LOGANVILLE - For the past seven years Parkview has had a firm grip on Region 8-AAAAA. The Panthers haven't lost to a region opponent other than Brookwood during that span.
Grayson controlled both sides of the line scrimmage to beat Parkview 28-6 in the school's biggest win since joining Region 8-AAAAA in 2004.
It's Parkview's first loss to a region team other than Brookwood since 1999 when the Panthers (3-3, 2-1) lost to Berkmar 13-10.
"Of course it's a big win, absolutely," Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. "This does a lot for our program. I'm glad our guys came out and weren't intimidated by the name Parkview."
After losing their first three games of the season, the Rams (3-3, 3-0) have now won their last three games to move to .500 and are one of three unbeaten teams in region play, along with Brookwood and Central Gwinnett.
The Rams play both teams in the next two weeks.
Grayson took the opening kickoff and went 93 yards on seven plays for the first score of the game. Matt Brock (10 carries, 51 yards), Robert Staton (14 carries, 62 yards) and Chandler Priest pounded the ball on the ground for the Rams before Priest broke loose. The senior took a handoff to the right, got to the corner and raced down the sideline for a 51-yard score.
"Our offensive line and the whole offense stepped up tonight," said Priest, who rushed for 103 yards on 11 carries. "Our offensive line just kept clearing people out."
The Rams racked up 298 yards of total offense, including 272 yards on the ground.
Grayson came back two possessions later for its second score of the game. Faced with a fourth-and-five at the Parkview 26, quarterback Dalton Diehl handed off to Staton. The junior ran to his right before stopping and throwing a 26-yard TD pass to a wide open Priest in the end zone.
"They had a very aggressive defensive secondary and with that play we thought we could get behind them," Conn said. "We were fortunate to execute. We felt like we needed a touchdown."
Rolando Cabeza added his second PAT to give Grayson a 14-0 advantage.
The Rams' 14 points were plenty for the defense to hold the lead. The defense has limited opponents to less than six points a game this season.
Parkview had four offensive possessions in the first half and managed just two first downs, crossing into Grayson territory only once in the first two quarters - and that was after a Grayson face-mask penalty gave the Panthers the ball at the Rams' 49. A 17-yard loss on the next play basically ended that drive.
After alternating possessions to start the second half, Kenny Bellavance got things going for the Parkview offense.
The sophomore ripped off a 52-yard run to the Grayson 24-yard line. Brandon Jacobs followed with a nine-yard run and Graham had a 14-yard run to the Rams' 1. Two plays later, Jacobs scored to keep Parkview from being shut out. However, on Patrick Kenny's point-after attempt, Grayson's David Caputo blocked it at the line and Parkview trailed 14-6.
Caputo also had a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
"They come down and answered," Conn said. "I thought the turning point was blocking the PAT. That kind of quieted them down again."
Chaz Schaeffer took the ensuing kickoff 71 yards to the Parkview 19-yard line. Four plays later, Diehl ran it in from one yard out for a 21-6 lead.
The Grayson defense held Parkview to its fourth three-and-out of the night and then the Rams' offense went to work. Grayson used a 14-play (all running plays), 81-yard drive that ate up eight minutes and 15 seconds of clock to seal the game.
Diehl ran in his second TD of the game, from 10 yards out, to give the Rams the 28-6 victory.
"They were bigger than us, we couldn't move the ball." Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said. "We couldn't move the ball every time. They did some good things, but we couldn't sustain things. Hats off to Mickey, they did a great job."
Parkview went three-and-out on five of its nine offensive possessions. Graham finished with 47 yards on 10 carries and Bellavance had 44 yards as the Parkview offense managed just 141 yards of total offense.