PARSONS - Hosting the Baxter Springs Lions, Parsons needed a win to escape their fourth winless season in the last six years. The two teams faced off in Round 2 of district play last Friday night. The Vikings did just that behind sophomore quarterback Daquan Johnson’s passing and running. Johnson passed for 259 yards and threw three touchdowns, and ran for another 75 yards.
Parsons, after scoring on their first possession with only two minutes off the clock, took it to the Lions in the first half of play. The Vikings went on to lead 17-0 at the half break.
Following the kick off, on their first possession, Baxter started at their 47 after a 15 yard return by Tyler Price. A short run by Gage Piper, and a Parsons offside penalty, the Lions moved into Viking territory at the 39. Narciso Ortiz broke through the middle to the 11, then next zigzagged to the four. On the following play a Lion fumble ended the scoring drive.
Parsons started at the two and moved up to the 31 on a pass, a run, and a Lion personal foul. A few plays later on a 4th-and-9 Cody Stephens booted a 30 yard field goal.
At the start of the second quarter the Lions moved on runs by Price, Piper, and Ortiz from their 32 down the field to the 14. On a 4th-and-2, they turned the ball over on downs.
The Vikings third touchdown came late in the second quarter with passes from Johnson to Gavynn Larsen and Patrick Loadholtz to the 25. These were the first of many to the two as they ended the game with 85 and 114 yards respectively. Larsen then on a pass went across, but the TD was called back on a holding call. Johnson ran to the three, the Lions’ lineman Dawson Adams moved the Vikings back a yard. On a 4th down, and three yards out, Johnson connected with Nolan Proehl for the score.
Baxter Springs came back after halftime and took a third quarter lead 21-17. Ortiz started by carrying multiple tacklers on his back and running 13 yards to their 44. Parsons was called for a five yard off sides penalty and quarterback Trey ran up the middle. They were now at the Vikings 33. Ortiz ran, White was allowed to run up the middle twice, and Ortiz ran. Again White went up the middle to the three, then scored from there.
The Lions’ defense, led by A.J. Himes’ tackle for a loss, caused Parsons to turn the ball over on downs 20 yards from scoring. Ortiz ran down the right sideline to the 12. White up the middle to the six, then the three. Ortiz ran in from there.
After the kick off Himes and Stephan Namelo combined for a quarterback sack. White intercepted a pass at the Lions’ 38 and ran up to their 47. Ortiz soon went 29 yards to the Vikings 29, the 17, and to the 14. After Piper’s run, and a Viking offside penalty, the Lions were at the seven. A Grand Canyon-size hole was opened on the right side by Jace Flood and Zach Hill, Ortiz took advantage of the opening and cruised to the end zone.
Jose Leon made good on all three of his PAT kicks.
Leading now 21-17, Lion mistakes set up Parsons’ go ahead score at the end of the third period. After the kick-off, Baxter was called for a defensive off-sides. Johnson passed to Loadholtz at the Lions’ 42, then completed a pass to Larson at the 33. A second Lion personal foul moved the Vikings up to the 18. Johnson on a right side keeper went to the nine, then completed a pass to Larson at the three. A catch from Johnson to Davonte Yates, and another PAT kick by Stephens made the final score.
Parsons threatened again early in the final quarter as they advanced to the one yard line. White stepped in front of a goal line pass for his second interception of the game to stop the drive.
Baxter Springs started at the 20 after the touchback. Ortiz went to the 26, and White went up the middle to get a new set of downs at the 31. They moved to the 36 after Parsons was called for off-sides. Ortiz went another five yards. On a 3rd-and-1, White again up the middle to the 43. White on a scramble run, and an Ortiz run, they moved to the 47. After a measurement the Lions got a first down moving of the chains by a few millimeters. Ortiz went across the center line into Parsons territory to the 40, then to the 38. With one Lion timeout left and less than one minute remaining , and a 4th-and-1, White was sacked to end Baxter Springs’ hopes for a win.
With an 0-2 district record, the Lions will end the season with Senior Night on Friday, against Frontenac. Frontenac upset Columbus last week. Columbus and Parsons at 1-1 in district play will square off for the right to move on in regional play.