Unless the Panthers get some unlikely help from Delphos St. Johns, the Panthers will likely miss out on the playoffs, despite going 8-2 in the state’s toughest small school conference the MAC.
If this was indeed the final game for Parkway’s Jordan Thompson he certainly went out in style. The senior quarterback/linebacker tossed four touchdown passes and ran for one. The win pushed Parkway to 8-2 on the year with their only two losses coming to playoff bound Marion Local (10-0) and Coldwater (9-1).
After the final whistle blew, Thompson mingled on the Hole Field surface in a display of what high school football is all about. Family and friends gathered around him taking pictures, embracing the 6-foot-3 Thompson and celebrating a football career that began as a freshman and could end as him being named both offensive and defensive MAC Player of the Year.
“This season has just been great,” Thompson said. “We knew 8-2 was not out the question. I think some people thought I was little crazy when I said we could get to 8-2, but this group of seniors knew what 1-9 and 2-8 was all about and we just came together this season.”
In what looks like his last game Thompson tore apart the Versailles defense and he wasted very little time in getting started.
Getting the ball first, the senior conducted a quick scoring drive that ended with a 7-0 Panther lead. Starting on the Versailles 35 yard line, the Panthers stormed to the Tigers’ 36-yard line. Then Thompson dropped back found Marcas Heitkamp and the scoring was on with a 36-yard touchdown reception.
A few minutes later Thompson went back to work and again he found Heitkamp. This time it was a 65-yard connection and the extra point made it 14-0. Parkway was doing exactly what they wanted to do, score early, often and drop the run oriented Tigers in a big hole.
After the last Parkway score things settled down and the rain began falling, in large, cold drops.
Versailles made things interesting in the second quarter. Ethan Oliver tallied Versailles first six points with a 3-yard plunge, but a fake on the extra point failed and it was 14-6 Parkway.
“Versailles did a good job running the football,” Parkway coach Ed Kuhn said. “But our guys know they can play and never panicked.”
The character of the Panthers was tested even more when the Tigers closed to within two points as the first half ticked away. Using an untraditional formation that looked a rugby scrum, the Tigers moved the ball and were able to hit a long pass for six points.
Versailles’ quarterback Jon Richard found Shawn Winner over the middle and the end result was a 48-yard touchdown pass. Once again the conversion failed and it was 14-12 Parkway.
But there was a problem, Versailles left nearly three minutes on the clock and that was more than enough for Thompson and crew.
Starting on their own 39-yard line, Parkway stormed down the field. A couple of big plays by Thompson set up his third touchdown pass of the half. This time it was his favorite target Joshua Fisher from 30-yards out, making it 20-12. The extra point failed but the Panthers had the momentum and in the second half would blow open the game.
Knowing their only chance for a playoff ticket started with a Parkway win, Thompson’s crew scored first in the third period. Once again it was the quarterback doing the damage was he rumbled in from 20 yards. The extra point made it 27-12 and the blow out was on.
Parkway scored 26 unanswered points as Fisher added a touchdown run and Thompson hit for his fourth TD pass of the night.
Versailles finishes 2-8 and winless at H.B. Hole Field.
“I told the kids I enjoyed coaching them,” Schondelmyer said. “They never complained this season despite things not going well.”