Parkway Central fends off Webster Groves for 24-21 victory
By: Jonathan Duncan
Parkway Central coach Mark Goldenberg is glad his defense is stout enough to rise to the occasion when needed and the Colts needed their defense to do just that to remain undefeated this week.
Webster Groves got a long touchdown run from Marlon Peal and a long kickoff return for a touchdown from Zeb Bates late. In the end, it was not enough as the Colts Michael Slater scored on a 1-yard run late and then the Central defense stuffed Webster down the stretch to hold on for a heart-stopping 24-21 Suburban South Conference victory Friday at Parkway Central.
The win was the third in two seasons over Webster for Parkway Central (5-0, 3-0 in conference) while Webster Groves slipped to 3-2 (2-1 in conference play).
“The defense was the difference tonight, it really was,” Parkway Central coach Mark Goldenberg said.”The defense did not give up much in the second half, we buckled down and got it done, so even though it looked like a track meet at times, the defense was the difference tonight.”
Webster broke on top just 1:42 into the game as Marlon Peal scored on 74-yard touchdown dash for a 7-0 lead. Parkway Central responded with a methodical 11-play drive capped off by a 1-yard scoring from from Michael Slater to even it at 7-7 with 4:28 left in the first quarter.
A 56-yard race to the house for a touchdown by Peal vaulted Webster back in front 14-7 with 4:10 left in the quarter. Peale was a pain in the neck for the Colts defense early as he rushed for over 100 yards in the first quarter. He finished the game with 168 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Central’s offense stalled for a couple of series and then the Colts cut the gap to 14-10 on quarterback Zach Lazenby’s 23-yard field goal with 6:50 left before the half.
Central scored on its opening drive of the third quarter as Lazenby fired a 62-yard touchdown bomb to Isiah Sneed.
Webster answered on the return kickoff as Zeb Bates zipped 97 yards for a touchdown giving the Statesmen a 21-17 edge with 10:17 to go in the third quarter.
On it’s next drive, Parkway Central marched 63 yards as Slater pounded the ball into the end zone on TD dive with 6:07 left in the third quarter.
From there it was the Central defense led by Miles Dvorak that did the heavy lifting as the Statesmen never got near the Parkway Central goal line the rest of the night.
“I’ve got to hand it to the front four, they’re real tough, they held them down and it feels good,” Dvorak said. “It was our first test we won and it feels good.”
Frustration was more the feeling for Webster as the Statesmen fell to Parkway Central for the third time in a year including losing to the Colts in the regular season and post-season in 2011.
“After the way we played, they did a great job, I do think they controlled the line of scrimmage, but there’s no way we should have played the way we that we did,” Webster Groves coach Cliff Ice said.