For the first two weeks of the season, Northside had relied on its passing game to be the main source of production on the offensive side of the ball.
It was a change from last year, where Kalan Watts was the bell cow of the patriots offense, and was due, in part, to the presence of a gunslinger under center in Stephen Parker.
When Parker went down with an injury last week, Northside needed someone to step up to keep things moving against Jordan on Friday at Kinnett Stadium.
Enter: Carson Parker.
Parker, who has been effective at times this season, hadn’t yet at the opportunity to shoulder the load offensively. That was until Friday night, when he carried 30 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots 33-27 win over Jordan.
The Patriots needed every one of his carries, which ranged from long — like the 41-yard scamper that set up the Patriots in the red zone, where they scored four plays later to go ahead 26-7 — and short — like the two touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yard.
“He had a great game,” coach Morgan Ingram said of Parker. “I don’t know that he did anything different this week, the holes were just finally there. We know he can hit them when he has the opportunity.”
An opportunity is all Parker has been looking for. Buried behind Watts on the depth chart last year, he had minimal looks throughout the season. This year, he was the main back, but has played in an offense that focused on the pass first over the first two weeks. Given the opportunity this week, though, Parker was happy to take it.
“I love it,” he said. “Over the offseason, during the summer, the question was always who was going to fill Kalan’s shoes. I wanted the opportunity to show what I could do, so I got myself ready. I love it. I just want to show what I can do.”
It was Parker’s show from the early goings. He got five runs for 35 yards on the first drive, and it was more of the same for the rest of the evening. While the passing game got its opportunities, including a long touchdown pass between Bryce Valero and Quincy Brown, it was Parker who kept the offense consistent and doing just enough to hold off the high-powered Red Jackets.
“They’re a great offense,” Ingram said of Jordan. “We needed everything our offense could give us tonight.”
Key play: With Jordan driving near the Northside red zone, down 33-27 in the final minutes of the game, the Patriots forced a fumble and linebacker Alvin Ngo fell on top of the ball to end the threat and securte a victory.
Carson Parker, linebacker, Northside, rushed 30 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Northside offense. With starting quarterback Stephen Parker out with an injury, he became the focal point on Friday.
Eric Gwinn, defensive back, Northside, intercepted two Jordan passes, both of which proved vital in a game that ended with just a six-point win for the Patriots.
Alvin Ngo, linebacker, Northside, fell on top of a fumble on Jordan’s final offensive possession, securing the win for the Patriots.
Individual stats: Bryce Valero, quarterback, Northside, completed 9 of 21 passes for 166 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions; David Apiag, wide receiver, Northside, rushed 10 times for 88 yards; Quincy Brown, wide receiver, Northside, caught five passes for 133 yards and a touchdown; Daren Lewis, quarterback, Jordan, completed 14 of 27 passes for 289 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions; DeAndre Snead, wide receiver, Jordan, caught six passes for 135 yards and a touchdown; Aaron Maxwell, running back, Jordan, rushed 23 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Coach quote: “We knew they had a great offense,” Northside coach Morgan Ingram said. “They’ve got some great playmakers. No. 7 (DeAndre Snead) is a heck of a player. (Lewis) did a great job. We knew they’d be tough.”
Player quote: “I love it,” running back Carson Parker said. “Over the offseason, during the summer, the question was always who was going to fill Kalan’s shoes. I wanted the opportunity to show what I could do, so I got myself ready. I love it. I just want to show what I can do.”
Northside 33, Jordan 27
Friday at Kinnett Stadium
N — Nathan Robertson 37 field goal; 7:46
N — Robertson 26 field goal; 2:48
J — Aaron Maxwell 19 run (Waldo Edwards kick); 11:52
N — David Apiag 14 run (Robertson kick); 6:33
N — Carson Parker 2 run (Robertson kick); 1:21
N — Parker 1 run (Kick failed); 5:59
N — Quincy Brown 53 pass from Bryce Valero (Robertson kick); 2:32
J — Maxwell 2 run (Kick failed); 1:52
J — DeAndre Snead 65 pass from Daren Lewis (Edwards kick); 6:20
Records: Northside, 2-1; Jordan, 0-3. Next: Northside, vs. Carver, Sept. 16, at Memorial, 7:30 p.m. Jordan, at Manchester, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.