Parklane aiming for different outcome at Jackson Academy

The Parklane defense is up for the challenge once again as they will try to slow down Jackson Academy and its stout running game. 

Last week did not go the way Parklane had hoped for. Eager to finish its regular season on a high note, the Pioneers faced a talented Jackson Academy bunch and despite putting up a fight, the Pioneers could not keep up with the Raiders, losing on the road.

However this week, the Pioneers are hoping for a reversal of fortune against the same team at the same location to open the playoffs.

“We are in the playoffs and everybody is 0-0 so it is a new start for us,” Parklane head coach Brian Stutzman said. “We feel like we did some good things against them last week but we have to correct the mistakes that we made. Hopefully we can get some breaks to fall our way and hopefully win a playoff game.”

The Pioneers are aiming for their first postseason win since 2018 when they defeated Oak Forest on the road 21-13.

Playing the same opponent two weeks in a row, the Pioneers understand what they are up against. However the same thing goes for JA.

“We know our opponent as we just played them so we know what we need to do, it is fresh on the kids’ minds,” Stutzman said. “I think that they are excited to get another shot at them.”

Other than the mistakes and poor tackling, one of the main contributors to the Pioneers coming up short last week was Raider running back Marcus Harris. The junior rushed for 209 yards and three scores on 21 carries.

“We gave up over 200 yards rushing last week and we didn’t do a good job of tackling,” Stutzman said. “We just have to do a good job of hitting and wrapping up Harris and getting him down. That is the key for us.”

Regardless of the opponent, the Pioneers realize that this is the playoffs and it is a ‘win or go home’ scenario. But ultimately they are just excited for the chance to play.

“They are excited to get to play in the playoff and start the season anew and try to get one in the win column,” Stutzman said.

Parklane will be without one of its key playmakers in receiver Jeremiah Dillon. The junior will miss his second-straight game while he continues to recover from a foot injury.

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