In true football vernacular, Parkview's 3-0 win over Peachtree Ridge Friday night was exactly that — a win. It wasn't exactly spotless, but it still counts in the win column.
Here's a look at the game:
The Panthers (1-0) made their share of mistakes, as you might expect in the first game of the season. Four turnovers and a couple of costly penalties might have stood in the way of a larger margin of victory.
"It’s hard to win a game and you turn the ball over four times, and you’ve probably got 290 yards between the 20s. And every time you got close, you shoot yourself in the foot with a holding call or you turn the ball over," Coach Cecil Flowe said. "The defense just played outstanding and we kept hitting them in the mouth and got close to kick a field goal."
In the holder's hands
The biggest play of the game, Tyler Stephenson's 26-yard field goal with 8:18 left in the third quarter, was really in the hands of holder Kurt Hickman. The snap from center was short, but Hickman gather up the ball to place it down for Stephenson, who stutter-stepped before legging it through the uprights. Flowe says the kicker goes through a one-step drill every day for such an occasion.
Said Flowe, "Kurt did a great job. The ball was a little bit short. He was upset, but he got the ball down and we got ‘em blocked and it went through."
Big rushing numbers
Running back Chris Carson had a stellar season-opener, rushing for 215 yards on 26 carries. A 41-yard run and a 13-yarder on a fourth-and-4 put the Panthers in position for the game-winning kick. Parkview was 3-for-3 on fourth-down attempts.
Parkview finished with 319 yards rushing. Keanu Mole had 62 yards on nine carries and Justice Rosser added 40 yards on eight carries.
But what about the D?
The Panthers stood firm all night against a speedy Peachtree Ridge offense. Two of Parkview's turnovers, including an interception on the first play of the game, gave Peachtree Ridge the ball in Parkview territory, but the Lions came away with nothing. Parkview allowed only 81 yards and made at least one TD-saving tackle.
"I think that Peachtree Ridge is a good football team," Flowe said. " I like the way our guys came out and played physical. It’s was a good start."
In the stands
Parkview's student section was well-filled with kids, all of whom cheered loudly and some of whom were painted in orange and blue. "We have the best student fans, bar none," one fan said.