Another week at Parkview High School meant another big night of carrying the football for Anthony Riley Jr.
The Vikings’ senior running back rushed 29 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns in Parkview’s 28-0 homecoming win over Hillcrest Thursday night at JFK Stadium. Parkview’s plan to control possession of the football with its ground attack became evident early in the game. The Vikings forced Hillcrest to punt on its first possession, then went on a 51-yard touchdown drive that spanned 3:23 and ended with Riley scoring on a two-yard run.
Parkview (3-4) added touchdown drives of 16 and six plays in the second quarter.
“I love when the defense goes out first,” Riley said. “It definitely was a good start to the game, then we stopped them again and we kept stopping them, and then going into half 21-0 felt great,” Riley said.
Parkview coach Anthony Hays borrowed from a ball control strategy that worked in last week’s 56-44 win over pass-happy Glendale.
“Our game plan is going to be to try to establish the run, hit some play action passes, control the clock, play keep away,” Hays said. “To play with a two score lead early like that, you can kind of relax a little bit, get that ground attack going, keep the defense off the field.”
Hillcrest drove into Parkview territory three times, marching as close as the Vikings’ 6-yard line, but dropped passes and negative plays made the night a difficult one for Hornets quarterback Isaiah Harwood.
“Hillcrest has some big play threats, so for us to get the shutout, I think, is going to be a big confidence builder for our defense,” Hays said.
With homecoming queen Amanda Boswell looking on, Chaviz Nguyen rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to complement Riley’s power running game.
“We have Chaviz back there too, and I think they might be looking at me. Having a double threat back there makes it a lot better for us,” Riley said.
Hillcrest falls to 0-7 on the season. Hornets coach John Beckham entered the game banking on his team playing with the effort it showed in a loss to Kickapoo last week.
“I really felt like last week after Kickapoo, I felt like we played hard for 48 minutes. We played a lot better football team than us, but the kids played hard,” Beckham said. “I don’t really feel that way tonight, I don’t feel that we played hard for 48 minutes. I think pieces and spots and kids did, but as a team I don’t think we played hard for 48 minutes.”
Beckham shouldered the blame for what has been a trying season for Hillcrest.
“That’s on me. As a head coach you evaluate everything and one of those things you evaluate is yourself, and somewhere along the line I’m not communicating with these kids how I need to,” Beckham said.
Parkview (3-4) goes on the road to face the red-hot West Plains Zizzers Friday, Oct. 9. Hillcrest (0-7) play its next game at Shumate Stadium the same night against Rolla, for what will be the Hornets’ final regular season home game of 2015.