47-40 at the break, the Panthers limited the Rams to two second half touchdowns.
Setting the tempo early, the Rams received the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards on six plays.
Making his season debut, senior running back Antwone Green galloped 39 yards on fourth-and-two, setting up Doaty's 5-yard run for the game's first touchdown.
Parkway needed just four plays to answer as William McKnight scored from 14 yards out and Avery Shoebridge tacked on the PAT to give the visitors a 7-6 lead.
Neither team scored on their second series.
Bastrop went three and out, leading to the only punt of the game.
With the Panthers setting up at their own 35, Juwan Norris sacked Harris for a loss of 16. Facing fourth-and-10, Parkway left its offense on the field and the Rams took over on downs after an incomplete pass.
Then the offenses assumed command.
Overcoming a first down holding penalty, the Rams regained the lead on Doaty's 31-yard pass to Payne and Green's 14-yard TD burst.
Perkins' 26-yard gain on a third-and-11 screen pass led to Artavious Lynn's 19-yard TD grab, giving the Panthers a 14-12 edge.
Graham's 9-yard catch capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive as the Rams reclaimed the upper hand, 18-14.
Parkway came right back with a four-play, 58-yard drive to reclaim the lead for good. Jefferson's 23-yard TD reception put the Panthers up 20-18 with 58 seconds still to play in an eventful first quarter.
With Bastrop turning the ball over on downs on its next two series, the Panthers began to create some separation on the scoreboard.
Despite a first down holding flag and an illegal block which negated Stacy McCray's 69-yard touchdown off a screen pass, the Panthers went up 27-18 early in the second quarter. Making his only carry of the game count, Micah Lacy slashed his way into the end zone from four yards out.
After stopping the Rams on fourth-and-three from their own 30, the Panthers took over on downs with a short field. Kylan Ricks' sack on first down pushed the Panthers back to the 42, but Harris eventually ran it in from the 2, staking the Panthers to a 34-18 lead.
Tray Walker's fumble recovery placed the ball back in the paws on the Panthers' offense at the Bastrop 49.
Capitalizing on the Rams' only turnover of the game, the Panthers found the end zone yet again. Dashing 40 yards untouched off of a fake handoff, Harris' second rushing touchdown widened the gap to 41-18 with 4:46 remaining in the second period.
Payne's 63-yard touchdown reception and Green's 2-point run closed the deficit to 41-26.
Bastrop cornerback Marty Thompson's interception on a pass the deflected off of a receiver, followed by a 20-yard return, put the Rams back in business at the Parkway 47.
Six plays later, on third-and-10, Doaty connected with Graham on a 32-yard TD toss, drawing the Rams within 41-32 with 1:22 before halftime.
Dylan Whaley's 31-yard return on a short kickoff set the Panthers up at the Bastrop 34.
Harris took over from there, gliding 26 yards on second-and-10. Moments later, Harris followed Jon Koestner into the end zone from three yards out, extending the difference to 47-32 with just 41 ticks showing on the clock.
Bastrop wasn't done, though.
Joshua Bradbury covered an onside kick and the Rams set up camp at their own 40.
Cutting to his left on a screen pass, Graham picked up 25 yards on first down.
Three plays later, Graham made a leaping grab in the right side of the end zone to haul in a 32-yard TD pass with just two seconds remaining in the half. Powell punched in the 2-point conversion, slicing the deficit to 47-40 as a frantic first half drew to a close.
“I told our kids at halftime that they were going to have a lot of memories from this game, regardless of the outcome,” Feaster said. “Fortunately, it went our way.”
Parkway wouldn't let up in the second half.
After Antonius Robinson's second half kickoff caromed into the end zone for a touchback, the Panthers needed just three plays to get back on the board.
On third-and-three, Harris darted to the right side for a 73-yard TD jaunt. Just like that, Parkway was up 54-40.
Bastrop's first drive of the final half stalled when Lacy stopped a fourth-and-two running play from the Parkway 45 for no gain.
Parkway's offense was back on the field for all of one play. Harris' 55-yard TD aerial to Hamilton pushed the difference to 60-40.
Countering with a nine-play, 80-yard drive, the Rams pulled within 60-48 on Powell's 53-yard touchdown run to the left side. Doaty and Payne teamed up on the convert.
Striking quickly once again, the Panthers jetted 68 yards on Hamilton's 33-yard reception and Demetrius McAtee's 35-yard TD run to open up a 66-48 bulge at the end of the third quarter.
Bastrop ran out of downs at the Parkway 12 on its ensuing series.
Applying the dagger, the Panthers breezed back into the end zone on just three plays. Covering the final 34 yards on a pitch to the left side, McKnight gave the Panthers a 73-48 advantage with 11:18 left in the contest.
Coming up empty in the red zone for the second straight time, the Rams were unable to convert on first-and-goal from the 5.
Taking over on downs at the 12, the Panthers visited the end zone for the 12th time behind an eight-play drive. McAtee did the honors from 14 yards out as the lead swelled to 79-48 with 6:31 still to play.
Bastrop closed out the scoring with an 11-play, 80-yard drive, culminating with Powell's 28-yard run. Powell also tacked on the conversion, bringing the score to 79-56 with 3:02 remaining.
Bastrop (1-3) travels to Rayville next Friday, while the Panthers (3-0) are at home against Booker T. Washington.
Notes: Bastrop linebacker Kentreylus Hill-Pates played only three snaps before exiting the game with a shoulder injury. … The Rams were already without linebacker Chad Rawls, who sustained a broken hand last week against Pearl, Miss. Rawls said he expects to be back in the lineup for the Rams' Oct. 11 homecoming game vs. Union Parish. … Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end and Bastrop High alumnus Talance Sawyer attended the game. … Bastrop set a dubious school record by allowing 79 points vs. Parkway. The previous high came in a 76-0 loss to Ferriday in the 1983 season opener. … Bastrop has allowed 183 points during its current three-game losing streak, including a 63-8 loss to Byrd and a 41-24 setback to Pearl.