Parkway’s Ryan On carries the ball versus Fort Recovery. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
By Nick Johnson
Times Bulletin Correspondent
ROCKFORD-The Parkway Panthers welcomed the Fort Recovery Indians to Parkway High School on Homecoming night for some high school football action on Friday. The Panthers were able to please the Homecoming court and the home fans with a 43-14 win over the Indians.
Parkway's offense wasted no time scoring as with 10:34 left in the first quarter Austin Dennison hooked up with Adam Carr for a 62-yard touchdown connection. After the Panthers had the extra point blocked the score was 6-0, Parkway.
A failed onside kick by Parkway gave the Indians great field position, and on Fort Recovery's first play from scrimmage quarterback Darien Sheffer hooked up with Evan Schoen for a 22-yard pass play. The Indians drive ended with an Alex Wenning one-yard touchdown run capped by a Jackson Hobbs extra point to give Fort Recovery a 7-6 lead.
On the next Parkway drive, the Panthers went for it on fourth down and Dennison was able to connect with Matt Heindel for a 54-yard touchdown pass with 6:18 left in the first quarter. The Panthers were unable to convert on the two-point try and the Panthers held a 12-7 lead.
Near the end of the first quarter when it looked as if both teams' offenses were slowing down, Mitch Stammen found a huge hole for the Indians and dashed down the middle of the field for a 41-yard gain. Two plays later, Wenning capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. After Hobbs added the extra point, Fort Recovery had a 14-12 lead.
Just before time expired in the first quarter, Parkway got one more score in the books when Dennison connected with Brant Barna on a 65-yard touchdown pass with just 27 seconds left. The Panthers failed on the two-point conversion and the score at the end of the first quarter was 18-14, Parkway."We settled down defensively after giving up those two scores," Parkway coach Dan Cairns noted about the wild first quarter. "We made some adjustment on the defensive side and we played three quarters of shutout ball."
The Panthers got on the board with a trick play when Ryan Lautzenheiser took a reserve and then throw a pass to Barna for a 17-yard touchdown pass with just 6:44 left in the second quarter to make it 24-14.
Parkway scored again before the end of the first half when Dennison got his fourth touchdown pass, this one to Kris Gangwer, to make it 30-14, Panthers.
Parkway opened the second half with an onside kick and after long pass from Dennison to Barna set the Panthers up in scoring position.
Caleb Heindel got a 10-yard touchdown run and after Lautzenheiser added the extra point the score was 37-14 with 11:04 left in the third quarter.
Dennison capped off a great night when on second and two, Dennison tucked the ball and went behind his left guard for a 20-yard touchdown run with just 9:17 left in the fourth quarter. After the Indians blocked the extra point, Parkway had a 43-14 lead.
"We had a lot of kids set up and make plays tonight. We had a couple injuries tonight and some guys on the field that we didn't expect to be on the field. It was a costly game injury-wise for our team." Pan
"We will find out more over the weekend about the kids we lost but we had some kids step up tonight," added Cairns.
"We had come out the last couple weeks trying to establish the run," explained the Parkway boss. "Me and the coaching staff did a little soul searching and we thought that when we play our best is when we come out and are aggressive early."
"We went after it kind of calling it like it was a 7-on-7. So, we decide to take the gloves off and put the pedal to the floor and it work out well for us tonight," finished coach Cairns.
The Panthers improve to 3-2 on the year and 2-1 in the Midwest Athletic Conference. The Indians drop to 2-3 on the year and are now 0-3 in the MAC.