DULUTH – Behind an unstoppable ground game, the No. 8 Parkview Panthers were able to erase an early deficit and defeat the Peachtree Ridge Lions 50-13 on Friday at the Lions Den.
The Panthers (1-0) defeated the Lions (0-1) on the back of their three-headed monster at running back. Seniors Tommy Brown and Demetrius West and freshman Cody Brown more than made up for the Panthers missing starting running back Christian Malloy as the trio rushed for a combined 210 yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries.
“We got a stable of running backs,” Parkview head coach Eric Goodfree said.
The Panthers dealt with some early mistakes, giving the Lions good field position and falling behind 13-0 midway through the first quarter. The Lions were able to strike with two touchdown drives of less than 48 seconds apiece, but a quick barrage of scoring plays in the second quarter helped the Panthers put up 16 points in a less-than four-minute span to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“I told them to stay focused and let’s get the energy back,” Goodfree said when his team trailed by 13.
Led by the running backs and former Peachtree Ridge quarterback Fred Payton (11-of-14 for 160 yards and a touchdown), who transferred to Parkview on the last day of the 2016-17 school year, the Panthers rattled off 50 straight points to close out the game.
Running backs West and Rodgers scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions and tag-teamed to force a safety in between. Rodgers blocked a Lions punt and West knocked it out of the back of the end zone for the safety. A big return by Malik Washington on the ensuing free kick set the Panthers up on the Lions 26-yard line. On the next play, Rogers juked a defender in the backfield and went 26 yards untouched to give the Panthers a 16-13 lead.
“Our offensive line blocked great today,” Rogers said. “Those guys did a great job. It made it easy for me.”
It was more ground and pound for the Panthers in the second half. After failing to score on its first drive, the Panthers rushed for four more touchdowns on their next four drives, including two from Brown and one from West and Rogers.
The Panthers defense also quelled any hope of a comeback from the Lions as they forced two turnovers, 3 three-and-outs and a gave up a total of 14 yards in the second half.
“I think they had so much success against us because we were making so many mental mistakes,” Peachtree Ridge head coach Reggie Stancil said. “We got a young team and this is going to happen.”
Stat of Intrigue:
Parkview and Peachtree Ridge wasted no time on its touchdown drives. The teams combined for six touchdown drives that lasted less than 1:00. The Panthers has four and the Lions had two.
QB Fred Payton- 11/14, 160 yards, one touchdown
RB Tommy Rogers- nine carries, 90 yards, two touchdowns
RB Cody Brown- nine carries, 65 yards, two touchdowns
RB Demetrius West- eight carries, 55 yards, two touchdowns
WR Miles Marshall – three catches, 56 yards
WR Will Marshall- five catches, 96 yards, one touchdown
QB Seth Robinson- 8/13, 114 yards, one touchdown
RB Jamari Jackson- eight carries, 16 yards
WR Jaylen Jackson- six carries, 37 yards, one touchdown and three catches, 75 yards
WR Payton Bowens- two catches, 40 yards, one touchdown