DACULA -- On its two biggest possessions, Parkview's defense showed up.
Twice in the second half against Dacula, the Falcons found themselves with the ball and a chance to either tie or take the lead. In the six total plays on those possessions, the Falcons managed just one yard and they punted each time.
Both punts turned into touchdowns the Panthers needed as they hung on for a 26-21 win over Dacula.
"I told them they'd play hard. And they did," Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said of Dacula. "We have to make a few changes. You have to make adjustments now."
Dacula didn't amass a ton of yards against Parkview, but put together scoring drives to stay in the game. Quarterback Brandon Goodson completed 12 of 19 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown and receiver Zentavious Cobb caught six balls for 59 yards and the first score of the game for Dacula.
"These kids don't quit," Dacula head coach Jared Zito said. "That's who they are. They just believe. Even when bad things happen. I am proud of our effort, I am proud of our fight."
As Parkview's defense did just enough, the Panthers rode the back of running back Chris Carson to all of it's points. Carson carried the ball 28 times for 169 yards and all four Panther touchdowns. He carried the ball six straight times on Parkview's final drive to eat away at the clock. He also carried it every play on Parkview's final scoring drive.
At the start of the game, it appeared the Panthers were on their way to an easy win over the Falcons.
Dacula picked up two quick first downs against the Parkview defense on the opening drive of the game before the Panthers tightened up. They forced a pair of incompletions and on fourth-and-12, sacked Goodson giving the Panthers the ball on the 31-yard line.
It took eight plays and more than four minutes for Parkview to capitalize with Carson's diving in from three yards out.
The score stayed the same with both teams punting and eating clock with a heavy dose of running plays deep into the second quarter. On second-and-8, Kurt Hickman snagged a tipped pass by Goodson at midfield for the Panthers' second turnover of the half. The interception led to Parkview's second touchdown, a 4-yard run by Carson again and the 8-AAAAAA-leading Panthers seemed to be in control.
But Dacula answered in the final minutes, putting together a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive jumpstarted by a 35-yard run by Goodson. Goodson ended the drives with a 21-yard pass from to Zentavious Cobb to make it 14-7 at the half.
"The thing that I have to correct is, we go up 14 and we gas it back on defense and we can't do that," Flowe said. "All of a sudden they dump one in and it's a game."
Dacula force a punt to open the second half and got the ball near midfield down a touchdown.
Cue the first big three-and-out.
After the Falcons' punt, Parkview marched 78 yards on 12 plays, sucking more the five minutes off the clock making it a two possession game even after the missed extra point.
But Dacula (0-7, 0-5) didn't quit again.
The Falcons went 78 yards yards in nine plays, punctuated by a 36-yard sprint by Kelan Fraise to bring the Falcons to within six points.
"Our kids, we just keep getting better," Zito said. "We've played some really good people and we are coming up an inch short."
Parkview punted again, giving Dacula the ball on the 7.
Cue the second big three-and-out.
Dacula punted from its end zone and Parkview took the ball on the Falcons' 31 and road Carson for four straight carries into the end zone.
Dacula scored one last time to make it a five point game, but missed the onside kick and Parkview eked the clock away.
"A win is a win and we move on," Flowe said.