LILBURN — As the weather gets a chill in the air and fall fades into winter, it typically means the Parkview Panthers are kicking into gear for another playoff run with their orange-clad fans packing the Big Orange Jungle like colorful leaves in a yard.
Parkview treated those fans to a victory Friday night, using a three-headed monster of wide receiver C.J. Daniels, running back Tyler Curtis and quarterback Jordan Williams to beat West Forsyth 35-14 in the first round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs. The Panthers (10-1) advance to host Colquitt County next Friday in the second round.
“The plan absolutely was to spread it around,” said Parkview coach Eric Godfree. “West Forsyth does a good job in the run game, honestly it’s a lot just what the defense gives us. Sometimes the box is light, sometimes it’s heavy, sometime’s they are light on the receivers. It’s a give and take on what the defense is giving us. Our quarterback Jordan does a great job reading and understanding and getting the ball where it needs to go.”
Curtis had seven carries for 71 yards and a touchdown in the first half, Daniels caught seven passes for 136 yards and two scores, and Williams went 11-for-13 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Panthers senior lineman Mason Huntley sacked West Forsyth quarterback Drew Southern three times, twice in the first half, and spent much of the game in the backfield. Curtis, Daniels and Williams did not see much action late in the game as the Parkview reserves got playing time.
Parkview now turns its attention to perennial power Colquitt County.
“I’m going to continue focusing on Parkview," Godfree said. "We let one South Georgia team beat us this season so we have a beef with some South Georgia schools. They play some great football, bottom line. We are excited about the challenge, and Colquitt gets to come to the Jungle. It’s going to be a phenomenal football game. They are traditionally a great football team, and having a great season this year, No. 3 in the state.”
After beginning the game with several short Southern scrambles, the Wolverines punted at the 9:40 mark. Parkview mishandled the punt at its own 30, and West Forsyth’s Jay Helstone recovered at the Panther 24-yard line. On third-and-9, the Wolverines were penalized and moved back. Huntley then sacked Southern for a 9-yard loss, moving West Forsyth out of field goal range. After a delay of game penalty, it punted with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
Parkview mixed up their drive with several Curtis runs and passes to Daniels, two of which went for first downs, extending the offense. After Curtis was smothered for no gain, he answered with a handoff that burst up the middle and he scored untouched on a 25-yard touchdown with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter.
West Forsyth mounted a drive that continued through the beginning of the second quarter but things hit a wall literally when Huntley sacked Southern for the second time, ending the drive.
Parkview then used runs by Curtis and Williams and a change of pace from junior running back Jasir Smith to get the ball to the 7. A soft arcing pass on the next play from Williams to Daniels in the right corner of the checkerboard end zone added another Parkview score with 6:28 left in the half.
After a Wolverines punt, Parkview took over on its 30. The Panthers struck quickly on the very next play as Williams led Daniels perfectly on a 70-yard pass, but the receiver was tackled at the 10-yard line, fumbled, then recovered the ball as the defenders were sprawled on the turf, and waltzed into the end zone for a 21-0 margin going into the half.
In the second half, Curtis delivered some more punishing runs to get the Panthers moving. Williams then unleashed a dazzling 23-yard run, darting and weaving between defenders to the 4. On the next play, Williams drifted to his left and completed a touchdown pass to his diving tight end J.J. Magee with 10:17 left in the third to give Parkview a sizable 28-0 lead.
The next Panther drive was stymied as a pass was underthrown and intercepted at the 2-yard line by West Forsyth’s Bryce Allen and returned to midfield. A personal foul flag gave West Forsyth starting position on the 36. Four straight incompletions ended the scoring threat for the Wolverines with 6:40 in the third quarter.
In the fourth, Parkview took over on downs with 11:48 left in the game. Jasir Smith powered to an 11-yard run. Smith then rumbled 52 yards before being caught from behind at the 8-yard line. Two more Smith runs were stopped short of the end zone by the defensive pile. On 4th-and-goal, Smith was hit immediately and fumbled, but Williams alertly caught the loose ball on one bounce and ran it in for the score and a 34-0 lead with 9:40 left in the game.
West Forsyth avoided the shutout with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Southern to Casey Cowart with 2:05 left in the game.
PARKVIEW 35, WEST FORSYTH 14
W. Forsyth 0 0 0 14 - 14
Parkview 7 14 7 7 - 35
Parkview: Tyler Curtis 25 run (Nolan McCord kick) 2:50
Parkview: C.J. Daniels 7 pass from Jordan Williams (McCord kick) 6:28
Parkview: Daniels 70 pass from Williams (McCord kick) 1:32
Parkview: J.J. Magee 4 pass from Williams (McCord kick) 10:17
Parkview: Williams 1 run (McCord kick) 9:40
W. Forsyth: Casey Cowart 12 pass from Drew Southern (Alex Wilson kick) 2:05
W. Forsyth: Lance Corcimiglia 6 pass from Ashton Van Horn (Wilson kick) :16