High School Football: Parkway North Unable To Rise Up To Summit
Vikings unable to rally back, after falling behind No. 7 Summit 21-0 in the first quarter.
After losing the Missouri Class 4 state baseball championship game in heart-breaking fashion last spring to Suburban South Conference rival Rockwood Summit, the Parkway North football team had plans on returning the favor when the Vikings and Falcons met in Week 3 of the football season.
Many prominent figures from the baseball teams for both schools also put on the helmets and pads in the fall.
But Summit put any thoughts of Parkway North revenge to bed early Saturday, by scoring on each of its first three possessions, then adding a fourth score on the final play of the first half, to build a 28-point lead that eventually became a 34-14 victory for the Falcons over the Vikings.
The anticipated matchup was forced into Saturday when severe weather postponed many games around the area.
"We definitely got off to a fast start," Summit head coach Mike Bellers said. "We kind of fizzled in that second quarter a little, but overall I thought we played pretty good."
Better than good is what Summit was in the early going, when it marched right down the field three straight times to start the game, to go up 21-0 on a North team that had only given up 14 total points in its first two games.
Tailback Ian McIntosh had a 3-yard touchdown run on Summit's first drive to get the Falcons on the board.
Then, after picking off a pass and returning it deep into North territory, senior Eric Beisel added a 2-yard score, that along with fellow senior Ben Tesson's second of four PATs, made the score 14-0.
"We just tried to make some plays early," Beisel, a University of Missouri recruit at Linebacker, who also had the game winning hit to give the baseball team the state title last spring, said. "We wanted to get a good vibe, a good feel, going early. So we wanted to just come out and make some big plays at the beginning and kind of get ourselves going."
The Falcons made two big plays just moments after Beisel's touchdown, that helped set up their third score.
First, safety Nick Bamvakais burst through the North line to blow up a fourth-down play that gave the ball back to Summit.
Then, on the first play of the next drive, Summit quarterback James Crockett burst through the North defensive line for a 43-yard gain to put the ball right back in deep Viking territory.
Three plays later, Crockett capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run that gave Summit a three-touchdown lead.
"I told the kids, you just can't give a good team like that, and Summit's a real good team, a lead like that," North head coach Bob Bunton said. "We just had too many mistakes, and we're not a real big comeback team. So being behind like that is bad for us."
The dagger in the heart though was probably the final play of the first half, when Crockett somehow broke away from three North defenders on what seemed like a sure sack, and tossed a 17-yard touchdown strike to senior Luke Hartmann.
"Just a great play by a talented kid," Bellers said.
The second half was much different for North. Especially after Bunton pulled no punches in his halftime speech in the locker room.
"I told them that they were better than that," he said. "I think maybe we needed to learn a lesson about toughness and physical play, and what it was going to take to compete at this level."
The Vikings must've gotten the message, because in a lot of ways, they outplayed Summit in the third and fourth quarters.
North outscored Summit 13-6 in the second half, and even found some new playmakers they may be able to count on throughout this year.
Senior wideout Jalen Dillard helped get the Vikings on the board, when he reeled in a sensational one-handed touchdown catch from quarterback Andy Huss, midway through the fourth quarter, that made the score 28-7.
And sophomore running back Roosevelt Abram, who took over for starter Johnathan Little after the latter injured his leg in the third quarter, ran for an unofficial game-high 110 yards and scored his second touchdown of the season, to close out the fourth quarter.
"I just wanted to step up for my team," Abram said. "I knew Jon was down, and my teammates were just telling me, 'we need you, baby, we need you right here'. So I just tried to step up and do what I can."
No word was given on the severity of Little's injury, but Bunton said he thought if Abram had to carry the load alone, he could.
"He's getting valuable, valuable experience playing in these games," Bunton said. "I've always felt that the best experience a kid can get is not in practice, not in film sessions, but in actual varsity games. And we're getting that for (Abram) right now."
Another North back, Roderick Hoskins, missed a second straight game due to injuries.
On the Summit stat sheet, Crockett ran for 98 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 93 yards and another score, while Beisel led the Falcon defense with 15 total tackles (eight solo) and that key interception.
"We've been dominating people so far," Beisel said. "And I think we can continue and take this all the way to the Dome... it's just gonna take us getting better and cutting down on the mental mistakes."
Summit will get its chance to play at the Edward Jones Dome next week, when it will face No. 1 ranked Kirkwood, next Saturday at 4:15 p.m.
That game will be part of the four-game Great American Football Classic event at the Dome, with No. 7 Summit taking on top-ranked Kirkwood as the marquee game of the night.
Parkway North will also play next Saturday, when it will go on the road to face rival University City at 1 p.m.