Pearl-Cohn appears to be growing stronger with each passing week, and Friday night’s 52-7 rout of Region 5-4A rival Maplewood might have been the team’s finest work to date.
In the words of senior defensive tackle Kenneth Miller, the Firebirds “put on a show.”
“This was basically the (region) championship, so it was whichever team wanted it the most,” Miller said. “We came to show out, and we put on a show.”
Pearl-Cohn, which all but secured a Region 5-4A title with the win, started fast, seizing a 13-0 advantage behind a pair of Jimmyrious Parker touchdowns, including a 58-yard, first-quarter punt return for a score. The Firebirds never let off the gas, closing the game out with 31-unanswered points.
“The coaches weren’t expecting a game like this,” said Parker, who also added a third-quarter touchdown run. “We came out in the first quarter, I did what I did, and we just took it from there.”
Sophomore quarterback Xavier Shepherd completed 10 of 15 attempts for 286 yards with three total touchdowns, senior running back Ke’Juan Vaughn added 84 yards and a pair of scores on 11 carries and four Pearl-Cohn receivers hauled in multiple catches.
Senior wide receiver Darius Hunter Jr. even threw a 49-yard touchdown pass for the Firebirds, who had seven plays that went for 30 yards or more.
“I feel like we made a statement — a big statement,” Parker said. “I feel like we’re the best in 4A.”
The Firebirds, who struggled to score a combined 16 points through two games, have now eclipsed the 40-point mark in each of their previous five wins, and they’ve won their first three region contests by a combined score of 151-27.
“We made a statement to the TSSAA — Pearl-Cohn is here, and we’re going back (to the state championship),” Miller said. “We’ve got a great team. I love all my brothers.”
Reach Michael Murphy at 615-269-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports
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