Reigning state champion Grayson became the consensus No. 1-ranked team in the country this week, but unsuspecting Parkview of Lilburn cast a dissenting, shocking vote Friday night, scoring a 22-7 victory and the biggest upset in high school football nationwide.
Ranked in the top three of all eight national polls, and No. 1 by Rivals and ESPN, Grayson led 7-6 late in the third quarter when the ghosts of the Big Orange Jungle, home to Parkview’s faded dynasty from a decade ago, began to bite.
A pair of 15-yard penalties after a punt gave Parkview a first down inside the Grayson 30. Parkview (2-1) was stopped, and Tyler Stephenson made a 43-yard field goal. But coach Cecil Flowe accepted a roughing-the-kicker penalty instead, boldly taking points off the board against Grayson’s vaunted defense, led by the nation’s top recruit in Robert Nkemdiche.
Parkview – which had failed to score a touchdown in its first two games – dominated from there as Rob Youngblood threw a 14-yard TD pass for a 12-7 lead.
After a Stephenson field goal, Parkview’s Justis Rosser stripped a receiver of the ball at the Grayson 36. Parkview drove to the Grayson 1 and clinched the victory with Chris Carson’s touchdown run with 3:47 left.
It was the biggest win for Parkview since 2005, when the Panthers last won a playoff game under Flowe, who won state titles for Parkview in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Grayson fell to 2-1 overall, 0-1 in Region 8-AAAAAA.