In a season-best showing for the Parsons Vikings’ defense, Baxter Springs was held to 120 yards rushing as the Vikings throttled the Lions 42-14.
“I’m extremely thrilled for the kids,” Parsons first-year head coach Jeff Schibi said. “We’ve had a few weeks of good practices and hadn’t translated it to the field. So for them to have a taste of success tonight was very satisfying for them. It’s great for our mental wellbeing. We’re continuing to battle and now we see a little light.”
Baxter Springs was limited to 3.2 yards per carry against a Parsons defense that seemed to turn a corner on Friday night. The Lions were also held to 173 yards of total offense and two scores.
“Our defense was swarming around the football the entire night,” Schibi said. “Coach (Jaran) Dixon has been working his tail off. He’s had the kids bought in from the get-go. So it’s nice to see them have success.”
Vikings senior wideout Julius Smith-Reece, who missed the first three games with a hamstring injury, exploded with six catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith-Reece’s biggest highlight came on a 79-yard catch and scamper to the end zone in the final minute of the first half.
“It felt awesome,” Smith-Reece said. “It was a great night playing a sport with people I love to play with. We’ve got to keep leading from the front.”
The injection of Smith-Reece into the lineup has been a welcome addition for Parsons.
“Julius is a beast out there who’s hard to bring down in the open field,” Schibi said. “He’s gotten bigger, faster and stronger in the weight room. We preach that a lot, so it’s nice to see guys like him and Tanner Barcus have success on the field.”
Ethan Houk completed 16-of-21 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns.
Parsons also rushed for 118 yards — Yusef Kindrick had 64 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries while Houk added 51 yards on six carries.
“The biggest thing I saw was their confidence,” Schibi said. “We changed some calls to running plays because our line wanted us to run the ball. If we can establish a running game and have that be a threat in our offense, we have the athletes on the edge to be scary.”
Baxter Springs dropped to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in district play while Parsons improved to 2-3 and 1-1 respectively.
“We’ve gotten better three out of the last four weeks,” Schibi said. “Our hard work paid off a little tonight.”
Parsons will host its second straight game in Week 6 when the Caney Valley Bullpups come into town.
Caney Valley fell to Galena 20-0 on Friday night, dropping the Bullpups to 1-1 in district play. Next week’s matchup between Parsons and Caney Valley will prove critical to playoff seeding.
We’ve got to be able to stop the run,” Schibi said. “They’re going to bring the wishbone here to town. So we’ve got to be able to get stops. They’ll be a power-running team. But they have to stop us as well.”
Parsons 42, Baxter Springs 14
Parsons: 13 15 14 0 — 42
Baxter Springs: 0 7 0 7 — 14
PA: Yusef Kindrick 18-yard run, 10:11, 7-0
PA: Ethan Houk 10-yard pass to Tanner Barcus, 3:00, 13-0
PA: Houk 16-yard pass to Julius Smith-Reece, 2:24, 21-0
BS: Jackson Deringer 37-yard pass to Henry Riley, 2:04, 21-7
PA: Houk 79-yard pass to Smith-Reece, 0:20, 28-7
PA: Houk 9-yard pass to Dion Sylvester, 7:50, 35-7
PA: Kindrick 5-yard run, 0:32, 42-7
BS: Kan McCully 1-yard run, 7:50, 42-14