Behind an offensive explosion in the second half, Cordova blew open a close game and cruised to a 54-20 win over arch-rival Parrish at Hudson-Kirby Field Friday night.
Cordova held a slim 21-20 halftime lead, but outscored an out-manned Parrish team 33-0 in the second half to earn Gay — Cordova’s first-year head coach — the victory.
The Blue Devils (1-4) picked up 453 yards on the ground, led by Garrett Woods’ game-high 150-yard performance and Cade Adkins’ 140 yards and three touchdowns.
Parrish got on the board first as Marcus Harris broke loose for a 65-yard run.
Harris then ran in for the 2 point conversion for an early 8-0 lead.
Cordova answered on the ensuing drive, going 50 yards in seven plays, with Kenderra Taylor going in from three yards out. A two point conversion pass from Chase Trotter to Skylar Thomas knotted the score at 8-8 with 4:52 to go in the first quarter.
On it's next possession, Parrish again got on the scoreboard, driving 61 yards to pay dirt as Reid Robertson connected with Reginald Harris for an 18-yard scoring strike, making the score 14-8.
Then the Cordova running game got going.
Adkins capped off a 60-yard drive with a two-yard score. After a missed point after, the score again was tied at 14-14.
Adkins scored again just 2:08 later as he burst up the middle on a 65-yard run. Peyton Templeton kicked it to 21-14 in favor of the Blue Devils.
Parrish (1-4) answered with 11 seconds to go before halftime, as Bradley Piper found the end zone from three yards out. Another failed PAT made the halftime score 21-20 in favor of Cordova.
The second half was all Blue Devils as Cordova scored on five consecutive possessions.
Adkins scored his third TD of the game on a two-yard run at the 9:53 mark to extend the lead to 27-20. Woods got in on the act on the next drive as he scampered 33 yards for a score. Cordova lead 33-20 after three quarters.
Cordova scored three more times in the final quarter. Taylor scored his second touchdown on a five-yard run at the end of a 13-play, 83-yard drive after an interception. Templeton would kick it to 40-20 in favor of Cordova. On the night Taylor added 86 yards rushing. Deiontray Bush broke loose on a 19-yard run on the next Blue Devil drive as Cordova extended its lead to 47-20.
The final score of the game came as Taj Woods rumbled in from eight yards out. Templeton capped off the game with the PAT for a final score of 54-20.
For Parrish, Marcus Harris finished with 65 yards rushing. Robertson added 96 yards passing for the Tornadoes.
Both head coaches — Gay at Cordova and Parrish’s Sam McCorkle — weren’t strangers to the rivalry though both of them are new to their respective schools.
McCorkle started his coaching career at Cordova in 1979 while Gay played high school football at Cordova and coached at Parrish, leading to the Tornadoes to the title in 2003. Both teams get back into region play next week as Cordova travels to Winston County while Parrish hosts Pickens County.