Norcross measures success against Parkview

Keith Maloof still remembers when he took over the Norcross program and how dominant Parkview was in the early 2000s.

His Blue Devils would regularly lose to Parkview until 2005 when Norcross finally beat the Panthers.

Since then the tables have turned and Norcross has won the last three meetings. But Maloof still knows Parkview, his opponent Friday night, is the measuring stick for success in the county.

"They had a great run at it. Coach Flowe is a great football coach and not many people can stay in one place and be successful like he has," Maloof said. "They are still a great football team, they still have good people, a shot at winning the region and getting in the state playoffs. It's not like Parkview is dead, it's still a great program."

Parkview hasn't had as deep of playoff runs in recent years as it had in the early 2000s. The Panthers are coming off a 5-6 season and opened the season against highly talented Stephenson. Not many people expected Parkview to stand a chance against the Jaguars, who have a dozen D-I commitments, but the Panthers kept it close the entire game. A 71-yard touchdown run and a 75-yard punt return for a TD were the difference in the 14-3 loss.

"Norcross is going to have a pile of athletes. Stephenson had a pile of athletes," Parkview coach Cecil Flowe said. "But I was happy with the way we competed against the athletes with as young as we are."

Kyle Williams (11 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 sack) and Patrick Flowe (10 tackles) led the Parkview defense that held Stephenson running back Mike Davis in check most of the night.

Quarterback Jack Esmonde, a UGA baseball commit, threw for 131 yards and helped set up Zack Kammer's 27-yard field goal. It's a slight improvement from last year when the Parkview offense didn't score in the first two games.

"The Esmonde kid at quarterback has gotten better from last year to this year. He's spreading the ball around," Maloof said.

Norcross opened the season two weeks ago when it beat Dacula 35-7. Joseph Wilber threw for 224 yards and one TD in his first start at quarterback. His main target was J.T. Tolbert, who had four catches for 86 yards.

Tommy Tate led the defense with 11 tackles and a sack. Tanner Maloof made 10 tackles and scored two TDs on offense, while Martavius Edwards had eight tackles and recovered a fumble.

Norcross holds the upper hand in recent meetings against Parkview, but Flowe still believe the matchup is pivotal for later success.

"I think we need to play each other because it gets us ready for our region play. It's going to be tough on both sides again," Flowe said. "If you're going to be any good, you have to test your water and see what you have to improve on."