Sabers, Parkhill run by Panthers

Sabers, Parkhill run by Panthers

CHAMPAIGN – Coaches always preach to their players that they must play all 48 minutes to win a game.

All St. Thomas More needed was 24 minutes.

Sabers running back Joe Parkhill made sure there was no major hiccup against Paxton-Buckley-Loda by pumping out 263 yards on 13 carries and scoring five touchdowns, all in the first half, in a 52-6 win Friday.

"Joe runs like he is possessed, that's all I can say," Sabers coach Dan Hennessey said. "If we give him the football, he's at 110 percent. He's possessed. When we get the ball in his hands he sees nothing but the goal line."

Parkhill scored three touchdowns in four touches, speeding past defenders for scores of 66, 13 and 56 yards within the first seven minutes of the game. Parkhill later scored on runs of 27 and 23 yards.

Said Parkhill of his game: "I knew it was possible, I just never really thought it was coming ... Our line dominated. We were clicking. Everything was flowing. Just take the ball to the end zone."

Hennessey's job was to make sure his team was not too busy thinking of the festivities that come with homecoming.

"I thought our effort was good," Hennessey said. "I told them, 'After you come off a big win, there's always that letdown with homecoming and everything going on.' All week we tried to keep their minds between the lines, and they came out and they really took care of business. I was real happy with their performance tonight."

Now, the Sabers must ready themselves for the IHSA playoffs with games against Iroquois West and Spring Valley.

"Our mentality is just we have to execute and do everything flawlessly," Parkhill said. "I mean, even in a game like this where we're up by a lot, we still have got to do the little things right and practice that."

PBL saw improvement from sophomore backup quarterback Landon Tolley, who was 6 of 8 for 68 yards. Sixty-seven of those yards went to tight end Austin Wood.

Workhorse fullback Ricky Tester ran 24 times for 125 yards, scoring a late touchdown on a 68-yard run.

Coach Greg Wood recognized his offense revolved almost exclusively around those two players.

"Offensively, all we had was throwing the ball to Austin or handing it off to Ricky," Wood said. "Ricky just ran his little heart out. That was awesome. He deserves (to score a TD) because he plays hard every down. We want 20 of him."

Wood definitely needed more like Tester on the other side of the ball.

"(St. Thomas More) is a decent football team, no doubt about it, but that score is indicative of a poor defensive football team," he said.

Watseka 47, SJ-O 14. Alex Hall rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns and Dylan DeFauw passed for 200 yards and three touchdowns for the host Warriors. DeFauw also returned an interception 79 yards for a score.

Dana Pyburn threw for 180 yards for St. Joseph-Ogden.

Clifton Central 42, Iroquois West 25. Matt Ulrichs rushed for 91 yards and three touchdowns for host Iroquois West, which was outscored 12-0 in the fourth quarter.

Sections (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports