By Robert Haddocks
Josh Boyd ran for two touchdowns and the Norcross defense returned to its familiar form as the Blue Devils beat Parkview 21-7.
The win was the first of the season for the Class AAAAAA defending champions, who were off last week after suffering an embarrassing loss to Booker T. Washington two weeks ago.
The Blue Devils (1-1) started out slowly, but found their offensive rhythm late in the second quarter. They took a 21-0 lead early in the fourth quarter on Boyd’s second touchdown, a 34-yard run that he bounced outside before outrunning defenders to the end zone. The Panthers contained Myles Autry for most of the night, but Boyd finished with 107 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback AJ Bush was proficient in the pocket, completing 11 of 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown, a 34-yard toss in the third quarter to Clinton Lynch, who got behind the Parkview defense.
Norcross offense was far from scintillating, but it was more than enough as the defense shut down the Panthers until the final minutes of the game. The Panthers (0-2) finished with 160 total yards and six first downs. Despite falling behind, Parkview didn’t attempt its first pass until early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers’ lone score came on 27-yard pass from Jack Chambers who found Jeremy Lacey for a 27-yard score with 3:13 remaining.
After being shutout last week, 55-0 to Booker T. Washington of Florida – the No. 1 team in the country – the Blue Devils scored their first points of the year just before halftime. Norcross took advantage of a short field with Boyd running in for a 13-yard touchdown to cap the four-play 59-yard drive. The Panthers bottled up Autry, who finished the half with just 19 yards on seven carries. Parkview’s ground game didn’t fare much better, totaling 59 yards on 17 carries in the half. The Panthers netted three first downs in the half, one coming via penalty. Justis Rosser led Parkview rushers with 72 yards.
Norcross hosts North Gwinnett (2-0) on Friday in the region opener for both teams. Parkview travels to Grayson in Region 8 action.
NORCROSS – 0 – 7 – 7- 7 – 21
PARKVIEW – 0 -0 – 0 – 7 – 7
N – Josh Boyd 13 run (Blake Bingham kick)
N – Clinton Lynch 34 pass from AJ Bush (Bingham kick)
N – Boyd 34 run (Bingham kick)
P – Jeremy Lacy 27 pass from Jack Chambers (Eric Autry kick)