Heading into their playoff opener against Jackson Academy, the Parklane Pioneers were hoping for a different outcome than last week when they fell to those same Raiders in the regular season finale.
But the hosts weren’t having any of it, jumping out to an early lead and never letting up, handing Parklane a 35-7 loss Friday night in Jackson, ending the 2020 season for the Pioneers.
“The kids played hard and we never gave up but we just got beat,” Parklane head coach Brian Stutzman said.
For the second week in a row, Raider junior running back Marcus Harris proved to be a thorn in the sides of the Pioneers. And he quickly made his mark in the first quarter with a 24-yard touchdown run giving the hosts a 7-0 advantage.
Parklane tried to answer but was unable to and it hurt them not too long afterward when JA took a 14-0 lead following a 35-yard touchdown pass.
In the second quarter, the deficit for the Pioneers grew to 21-0 after JA got a 6-yard touchdown pass.
It was more of the same early in the third quarter as Harris made his presence known once again with a 13-yard scoring run.
The Pioneers kept fighting but could not keep up with the Raiders who added another passing score in the third quarter, this time from 11 yards out.
And when it appeared that the Raiders were going to put up another score with a field goal, the Parklane special teams put the brakes on that. The Pioneers broke through the Raider line, blocked the kick and returned it for the touchdown producing the first points on the evening for the visitors.
Unfortunately, the Pioneers could not produce any more points in the game.
Jordan Anthony led Parklane with 33 yards on five carries. Defensively, the Pioneers were paced by Scott Burton and Chris Burton who had four tackles apiece.
Looking ahead, Parklane will lose a handful of seniors at key positions but will return quite a few playmakers from this years’ team.
“I guess that we had nine seniors and I hate that this season ended for the seniors,” Stutzman said. “But we do have a lot of young, hungry players coming up and looking to improve. Hopefully we can improve in the offseason and get better.”