Norcross tailback Josh Boyd (3) is stopped by Booker T Washington’s Rashard Frye (23) while returning a kick during the game two weeks ago. (Photo: Lily McGregor)
Fifty-five to zero. That’s the score Norcross had to think about for the last two weeks.
The defending state champions opened the season with a humiliating 55-0 loss to Florida’s Booker T. Washington, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. To make it even worse, the game was televised nationally on ESPN.
For two weeks, Norcross has had to think about that loss. They’ve had to listen to doubters that maybe this year’s team isn’t as good last year’s title team.
Tonight they get to prove that 55-0 loss was just a fluke.
“We’re ready to go,” Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. “We’re ready to prove we can get back on the field and make a play. We just didn’t play good.”
Norcross’ shot at a win won’t be easy. They travel to Lilburn to play a Parkview team that is coming off a tough loss as well.
The Panthers were tied with Peachtree Ridge in the fourth quarterback before throwing two interceptions for touchdowns in a 28-14 loss.
“They are a good football team,” Maloof said. “You’d like to lineup and rebound, but they are a very good team.”
The big theme for both teams in their opening losses was turnovers. Norcross turned the ball over five times, including a fumble return for a touchdown on a kickoff and punt blocked for a score.
“You can’t gauge them off that game,” Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said. “They are a really good football team. They just played a really, really good football team. I’ve been in those rock slides before and it’s tough to get out of.”
It wasn’t much better for Parkview. Sophomore quarterback Jack Chambers had two interceptions returned for TDs in four plays during the fourth quarter. The team also added a fumble.
“That wasn’t his fault,” Flowe said of Chambers’ two INTs. “It was our fault. We put him in a bad situation.”
Justis Rosser scored both of Parkview’s touchdowns on 97 yards rushing.
Cameron Watson led Parkview’s defense last week with 11 tackles, while Vanderbilt commitment Bryce Lewis added nine and Turshard Kimble-Brinson had eight.
“It’s a good football team and we have to be ready,” Maloof said.
Norcross has won the last five meetings against Parkview, including a 20-0 victory last season.
A win for either team will be a confidence boost going into region play next week. Norcross hosts No. 1 ranked North Gwinnett next week, while Parkview travels to defending Region 8-AAAAAA champion Grayson.
“We just got to execute better,” Maloof said. “We have to tackle better, line up better.”
NORCROSS at PARKVIEW
Norcross Blue Devils (7-AAAAAA)
Coach: Keith Maloof
Last week: Had a bye
Parkview Panthers (8-AAAAAA)
Coach: Cecil Flowe
Last week: Lost to Peachtree Ridge 28-14
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Norcross won 20-0 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.