Norcross wide receiver Trey Smith (21) catches a pass while scoring a first quarter touchdown against Parkview during Thursday night's game. Smith's touchdown was the first score of the game.
NORCROSS -- Parkview started three drives on Norcross' side of the field.
In the three combined, the Panthers managed 27 total yards, zero points, a missed field goal and two failed fourth-down conversions. They only crossed the 50 once on their own and all that added up to a 20-0 Thursday night win for Norcross.
"The whole time we are thinking it's 0-0," said Norcross linebacker Tommy Tate, who was all over the field against Parkview. "We're not giving up a score in our minds.
"To be the general of (the defense) it feels good to get the shutout. It makes me feel proud, like my soldiers did their work."
And Thursday they only gave up seven first downs and one of those came on a 15-yard penalty.
"The defense played great all night, from kickoff to whistle," Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. "Our defense is just getting better and better and that's what we're expecting."
Norcross allowed just 102 yards of offense to the Panthers, Jordan Noil picked off a pass and Parkview's quarterback Rob Youngblood completed just 4 of 12 passes for 46 yards and was sacked three times for a loss of 2 yards in the game.
"When the defense is hot like that you just let them take over," Maloof said.
On offense, Norcross hurt itself with penalties but did most of its scoring in the first half, building a 13-0 lead.
The Blue Devils bookended the opening half with 80-yard scoring drives, rolling over the Parkview defense.
On the first drive of the game, the Blue Devils took 5 minutes and 13 seconds and used nine plays for their first score. Jospeh Wilber was 3 of 3 on the drive for 49 yards including the 34-yard touchdown bomb to Trey Smith off of play action. Alvin Kamara and Myles Autry combined for six carries and 31 yards on the drive.
"Our opening drive is about as pretty and you can have," Maloof said.
From there, the defense took over.
Parkview had just two first downs in the half, one the Blue Devils' penalty.
With seven minutes left in the second quarter, Parkview recovered a Kamara fumble on the Norcross 18. Three plays later, the Panthers had gone backward 2 yards and they missed their second field goal try of the game. Parkview managed just 20 yards of offense in the first half.
The miss set up the second Norcross scoring drive. This time the Devils marched down to the 4-yard line and Wilber found Autry on a swing pass around the left side and the running back broke through a horde of Panther defenders for the score. Autry set up the score after ripping on a long run mostly negated by a blocking penalty down the field. He cramped up after the run where he broke five tackles in the backfield. Wilber threw for 113 yards on 12 of 16 passing with two touchdowns.
"We knew they were a good run defense, we knew it," Maloof said. "That is why the pass was there early.
Autry ended the game with 71 yards on nine carries and scored a touchdown through the air. Kamara fumbled twice and sprained his ankle only touching the ball once in the second half. He ended the game with 25 yards on 11 carries.
But Autry picked him up, returning Parkview's first punt of the second half 72 yards for the final score of the night.
"After Myles returned that punt it's on us not to do anything stupid," Maloof said. "We managed it, our defense kept them off the scoreboard and our offense did enough to win it."