In the end, the victor went on to win the state championship.
Seven years later and the series has come full circle.
Parrish hosts Addison in a third-round playoff game set for 7 p.m. today at Parrish High School’s Harland-Nelson Stadium.
In that 2003 classic, Parrish rallied from a halftime deficit for a 36-30 victory that not only put the Tornadoes into the semifinals, but propelled them to their first state football title.
This time around the only things that have changed are the game’s location and the players’ names.
“It’s Parrish-Addison. It’s two tradition-rich programs facing each other in the playoffs,” Parrish coach Andy Keith said. “It’s a big game. It was a big game in 2003 and these teams are here again. That’s how it supposed to be in the playoffs.”
Parrish is in the third round for the first time since that epic win over Addison while the Bulldogs are in the quarterfinals for the first time since their run to the 2005 state title.
Parrish (9-3) enters the game playing its best football of the season. The Tornadoes have reeled off seven straight wins after a 2-3 start and hammered Marion County 64-34 in their second-round matchup.
How good was Parrish’s performance?
The team scored eight touchdowns over a two-quarter stretch and had just one touchdown that went for less than 30 yards.
Addison has hammered Gaylesville (35-6) and Shoals Christian (35-14) in its first two playoff games. The Bulldogs are in the playoffs for the 22nd time in the last 25 years.
Parrish is in the postseason for the 17th time in 19 years.
Put simply — both teams are used to winning.
“They live and breathe Addison football. They are a lot like us. I think Addison kids are born with a football in their hands,” he said.
Junior running back Austin Crowe has been the offensive leader for the Tornadoes each of the past two weeks. He ripped through Marion County for 279 yards and five touchdowns on just 11 carries last week. In the playoff opener he picked up 186 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 465 yards and seven touchdowns in the playoffs. He is averaging 13.7 yards per attempt in the postseason.
“Crowe is just one of those hard-nosed kids. He always goes all-out. When he makes a tackle in practice, he’s going wide open. When you run the belly with him in practice, he’s going wide open,” Keith said. “He’s not a selfish kid. He knows everything he gets is because of the guys up front.
“The offensive line is going to be key for us. We’ve got to control the line. They’ve got to make seams when we give it to our running back and fullback and they’ve got to protect (quarterback) Jeremy Piper.”
Addison coach Phillip Wilson was also the head coach when Parrish knocked off Addison in 2003. He says beating the Tornadoes won’t be easy.
“Parrish is tough. They play good, fundamental football. They come right at you. I just hope we can play with them,” Wilson said. “I know they will do their part. If we do ours it should be a good game.”
Today’s winner will take on the Lynn-Hubbard winner in next week’s state semifinals.
“I think we’ll win, but it will probalby be a nailbiter,” Parrish senior lineman Danny Short said. “It feels good to be in the third round. It’s made everybody around here feel good. Now we’ve got to keep it going.”