Parker’s big day leads Poly Prep football to homecoming win

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Not even a banged up shoulder and a mishandled punt could spoil Chris Parker’s day.

The Poly Prep quarterback followed up a five-touchdown performance last week with four more scores in a comfortable 35–12 win over the visiting Hun School during a homecoming football game last Saturday afternoon. The junior, who was hit hard in the shoulder in the third quarter, ran for 147 yards and two scores on 16 carries. Parker also completed three of six passes for 81 yards and two more scores. The success has his confidence rising.

“I think I got my touch back,” Parker said. “I’m starting to get a feeling.”

There was nothing but good plays for the majority of the first half as Poly (5–0) built a 21-0 lead with 4:16 left in the second quarter. Parker forced the Raiders to respect the pass early by connected with Ray Marten for a 54-yard touchdown on the game’s open drive. It was just his second this season.

After a poor Hun punt, he hooked up with Torres Brown for a 24-yard score midway through the second quarter. Later in the frame, three juke moves helped Parker race pass defenders to the outside for a 21-yard touchdown run to make it 21–0. It’s the type of performance Poly coach Dino Mangiero is beginning to expect from his quarterback.

“The last two or three games he’s been phenomenal,” he said of Parker. “Chris has a great ability to a make people miss.”

Parker did help Hun (0–2) get back into the game when he mishandled a punt that was recovered by the Raiders Kyle Drayton at the Poly 47-yard line late in the second quarter. It was Poly’s first turnover this season. Eight plays later Christopher Sharp scored from 5 yards out to help get the Raiders to 21–6 with 39 seconds left in the half.

“I just took my eyes off the ball,” Parker said of the punt. “I missed judged it. ”

Hun kept its momentum going coming out of the break. It drove 87 yards to the Poly 5-yard line only to be stopped on fourth and goal. Notre Dame-bound lineman Jay Hayes stuffed Colton Jumper at the 3-yard line on the fourth down.

“That’s what our defense does,” Hayes said of the goal-line stand. “We are good when it comes down to that.”

The Blue Devils proceeded to put together a 13-play, 97-yard drive that Parker capped with a 2-yard touchdown run to put the game away at 28–6 early in the fourth quarter. Gregory Charles added a 4-yard touchdown run late and an interception. Freshman Tegha Egbiri also had a pick.

It was all part of another dominant performance by the Blue Devils team, which has out-scored opponents 202–59 this season. It halted a two-game losing streak to the Hun School and kept Poly perfect on the year.

“We are very explosive,” Parker said. “We have a lot of athletes. I feel like we can beat everyone.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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