Parkston Wins Their First Football Title
The Parkston Trojans defeated the St. Thomas More Cavaliers in a 24-21 barn burner of a game. This is the first state football championship for Parkston, and it took a full 48-minutes to decide the winner.
Both teams took turns punting the football on the opening offensive drives. With 7:14 remaining in the first quarter David Voorhees intercepted a pass for the Trojans near midfield. Parkston capitalized on it as running back Miles Semmler caped off the offensive drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. As a result, the Trojans led the Cavaliers 7-0, and that score would stand at the end of the first quarter.
St. Thomas More found their spark on offense, when they entered the red-zone off of a fake punt. With 7:46 remaining in the half, St. Thomas More tied the game at 7-7. Quarterback Matthew Eastmo scored from one-yard away for the Cavaliers.
Parkston recaptured the lead 14-7 when running back Blake Beitz ran it into the end zone from 3-yards out with 1:08 remaining in the half. The Trojans caught a break on the drive, as a roughing the passer penalty kept it alive.
It only took St. Thomas More 29 seconds to answer when Eastmo found wide out Travis Mills for a 15-yard touchdown connection. Parkston still had enough time left on the clock to make history, as Wes Dvorak hit a 50-yard field goal as time expired, the Trojans led 17-14 at halftime. That 50-yard field goal is a new state record for longest field goal in a state football championship game.
Both teams traded offensive possessions through the third quarter, and the score stood with Parkston leading St. Thomas More 17-14.
With 9:31 remaining in the game, Dvorak ran in a 4-yard touchdown. This extended the lead for Parkston, 24-14 over St. Thomas More.
Sensing a bit of urgency, the Cavaliers intensified their attack. At the 6:37 mark, Eastmo found wide out PJ Freidel for a 56-yard touchdown, Parkston still led 24-21.
Parkston turned it over on an interception with just under two minutes to play, giving the Cavaliers the ball near midfield. With 12 seconds remaining in the game, St. Thomas More attempted a 33-yard game tying field goal that missed wide left. Parkston then went into victory formation to seal the win over St. Thomas More 24-21.
Watch the full game here....
Parkston Head Coach Eric Norden said he can’t express how proud he is.
“I’m just so proud of these guys, they’ve worked so hard over the years,” said Norden. “It’s a surreal feeling, and I can’t wait till the guys understand just how big of a deal this was.”
Joe Robbie MVP award winner Wes Dvorak said last years loss to Canton was motivation for the 2014 season.
“We knew how it felt losing, none of us liked us and it gave us more firepower,” said Dvorak. “St. Thomas More is a great team, they’re really tough, and they deserve a lot of credit for today.”
This is the first football championship for the Parkston Trojans in their third attempt.