It wasn’t very precise, and the scoreboard did not accurately reflect the one-sided affair, but the No. 7-seeded Parkway Panthers were able to advance to the second round of the playoffs with a 36-13 win against No. 26 seed Live Oak.
The fireworks started before kickoff as Live Oak coach Tut Musemeche was handcuffed before the game after refusing to yield the field for pregame activities.
Fifteen Parkway penalties kept the Panthers from running away with the game. After jumping out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter, Live Oak fought back to keep it a two-score game until late in the fourth quarter, which kept Parkway coach David Feaster uneasy throughout the game.
“It’s very nice to get this first one at home and be able to play in front of our home crowd,” Feaster said. “Credit to our defense, because every time they did try something, we came up with the interception and gave it back to the offense.”
Parkway’s defense led the way, indeed. It’s what Panther fans have come accustomed to seeing under the direction of coordinator Neil May. They looked like the stingy squad he has coached up in recent years.
The Panthers secondary intercepted two Live Oak quarterbacks seven times. Brodrick Jefferson and Holland Wolf each had a pair of picks. With the exception of two plays that totaled 93 yards, May’s defense held the Eagles attack under 150 yards of total offense.
“The fact that our defense played so well, and kept us in it all night long, and kept them down to 13 points, is a great accomplishment,” Feaster said.
Jefferson, a junior, stood out on both sides of the ball. He caught eight passes for 71 yards, rushed the ball twice for another 17 yards, and had a tackle and a pass defended on defense to go along with his two interceptions.
“It’s just hard work and dedication,” Jefferson said. “I work hard in practice on both sides, offense and defense.”
Feaster added, “He’s gotten to the point where we want the ball in his hands any way we can get it, kick return, interception return, receiving or handing it off, or whatever.”
Parkway will go on the road to face the No. 23-seeded Hahnville, which beat No. 10 St. Paul’s 25-21.