With the dust hardly settled from last week’s stunning five-overtime win over Iola, the Parsons Vikings are now set for a Week 2 matchup with the Anderson County Bulldogs back at Marvel Park.
Last week’s comeback victory left the Vikings physically and psychologically taxed. So getting the roster healthy and grounded was a primary focus for Parsons.
“The kids played basically two football games,” Parsons head coach Kurt Friess said. “They were taxed and euphoric to get that win. So we gave them the weekend off then came back to work on Monday. We’ve been watching Anderson County on tape and they’re eye-opening.”
Parsons is coming off another electric offensive performance. Quarterback Ethan Houk threw for 244 yards and accounted for seven total touchdowns, while wideout Dariq Williams had five touchdown catches and 205 yards receiving.
The Vikings also averaged 5.2 yards per carry on 22 attempts, with Houk racking up 50 yards on eight touches.
“We threw the ball on time and made plays in space,” Friess said. “We ran the ball a little more effectively too.”
As for Anderson County, the Bulldogs were downed by Wellsville last week 34-23. Anderson County led 23-20 heading into the fourth quarter before Wellsville hung two touchdowns on the board in the final period.
Parsons’ defense will get a dose of regularity against Anderson County as the Bulldogs run a spread offense that mirrors the Vikings.
“We’ll be more comfortable because we see the spread every day in practice,” Friess said. “But if we miss in space, it might change the scoreboard. So we’ve got to stop the run more consistently this week. That’s been our focus.”
Anderson County’s aerial attack is centered on quarterback Bo Dilliner and wideout Tanner Spencer, the latter was by far the most targeted receiver in Week 1 and will command attention.
“We’re not going to change who we are,” Friess said. “We’ll try to take him away in scheme. We won’t chase him around. But if he proves to be more than our scheme can handle, we’ll make adjustments on the fly.”
While last week put a notch in the win column for Parsons, Friess is aiming for a faster start to this Friday night’s tilt — the Vikings trailed 22-6 in the fourth quarter against Iola.
“We didn’t give the fans a lot to cheer for in the first 30-plus minutes of that game,” Friess said. “I hope we have a good crowd that wants to cheer for the Vikings. We want to give them an effort that tells them ‘thank you.’”
Friess preached all through the preseason that his team’s response to Week 1 would set the tone for the rest of the campaign. On Friday night, that response comes coupled with coming off one of the most thrilling wins in program history.
“We’ve had some really intense and great practices this week,” Friess said. “We’re having great effort from a lot of young kids. Now we just need to get mentally ready.”