Eric Godfree addresses his Parkview team after a victory over Norcross. 
Photo: Stan Awtrey
Photo: Stan Awtrey

Parkview 31, Norcross 24

When Parkview got the ball at its own 36 with 42 seconds left, the Panthers were simply trying to move the ball into position to try a field goal. But Jordan Williams and Jared Brown had a different plan. They opted for the touchdown.

On the second play of the possession, Williams dropped back and hit Brown for a 51-yard touchdown pass to give Parkview a 31-24 road win. 

“I looked the safety off and came back to him,” Williams said. “Touchdown.”

Brown said, “I ran a great route, my quarterback put the ball on the money and I went up and got it and do what I do. We were actually trying to get field position to set up for a field goal. But things happen. I made a play.”

The win leaves Parkview (4-1, 1-0) in first place in Region 7-AAAAAAA. Norcross fell to 1-5, but is 1-1 in the league. 

Williams completed 11 of 20 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Brown caught five passes for 125 yards and both scores. C.J. Daniels caught five passes for 95 yards. 

High School Sports

Norcross quarterback Mason Kaplan completed 9 of 17 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown. 

“It was great to be able to handle some adversity, handle it with great maturity,” Parkview coach Eric Godfree said. “It’s one of the things we preach, to have toughness and learn to handle adversity against a good football team. We played with a lot more energy in the second half.”

Norcross had a 10-7 halftime lead and extended it to 17-7 when Jahni Clarke pushed it in from the 1.

Parkview was able to answer with an 80-yard drive that concluded with a 29-yard run by tailback Cody Brown. The junior carried 21 times for 206 yards and two touchdowns. 

Parkview took a 21-17 lead with 9:29 left in the game after Williams and Brown hooked up for a 14-yard touchdown. The Panther added a 35-yard goal from Nolan McCord with 6:26 that made it 24-17.

But Norcross answered to tie the score. On the first play, quarterback Mason Kaplan connected with Jaylen Green down the far sideline. Green got a hand on the ball and tipped it back to himself, never missing a stride, for an 80-yard touchdown.

After forcing Parkview to punt, Norcross had the ball with 3:44 left. The Blue Devils picked up one first down, but had to kick it away, enabling the Panthers to score the game winner.

Norcross tried a miracle comeback. The Blue Devils connected on a couple of big pass plays and ran out of time with the ball on the Parkview 25.

Parkview got off to a great start when Brown took a handoff on the first play from scrimmage and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. 

“We were asking ourselves, ‘Is that bad?’” Godfree said. “He goes 80, the defense goes three-and-out and everybody kind of pulls back. It was like the energy was gone and Norcross hit us in the face and kept punching.”

Norcross got its first points after recovering a fumble. Parkview snapped the ball way over the head of quarterback Jordan Williams and Norcross, with Zakye Barker picking up the loose ball and running to the 27. 

The turnover led to a 42-yard field goal from Kellen Grave de Peralta, cutting the lead to 7-3 with 6:35 left in the first quarter.

Norcross took the lead on an impressive 15-play, 68-yard drive that took 6:29 off the clock. Mason Kaplan finished the march by tossing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Zion Alexander, who for the pylon in the right corner and scored with nine seconds left to put the Blue Devils ahead 10-7 at the buzzer.

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