Special to The Webster Parish Journal
Minden’s Crimson Tide fell victim to a Parkway Panthers’ quick strike offense Saturday, dropping a 37-20 decision in the season opener for both teams. Saturday’s game was the result of a weather postponement that saw lightening in the area for Thursday’s scheduled opener.
Parkway jumped out to a quick lead when Jaylen White scored on a three yard run with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter, ending a drive that took just 2:34 to complete. It would be the shortest touchdown of the night for the Bossier Parish-based team.
A 56-yard TD pass from Ashton Martin to Trenton Lape, followed by White’s 74-yard scoring run upped the Panther’s lead to 20-0 in the second quarter, and an Aeron Burrell 29-yard field goal sent the Tide into halftime trailing 23-0.
Minden’s first score came at the 3:15 mark in the third quarter when Daylen Robinson broke loose for a 17-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 30-6. Parkway had scored earlier in the quarter on Martin’s second touchdown pass of the game, an 11-yarder to Jatavious Calhoun. Martin would finish the game with three scoring passes, the final a 45-yard strike to Dre Abner in the fourth quarter.
Minden’s final scores came in the fourth quarter, the first on a twisting 23-yard run by Jacobe Jackson. Then with two minutes remaining in the game, Cortlynd Walker picked up a fumble and moved five yards to paydirt.
Although the Crimson Tide came out on the short end of the score, the team outrushed Parkway, gaining 212 yards on 42 carries while the Panthers showed 145 yards on 25 total carries. The Tide also nearly doubled Parkway in time of possession, keeping the football for just over 32 minutes compared to just under 16 minutes for the hosts.
Crimson Tide defenders caused three Parkway fumbles and recovered all three. Minden lost one fumble on the night. Both teams kept the officials busy in the flag-tossing department, with Parkway giving up 126 yards on 14 penalties while Minden was whistled 12 times for 72 yards.
Robinson led the Minden rushing attack, picking up 83 yards on 24 carries, followed by Jaylin Williams with 63 yards on just two carries, and Jackson with 58 yards on nine tries. Parkway’s White led all rushers, picking up 146 yards on 10 carries.
In the passing department, the Tide’s Jackson completed two of 11 throws for 30 yards while Parkway’s Martin was 10 of 13 for 270 yards and three touchdowns.
Minden’s next action will come Friday when Homer’s Pelicans come to town. Homer is the defending state class 1A champions and is fresh off a season opening 18-14 loss to class 3A Union Parish.