25 Days of Champions -- 2014 Crowell

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25 Days of Champions -- 2014 Crowell

Postby granger » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:36 pm

BY LEMAN SAUNDERS

After winning their first state title in 2013, many expected Crowell to be one of the top teams yet again in 2014, due mostly to the fact that the DI All-State Player of the Year Mitchell Parsley was returning for his senior season.

Head Coach Nathan Hayes had 10 of his 12 starters back and entered the 2014 season as the consensus DI preseason #1 team. In addition to Parsley returning, there was 1st team all-state wide receiver Will Hogan, Region 2 Newcomer of the Year, Daniel Clark, and star athletes tight end Nathan Moya and linebacker/running back Jared Brown.

This team dominated the competition throughout the regular season. The only game they didn’t end by the 45-point mercy rule was a 44-16 win over Calvert, in a game cut short due to weather. A week before, they played a much-hyped game with another top-ranked DI team, Blum, and ended the game at halftime, 90-24.

In the playoffs they blanked Highland, 60-0 in bi-district, crushed Water Valley, 67-8, in the second round, and topped Ira, 59-14, in the quarterfinals, in what was another much-hyped game. In the semifinals, Crowell allowed the most points scored on them all season, as Valley tacked 50 on the scoreboard. However, Crowell was unstoppable offensively and they doubled that, mercy-ruling the Patriots, 100-50. So, for the second straight year, the Wildcats would be playing for a state title and facing the same foe, the May Tigers.

May lost their season opener to Calvert, 26-21, and another non-district game to Throckmorton, 60-40, but the Tigers were riding a nine-game win streak, going into their state title bout with Crowell. They had won a tough district that featured Gordon and Strawn, beat Tioga, 52-8 in bi-district, Santa Anna, 65-20 in the second round, district foe Gordon once again in the quarterfinals, 38-22, and Blum, 60-38, in the semifinals.

State Game – Dec. 13th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington
May attempted an onside kick right from the start, but Crowell fielded the kick cleanly and began the game at their own 39. On their first play from scrimmage, Jared Brown raced for a 26-yard gain, giving Crowell a first-and-goal at the 15. On the next play, Mitchell Parsley punched it in for the touchdown. Parsley added the extra point kick and just like that Crowell was on top 8-0, less than 30 seconds into the first quarter.

Crowell attempted an onside kick of their own that failed and May would begin their first possession at their own 35. The Tigers were held, losing yardage and forced into a fourth-and-18 situation. May went for it, but failed to convert, as an Issac Williams pass fell incomplete.

Crowell’s next drive just took one play when Parsley flung the ball downfield to a wide-open Nathan Moya in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown strike. Parsley’s kick was good and with 7:50 left in the first the Wildcats were on top 16-0.

After the ensuing kickoff went for a touchback, May began at their own 20 and immediately moved the ball into the red zone on a 40-yard pass from Williams to Brant Harris. Two plays later, Williams hit Zach Davis for an 18-yard touchdown. Martin Robinette’s kick was good and the Crowell lead was cut in half to 16-8, with 6:27 left in the first quarter.

Crowell would answer back quickly in a five-play, 51-yard drive that ended with Parsley racing 33 yards for a score. Again, his extra point was true and the score was now 24—8, halfway through the first period.

Another touchback put May at their own 20 once again and the Tigers tried to move the ball with short pass plays, but with minimal success. The Tigers would eventually turn the ball over on downs after a pass on fourth-and-five fell incomplete.

Crowell took over at the May 30, and on their first play, Parsley threw a touchdown pass again to Moya and added the PAT, bringing the score to 32-8 with 2:47 left in the first.

May would start again at their own 20 and begin to put together a long drive that lasted into the second quarter. However, the drive would stall inside the red zone when the Tigers’ Gage Freeman was stopped short of first down marker on fourth-and-nine, handing the ball back to Crowell at their own 15.

This next Wildcat possession would be a sloppy one, beginning with a holding penalty that backed them up to their own five-yard line. After a nice 12-yard gain on a Moya reception was then nullified on the next play when Parsley was sacked for a 13-yard loss. He tried to throw the ball away, resulting in an intentional grounding and the ball was moved all the way back to their own two-yard line. On second-and-28, Parsley completed a 12-yard pass to Brown, who fumbled the ball which was recovered by May at the Wildcat 13.

First and goal May.

The Tigers would finally turn the Wildcat miscues into points three plays later when Freeman hit Williams for a 11-yard touchdown. With Robinette’s PAT, the Wildcat lead was again cut in half, 32-16, with 6:13 left in the first half.

Crowell did not suffer any more miscues and on the next possession, as their next drive took just three plays and lasted just 50 seconds, resulting in a Parsley-to-Will Hogan 24-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was once again good, extending the Wildcats’ lead to 40-16, with 5:31 left in the second quarter.

The Mitch Parsley show would continue, and on May’s third play of their ensuing possession, a Williams pass was intercepted by Parsley, who dashed 28 yards for another Wildcat touchdown. His extra point bumped the score up to 48-16, with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.

May would move the ball back into the red zone on their next possession, thanks to a nice run by Caleb Hardy. A face mask penalty on Crowell gave the Tigers some life, as well as a first-and-goal at the 12.

But, again their drive stalled.

Crowell held them on fourth down, sacking Williams for a loss and taking over at their own 13 with just over a minute left before halftime.

Parsley then orchestrated a six play, 66-yard drive, as Crowell managed to score just as time expired in the half, on 16-yard pass from Parsley to Joey Taylor. The PAT kick was good and Crowell led 56-16 at the half.

May received the ball to start the second half and again put together a long drive taking them down inside the Wildcat red zone. An illegal contact penalty gave May a first-and-goal at the 10-yard line. After a short run, an incomplete pass and false start moved May back a few yards. Then facing a third-and-goal, Williams’ pass was picked off by Moya and Crowell had the ball back at their own 15, looking to end the game by the 45-point mercy rule.

Coach Hayes put some of his underclassmen in to get some work on this drive and with Tristen Hayes filling in for Parsley, the Wildcats steadily moved the ball. Nine plays later, Hayes, on third-and-goal from the three, hit Tyler Durham for the game-ending touchdown making the final score Crowell 62, May 16, at the 1:39 mark of the third quarter.

Crowell outgained May, 352-174 in total yardage. Parsley was named the Offensive MVP, finished the game 9-for-13 with zero interceptions and 172 yards and four touchdowns through the air and rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries. He also returned interception for a TD on defense. and he was a perfect 7-for-7 kicking PATs. Parsley had a hand in all but six of Crowell’s points scoring. Steven Perez was the game’s Defensive MVP, leading Crowell with 11 tackles and had an assist on a sack.

Mitchell Parsley would finish his high school career with 5,986 yards and 119 TDs passing.

*Notes*
-Mitchell Parsley is currently the starting quarterback at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.
-Attendance for this game was 5,277.
-I used the UIL’s official stats to help with this write-up and watched the film on Hudl.
-We ended up using a photo from Crowell below.

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