Parrish, who entered the season with several question marks, few established leaders and a brand new coaching staff scored on the third play of the game and never lost control, beating Oakman 33-24 at Hosea Collins Field in Oakman.
Parrish rolled up 318 yards of offense to Oakman’s 269 — with 292 yards coming from the Tornadoes’ ground attack. Parrish also handled the ball more effectively, turning the ball over only once, while Oakman had four turnovers.
Wooten applauded the efforts of his team and their tenacity leading up to and during the game.
“Tonight’s win was tremendous for our team’s confidence and outlook on the future ahead of us,” Wooten said. “They’ve been through a lot and had to hear people tell them they had no chance in this game — but our coaching staff and the young men who have stepped up as leaders told them to believe in themselves and never give up. The hard work that everyone has put in paid off and it’s a joy to see a smile on these kids’ faces.”
Parrish was led offensively by Jermichael Harris, who rushed for 122 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns. Spencer Piper followed with 11 rushes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Chris Evans led the Tornado defense with 7 tackles including a tackle for a loss, a quarterback sack and a fumble recovery.
Jase Trotter led the Wildcat offense, connecting on 8 of 21 passes for 165 yards, with two interceptions and two touchdowns. Trotter also ran for 35 yards on 13 carries with two rushing touchdowns. His top targets were Elijah Farley, who had three catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, as well as Quinton Harris, who hauled in two passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Jeffrey Allen had an outstanding night on defense for Oakman, recording 12 tackles including three tackles for a loss.
The Tornadoes struck on their opening possession, capping off a three-play drive with Piper scoring on a 50-yard run to take a 7-0 lead after the successful extra point kick.
Oakman would answer late in the second quarter following a 29-yard, three-play drive as Trotter took the ball in from four yards out. The Wildcats missed the extra point to cut the lead to 7-6 going into halftime.
The Tornadoes built upon their lead in the third quarter, driving 58 yards on three plays, with Jermichael Harris scoring his first touchdown of the night on a 47-yard run. After another good extra point kick, Parrish held a 14-6 edge.
Near the end of the quarter, Oakman would cut the lead again after a four-play, 27-yard drive as Trotter found the endzone again on a 6-yard scamper. The Wildcats missed the extra point to draw closer, 14-12.
Jermichael Harris would kick off the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 40-yard run to conclude a three-play drive to move Parrish further ahead, 21-12 after the good extra point kick.
Trotter found Farley on the ensuing Oakman possession on a 64-yard strike to cut the lead to three points, with the Tornadoes still up 21-18 after the missed extra point.
Parrish struck back on the kickoff, with Jermichael Harris scoring his third touchdown of the night by returning the kick 70 yards for the score. The Tornadoes would missed the extra point to a nine-point lead at 27-18.
Bryant Thomas would add a final score for Parrish on a 12-yard run to cap off an 8-play, 44 yard drive to extend their lead to 33-18.
Trotter found Deontre Muse on a 9-yard strike for Oakman to help reach the 33-24 final after the missed extra point.
Parrish opens region play next week as they travel to Hubbertville. Oakman also begins region play by hosting Lamar County.