By Robert Haddocks
Peachtree Ridge returned two fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns to beat Parkview 28-14 in the Lions’ home opener.
The game was tied 14-14 entering the final quarter, but within a three-minute span, Travis Bowers and Nick Glass took overthrown passes and raced into the end zone. From there, the Lions simply handed the ball to Jordan Ellis, who ran out the clock. Ellis finished with a game-high 123 yards rushing.
Peachtree Ridge, which beat Walton last week, improves to 2-0. The Lions were 4-6 last season. Parkview, which advanced to the state quarterfinals last year, is 0-1.
The Lions forced three turnovers on the night and that was the difference. Their second touchdown of the game came after they recovered a fumble by Parkview’s Laronn Veal. One play later, Ellis burst up the middle 35 yards for the touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
Entering the contest with one game already under its belt, Peachtree Ridge was a bit sharper than Parkview. Justin Rosser led the Panthers with 86 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers had some success moving the ball on the ground for three quarters and appeared to be getting in sync when Rosser bounced around left end for an 18-yard touchdown to the tie the score at 14-14 with one minute left in the third period.
But on the Panthers’ next drive, Bowers leaped to grab an errant pass from sophomore Jack Chambers and ran 30 yards down the left sideline for the score. Evan Pantels kicked his third of four extra points for a 21-14 lead with 9:59 remaining in the game. Glass followed suit on Parkview’s next drive, returning his interception 34 yards down the right sideline.
Peachtree Ridge’s defense was solid, led by AJ Houston, Walden Davis and Dru Moody.
After forcing a three-and-out, Parkview took its first possession of the game and scored on a 10-yard run by Rosser.
Peachtree Ridge evened the score on an Ellis 5-yard touchdown late in the first quarter to cap a 12-play 83-yard drive.
PARKVIEW – 7 – 0 – 7 – 0 – 14
PEACHTREE RIDGE – 7 – 7 – 0 – 14 – 28
P- Justis Rosser 4 run (Eric Autry kick)
PR – Jordan Ellis 5 run (Evan Pantels kick)
PR – Ellis 35 run (Pantels kick)
P – Rosser 18 run (Autry kick)
PR – Travis Bowers 30 interception return (Pantels kick)
PR – Nick Glass 34 interception return (Pantels kick)