Parkway Central, Parkway North ready for Class 5 district semifinal football games
By: Warren Mayes
The Parkway Central Colts enjoyed their bye last week and now look to scare up a victory on Halloween in a Class 5 District 3.
The top-seeded Colts (8-1) will face No. 4 Fort Zumwalt South (5-5), who got past Fort Zumwalt North 22-21 in the opening round. The No. 5 Parkway North Vikings (5-5) will play at the No. 3 Holt Indians (7-3). The Vikings scored a 45-22 victory over Fort Zumwalt East while Holt whipped Parkway West 42-0.
Both games have 7 p.m. kickoffs.
Colts coach Mark Goldenberg it all depends on how you look at a bye week to determine if its good or not.
“I would have to say the bye was good for the players and bad for the coaches,” Goldenberg said. “We are creatures of habit so it was hard not to play Friday.”
Instead, the Colts practice and then went to watch Fort Zumwalt South play its game.
Parkway Central was unbeaten at 7-0 when they ran into highly regarded Kirkwood and lost 28-2. However, in the regular season finale, the Colts rebounded with a convincing victory over Summit.
“We felt like we played a lot more like ourselves against Summit then we did against Kirkwood,” Goldenberg said. “It was good to see.”
Earning the top seed in the district is a feather in your cap but in the long run, Goldenberg said, it doesn’t gain the Colts anything on the gridiron.
“We are very pleased to be seeded first but it does not mean much if you don’t go out and play well,” Goldenberg said.
Now it’s single game elimination for everyone. It’s the time of the year you savor and enjoy. However, lose and it’s the start of the offseason.
“Postseason is great because you win and go on but if you slip up you are turning in your equipment so there is some pressure,” Goldenberg said.
The Colts are wary of the Bulldogs.
“They are a very balanced club with very good athletes all over the field,” Goldenberg said. “We will have to stop the run and be solid in the pass game to win.”
Parkway Central is familiar with Fort Zumwalt South, Goldenberg said.
“We played them in the Jamboree (in August), and three years ago, they were on our schedule,” Goldenberg said. “We feel we match up pretty well. We have had a good week of practice but we are ready to hit someone else.”
The prescription to get past the Bulldogs is simple, Goldenberg said.
“We will need to run the ball and stop the run,” Goldenberg said “We need to take care of the football and control the line of scrimmage.”
The win by the Vikings to even their record was a big one,” Parkway North coach Bob Bunton said.
“Our win was very satisfying as our kids have really stayed resilient during this .500 season,” Bunton said. “We have improved as a football team and we felt very good about our offensive game plan going into the Fort Zumwalt East game. We wanted to run the football a lot and be as extremely physical as we could be. We felt we achieved that.”
This is the time of year you want to see improvement from your team. You want to see if all the teaching has been absorbed.
The Vikings are doing well in that regard. The game against the Lions showed that.
“I think each game gives you different matchups. We went into the Fort Zumwalt East game and wanted to stop their quarterback from running and we did that,” Bunton said. “What we did not do was stop their passing game. This week we feel we are seeing a little more balance from a good Holt team that will present us with some problems. We are going to have to tackle well against Holt.”
A school record was set by the Vikings in the victory over the Lions. Senior running back Roderick Hoskins rushed a school record 41 times and gained 227 yards.
“Rod was very tough and really carried us,” Bunton said.
The Vikings defense rose to the occasion. Parkway North held the Lions to 93 yards rushing.
“Our defense did a great job of shutting their quarterback down in the rushing game,” Bunton said.
Now, the Vikings must get ready for the Indians.
“Holt will be very, very tough to beat at their place,” Bunton said. “Holt is a Suburban South-like team as they are big and physical. We have backed off a bit in practice with our hitting as we are getting shorter weeks.”
To have a happy Halloween, the Vikings have a checklist to get by the Indians.
“In order to beat Holt, we are going to have to run the football well again and play sound defense,” Bunton said. “Our special teams are going to have to be solid, as well. Holt has a very aggressive punt rush team and we are going to have to protect and defend well in that phase of the game, too.”
Bunton has told his team every game could be the last. The effort and energy must be there or its time to begin offseason training. Every game is difficult.
“This is the way it is going to be from here on out,” Bunton said. “There are no teams, at this point, that are sliding by. The victories will be well-earned and not real easy to get.”