At least that’s how it seemed.
The Tornadoes were hampered by turnovers and penalties all night long in their semifinal matchup with R.A. Hubbard at Parrish’s Harland-Nelson Stadium.
After rolling through the first three rounds of the playoffs, Parrish’s season ended with a thud in a 14-0 loss to the Raging Chiefs.
Parrish’s potent offense was held in check by R.A. Hubbard. The Tornadoes didn’t get closer than the Hubbard 18-yard line during the game and totaled just 150 yards of offense in the game. If that wasn’t enough, Parrish had five turnovers — three interceptions and two fumbles — along with 13 penalties for 115 yards.
“Every time we got something going, we got a penalty,” Parrish coach Andy Keith said. “We’d get going, then we get moved back. We can’t blame the officials, though. We just couldn’t get going on offense all game.”
Parrish, which relied on big plays throughout the regular season and playoffs, didn’t have a play longer than 15 yards on the night.
“We knew there were a lot of things they were capable of doing,” first-year Hubbard coach Nicholas Vinson said. “We watched them on film and I felt if we could make them drive the length of the field, we’d have a good shot. We knew they had an explosive offense. We had to keep them from having explosive plays. Our guys did a good job of doing that,” he said. “We talked about big-time players making big-time plays. That’s what we got (Friday).”
Hubbard’s offense did just enough to earn a spot opposite Sweet Water in Thursday’s 1A state championship.
The Chiefs (13-1) took advantage of a Parrish turnover for their first score and got their second on a long run late in the third quarter.
From there, R.A. Hubbard turned to its defense.
Parrish’s last three drives ended with interceptions. Two of those came on the first play of the drive. Floyd Jones had the first interception and Jarmaine Jones picked off the last two. The Tornadoes (10-4) had just 12 plays from scrimmage in the second half compared to 29 for the Chiefs.
Hubbard got on the scoreboard at the 1:20 mark of the second quarter on a Floyd Jones quarterback sneak. The play was set up with an Eddrick Harris fumble recovery, which was returned 27 yards to the Parrish 3-yard line.
Parrish’s Piper came up with an interception later in the quarter to leave the score 7-0 at the half.
The Tornadoes made a goal-line stand to open the third quarter, but Hubbard’s second possession resulted in a touchdown when Harris went 31 yards down the sideline for the score and a 14-0 advantage.
Parrish reached the Hubbard 18-yard line on its next drive, but was penalized twice before throwing an interception.
The Tornadoes didn’t threaten again.
For Parrish, Austin Crowe finished with 112 yards on 17 carries, giving him a total of 787 yards on 75 carries in the playoffs and 1,842 yards for the season.
Defensively, Piper and Frankie Sudduth had interceptions and Gary Woods recovered a fumble for Parrish.
Hubbard finished the game with 262 yards, with 221 coming on the ground.
Despite the loss, Keith said the Tornadoes are headed in the right direction.
“We set a lot of goals at the end of last year. We reached all of them, but one, which is to play next week. We set the bar high for next year’s bunch. We’ve got some ninth, 10th and 11th graders who’ve got some big shoes to fill. We’ve got kids coming back at key spots. We’ll have a lot of skill coming back, but we are going to lose some linemen. I think we’ll be all right.”
Parrish's season has ended against R.A. Hubbard each of the last two seasons. Last year the Raging Chiefs beat Parrish in the first round of the playoffs.