Parkland recovered from an error-prone first half and held on to defeat Southwest Guilford 26-22 in the Piedmont Triad 3-A Conference opener for both teams on Friday night at Deaton-Thompson Stadium.
Before a happy homecoming and Hall of Fame induction crowd, the Mustangs (5-2, 1-0) could do little right in the opening two quarters, other than Camian Shell’s 92-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Elliott late in the first quarter. Jaquan Elliott ran for the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead. Those were Parkland’s only points of the first half.
Shell threw three first-half interceptions as the Mustangs were unable to maintain any semblance of an offense and trailed 13-8 at halftime.
The second half was different — very different.
Parkland needed only four plays to take control in the second half, with Jaquan Kelly scoring on a 27-yard run for a 14-13 lead. The Mustangs never trailed again.
The biggest play of the night came on Parkland’s next possession. Chase Rorie picked up 17 yards on a fake punt for a first down at the Southwest 45-yard line. Seven plays later, Shell scored on a 5-yard run for a 20-13 lead late in the third quarter.
“I did it (the fake punt) on my own,” said Rorie. “I just saw a big opening and I knew that we needed the first down so I just took off. It was very wide open. Their DBs (defensive backs) dropped way back and every hole was wide open so I just hit it.”
The Cowboys (4-3, 0-1) cut the lead to 20-16 on a 37-yard field goal by Nick Schwerther that hit the crossbar and bounced over on Southwest’s next possession. The Cowboys’ final score came on the last play of the game on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jaden Rogers to Caleb Curtain.
“We are 1-0 (in conference play) and that was our goal,” said Coach Laymarr Marshall of Parkland. “This is a really tough league. We feel like to have to win every game in our conference to order to win our first conference title in 15 years.”
Marshall acknowledged that it wasn’t a good first half by his team.
“Absolutely (not),” he said. “We’re coming off a bye week but we’re just glad to get our first win in about a month. We had another bye week and lost to two top 10 4-A teams, so we are just happy to be get a win against a very good Southwest Guilford team.”
Parkland all but put the game out of reach when Rorie caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Shell for a 26-16 lead with 4:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Southwest scored twice in the first half — a 44-yard pass from Rogers to T’Kyle Hairston and a 15-yard pass from Rogers to Miles Taylor.
Parkland 26 SW Guilford 22
SWG 0 13 3 6 — 22
Parkland 8 0 12 6 — 26
Parkland — Jaylen Elliott, 92 pass from Camian Shell (Jaquan Kelly run)
SWG — T’Kyle Hairston, 44 pass from Jayden Rogers, kick failed.
SWG — Milees Taylor, 15-pass from Rogers (Nick Schwerther kick)
Parkland — Jaquan Kelly, 27 run (pass failed)
Parkland — Shell, 5 run (run failed)
SWG — Schwerther, 37 FG
Parkland — Chase Rorie, 20 pass from Shell (pass failed)
SWG — Caleb Curtain, 20 pass from Rogers (pass failed)
Records: SWG 4-3 (0-1); Parkland 5-2 (1-0)