PFAFFTOWN — It was a tale of two halves for both Reagan and Parkland on Friday night, but in the end, Reagan won 28-6 in a nonconference game to remain undefeated.
The Raiders (5-0) took a 21-0 halftime lead with the help of three touchdowns by quarterback Gabriel Hollingsworth. He finished the game with four touchdowns.
“They played really hard in the second half,” said Coach Josh McGee of Reagan. “You give them a lot of credit, but they brought a lot more pressure on defense. And when you bring the pressure, it creates some issues.”
Reagan finished with 12 penalties for 158 yards, and Parkland had 14 penalties for 118 yards.
“We hurt ourselves a lot again,” McGee said. “Penalties and when you go from first and 10 to second and 14, everything changes. And so there for a while, a lot in the second half, we played behind the chains and that’s always tough on anybody. We’ve got to fix the mental mistakes and we’re still going to be just fine.”
Hollingsworth threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to DJ Moyer to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 10:48 left in the first quarter. Hollingsworth added to the lead with 1:10 left in the first quarter after he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Canty to help extend the lead to 14-0.
“Another day with the offensive line, trusting them,” said Hollingsworth. “But we have to clean up mistakes. We’re not going to beat good teams with the way our offense is moving backward almost as much we’re moving forward right now.”
After taking a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, Hollingsworth added a 38-yard touchdown pass to Moyer with 1:36 left in the second quarter to help extend the lead to 21-0. Hollingsworth finished 9-for-12 passing for 152 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
“He is who is he is,” McGee said of Hollingsworth, who has committed to play at Columbia. “We know what we’re going to get out of him each week. I felt like we had some big-time throws that we missed that we dropped. I think if we makes those plays then who knows what happens.
“He does a great job of leading the offense. And we were able to get great production out of our skilled guys and up front. I’m proud of our guys.”
In contrast, Parkland (3-2), even with the return of quarterback Camian Shell, who missed the last game against East Forsyth two weeks ago with dehydration, had minus-17 yards rushing in the first half. But he was 12-of-20 passing for 139 yards in the first half.
“We’ve gotten off to a slow start every game,” said Coach Laymarr Marshall of the Mustangs. “That’s a habit that we’ve got to get out of. I’m not sure what it is. But we’ve got to get our guys mentally. I’ve got to do a better job of getting us mentally prepared to play.
“And we’ve got to get mentally tougher as a football team, but I think the schedule that we’ve played and the dogfights that we’ve been in have helped us in that regard.”
Parkland responded in the third quarter and dented Reagan’s lead when Jaquan Kelly ran in for a 4-yard touchdown with 6:29 left in the third quarter. But Shell’s throw for two points failed, keeping the score 21-6.
Early in the fourth quarter, Parkland took possession at its 44 and drove to the 3-yard line. Marshall inserted Scott Walker to play Wildcat in place of Shell. On fourth down from the 1, Walker jumped and the referee ruled that he fumbled and Reagan recovered with 7:43 left.
“It may be a decision I regret over the weekend, and I probably regret it a little bit right now,” Marshall said. “But that was our short-yardage deal. We had four chances to get 2 1/2 yards essentially, so that is something we should be able to do. But it’s something in hindsight that I shouldn’t have done all four downs, maybe bring Camian in back on third down.”
Reagan took over at its 20 after the touchback and sealed the win when Tazhae Woods caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Hollingsworth with 6:28 left to make the score 28-6.
“Proud of the guys,” McGee said. “Any time you face some adversity you’re always eager to see how your guys respond. And I felt like we responded really well tonight.”
Reagan 28 Parkland 6
Parkland 0 0 6 0 — 6
Reagan 14 7 0 7 — 28
R — DJ Moyer 12 pass from Gabriel Hollingsworth (CJ Hill kick)
R — Bryson Canty 38 pass from Hollingsworth (Hill kick)
R — Moyer 38 pass from Hollingsworth (Hill kick)
P — Jaquan Kelly 4 run (pass failed)
R — Tazhae Woods 35 pass from Hollingsworth (Hill kick)
Records — Parkland 3-2; Reagan 5-0