By Matt Turer / @MattTurer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The last time the Parkview Vikings could call themselves Springfield City Champions with a clean city sweep, it was 1993.
Head coach Ben Dougherty was five years old. Tom Brady was in middle school. Patrick Mahomes wasn’t born.
Friday night, that 25-year drought ended. Jevin Huddleston ran for 238 yards and two scores, Blake Delacruz added five touchdowns on the ground with 218 yards of his own, and the Vikings ran away from Hillcrest late in a 58-26 victory.
“The only people that were part of this team that were alive then were me and a few coaches,” Dougherty said. “It’s an awesome feeling. It shows how hard these kids have worked, and how hard they played tonight. To have this to build a program upon is a great thing.”
On top of the team success, Delacruz’s fifth touchdown run of the night pushed the senior atop Parkview’s all-time rushing list—a mark previously held by Anthony Riley’s 4,237 career yards.
“We’ve had a lot of really good running backs at Parkview,” Delacruz said. “I’ve never looked at the rushing title as something to try to get. I’ve just wanted to be the best running back I can be for my teammates and coaches.”
Hillcrest didn’t make things easy. The Hornets trailed 20-0 in the first half but pulled within 26-20 late in the third quarter after a 17-play, 77-yard scoring drive was capped by a one-yard Gunnar Brooks touchdown.
“I thought we battled,” Hillcrest coach Justin Gerald said. “Coming out of halftime, I told the boys we were going to have some opportunities and would have to get some stops. And sure enough we did. We turned the momentum and were marching the field.”
With Parkview threatening on the next drive, Brenden Weaver jumped a Trevor Boice pass at the Hillcrest 10 for one of his two interceptions. But on the first play of the ensuing drive, Ja’veo Tolliver sacked Cameron O’Brey for a safety, and touchdown runs of 69 and 44 yards by Huddleston followed in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
“We’ve just got to be able to take full advantage of that opportunity [after Weaver’s interception] and go score,” Gerald said. “If we do, we may see a different outcome.”
Delacruz added touchdown runs of 31 and 40 yards just 67 seconds apart late in the game.
“Hopefully this will be a change in the school for years to come and will get kids wanting to come to Parkview and join Parkview,” Delacruz said. “I hope it gets the school better and the community more involved with us.”
The win puts the Vikings at 4-3. They’ve yet to win or lose two straight games this season. Hillcrest dropped to 2-5.
BATMAN AND ROBIN
Parkview’s opening 55-yard scoring drive was operated solely out of the wildcat with Huddleston and Delacruz. That set the tone for a ground game that totaled 470 yards on 45 carries thanks to a duo that’s dubbed itself after heroes of Gotham.
“We came up with this deal that we’re Batman and Robin,” Delacruz said. “But tonight, I think he (Huddleston) was Batman. He was just flying and he made some great touchdowns when it counted.”
O’Brey completed 31 of 47 passes for 369 yards and three scores for the Hornets, completing passes to six different receivers. Laterrian Jarman was a big part of that success, hauling in 15 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Parkview’s 56 points is the most the Vikings have ever scored against Hillcrest. This is also the first time there’s been a true city champion in the era of the Ozark Conference thanks to the addition of Central. The Vikings scored 44 points or more in all four wins over city rivals.
“The first thing we talked about this summer was winning the city,” Dougherty said. “I think this win is going to give us a chance to finish towards the top half of our conference, and then winning a playoff game and hopefully getting a district championship.”
Parkview hosts Lebanon (5-2) next week. Hillcrest travels south to face Kickapoo (2-5).
PHS — TD — 8:42 — Blake Delacruz 5 Yd run (PAT Good) — 7-0 PHS
PHS — TD — 0:01 — Isaac Davis 18 Yd pass from Trevor Boice (PAT Good) — 14-0 PHS
PHS — TD — 9:19 — Blake Delacruz 19 Yd run (PAT fails) — 20-0 PHS
HHS — TD — 4:23 — Laterrian Jarman 4 Yd pass from Cameron O’Brey (2pt good) — 20-8 PHS
PHS — TD — 0:42 — Blake Delacruz 1 Yd run (2pt fails) — 26-8 PHS
HHS — TD — 0:07 — Brenden Weaver 7 Yd pass from Cameron O’Brey (2pt fails) — 26-14 PHS
HHS — TD — 4:54 — Gunnar Brooks 1 Yd run (2pt fails) — 26-20 PHS
PHS — SFT — 2:05 — Cameron O’Brey sacked by Ja’veo Tolliver — 28-20 PHS
PHS — TD — 6:50 — Jevin Huddleston 69 Yd run (2pt good) — 36-20 PHS
PHS — TD — 4:15 — Jevin Huddleston 44 Yd run (2pt fails) — 42-20 PHS
HHS — TD — 3:22 — Laterrian Jarman 25 Yd pass from Cameron O’Brey (2pt good) — 42-28
PHS — TD — 2:16 — Blake Delacruz 31 Yd run (2pt good) — 50-28 PHS
PHS — TD — 1:09 — Blake Delacruz 40 Yd run (2pt fails) — 56-28 PHS