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Season on line for Panthers, Falcons

It took extra time for Parkview and Dacula to end when the teams met late in the season last year.

Dacula patiently relied on its defense to keep Parkview out of the end zone while it waited for the offense to make a play. Parkview didn’t let that happen for four quarters and the two teams only managed a field goal each. Dacula forced another field goal in overtime and scored a touchdown on its first play for the school’s second-ever win over Parkview.

Dacula at Parkview

Dacula Falcons (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Kevin Maloof

Record: 6-3, 5-2 region

Last week: Beat Berkmar 56-20

Parkview Panthers (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Cecil Flowe

Record: 4-5, 4-3 region

Last week: Beat Archer 35-14

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Dacula won 9-6 in OT last year

Directions to Parkview High School: From I-85, go east on Indian Trail Road until it becomes Killian Hill Road. Turn right on Arcado Road and then left on Cole Drive. School is on the left.

Series history:

2009: Dacula 9, Parkview 6 OT

2008: Dacula 21, Parkview 0

2003: Parkview 21, Dacula 3

2003: Parkview 31, Dacula 0*

2001: Parkview 38, Dacula 7

2000: Parkview 14, Dacula 7

1977: Parkview 36, Dacula 0

1976: Parkview 41, Dacula 0

*playoffs

“I don’t see (tonight) being any kind of a different game,” Dacula coach Kevin Maloof said. “It might just be an extension of that game.”

And the stakes couldn’t get any higher.

Tonight’s winner will earn the final playoff spot out of Region 8-AAAAA, the loser’s season ends. It’s the playoffs, in Week 11.

“That’s exactly what it is,” Maloof said.

“These are the games you play for,” Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said. “That is what you are preaching to (the players).”

Parkview played this same playoff play-in game last year. A 28-14 loss to Brookwood. But getting to this point and moving forward are different things.

“You try to make this game count for something,” Flowe said. “This is a big one. Just like last year.”

This year it’s the Falcons standing in their way.

Dacula’s offense, led by a year older Rocky Capobianco at quarterback, is more explosive than last year. Add to the mix the potential return of senior running back Dexter Walker this week and the Falcons’ offense could be at its most potent in weeks.

“He’s a gamer,” Maloof said of Walker. “He’s a competitor, so if he can play he will play.”

For Flowe, the first threat is Capobianco.

“They are potent on offense,” he said, “especially with their quarterback. We have to play good defense and somehow get points on the board.”

The defense shouldn’t be too much trouble. Parkview has limited nearly all its opponents to low marks on offense. Only South Gwinnett has scored more than 30 points on Parkview and two weeks ago, the Panthers held Brookwood to just 10.

“They are probably as good a defensive football team as we’ve faced all year,” Maloof said. “They were very good on defense last year and it has shown through the year this year. Their defense is going to keep them in every game they play and they have all year.”

Those other games don’t matter any more. Dacula and Parkview have won enough to play with a purpose tonight. Neither have been perfect, but both are here, playing to play some more.

“I think both sets of kids are pretty smart, they’re not stupid,” Maloof said. “They know what’s at stake. I would assume that both teams are probably a little up-tempo (in practice).

“I’m amazed and honored to be the coach of this team and how hard they’ve fought throughout the year to put themselves in a position where Game 10 means something. The bottom-line goal is for Game 10 to mean something and both Dacula and Parkview’s kids have put themselves in that position.”

Parkview to host food drive tonight

For their last regular season home game, Parkview’s senior football players will hold a food drive before tonight’s game against Dacula.

The Panther players are asking all players, students, fans and members of the community to bring a can of food to the game. There will be barrels at the front entrance gate to collect the food that will go to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.