Parkview Wins "The Trenches", Defeats Grayson 28-21
Momentum is everything and on Friday, in the final game of the regular season, the Parkview Panthers looked to pick up a little momentum heading into the Georgia High School Association state playoffs as they were on the road taking on the Grayson Rams. While the Rams had already claimed the 7A Region 4 title, a win over the Panthers would have them complete the regular season with just one loss and unbeaten in region play.
Although Parkview had secured a playoff berth prior to Friday’s match up with Grayson, a win for the Panthers would help them snap a two game skid and turn things around as they head into the postseason. Determined to get the night started in the right direction, the Panthers’ defense would make the first statement as Antonio White would intercept a Jeff Davis pass giving Parkview the ball in Rams territory. On the ensuing Panthers’ possession, quarterback Colin Houck would connect with Carson Wilson for a 25 yard touchdown pass as Parkview would take a 7-0 lead.
It would not be until the second quarter before either team would find the end zone the Panthers would be the first to strike in the period thanks to a 78 yard touchdown run by running back Khyair Spain, who entered the night needing 265 yards on the ground to reach 2,000 for the season. He would finish with over 150 yards and the one touchdown on the night. Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Grayson would put together a quick drive which would result in a Joseph Taylor rushing touchdown as the Rams would cut the Panthers lead to 14-7. However, before the half, Houck would go to work through the air once again, connecting with Bryce Coulson, as Parkview would take a 21-7 lead into the locker room at the half.
Trying not to take their foot off the gas, the Panthers would come out in the third quarter with Houck connecting with Mike Matthews for his third passing touchdown of the night and Parkview would take a commanding 28-7 lead. However, Grayson would score 14 unanswered points and would find themselves trailing 28-21 with 3:33 remaining in the game but on a potential game tying drive, the Panthers defense would push the Rams back, forcing them into long gain situations that would not be able to get out of and Parkview would pick up the win.
“We needed some momentum going into the playoffs and that’s a big pick me up right there,” Parkview head coach, Eric Godfree said of the Panthers’ 28-21 win over Grayson. With Parkview having a successful night on the groucnd and through the air, Godfree credited his offensive and defensive linemen’s play in helping them get the win. “Pass protection was phenomenal and that’s what we said ‘we have to win this game in the trenches’ and honestly I was concerned. We had two defensive linemen out, but those guys stepped in and played great and just great efforts all the way around,” Godfree added.
Now with their opening round matchup set, the Panthers will travel next week as the No. 4 seed to take on North Paulding, the No. 1 seed, and Godfree says that his team needs to have the same approach they had coming into this week’s game. “We have to keep preparing like we did this past week and keep being accountable to each other. It’s the state of Georgia, this is 7A football, every game, anybody can beat anybody so we’re excited about being in the playoffs,” Godfree said.