ROUGHEDGE — For the first time since 1972, Parkwood High’s football fans got to watch their team play a home playoff game on Friday (Nov. 5), and they were treated to a resounding victory. The Wolfpack scored 28 unanswered points in the first quarter to defeat Rockingham County, 42-19. It was Parkwood’s first playoff win since beating Hunter Huss in 2014 during a run to the 2A state semifinals.
“It’s unbelievable, and it’s a great feeling,” Parkwood coach Terry Gittens said. “It’s great for the community, the kids, and the administration. (This win) is about our program and what we want to do to be successful.”
Parkwood improved their overall record to 6-2 and ended Rockingham County’s season at 5-5.
Junior wide receiver Isaiah Mobley and junior running back Wisdom Holmes combined for 275 yards of offense to lead the charge.
On just nine carries, Holmes finished with 151 rushing yards (16.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He has rushed for at least 100 yards in all eight games this season, compiling 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns on 128 carries — an average of 9.0 yards per rush.
Mobley gave his team momentum by returning the opening kickoff into Rockingham territory. On the first play of the game, junior quarterback Cameron Enos (11-of-17 for 158 yards) found Mobley for a 33-yard strike to put Parkwood up 7-0.
“(With) an explosive football player like Isaiah, we have to make sure we have him in our plans,” Gittens said. “When he touches the ball, anything can happen. It’s a great thing when we make sure that we get him the football.”
After a three-and-out for Rockingham, Holmes scored on Parkwood’s second offensive play with a 39-yard run that extended the lead to 14-0. The Cougars’ second offensive possession turned into a nightmare as junior Tristan Staton picked off senior quarterback Luke Smith and returned his interception 70 yards to the end zone, untouched, to push the lead to 21-0.
Holmes’ second touchdown run from a yard out extended Parkwood’s lead to 28-0 late in the second quarter.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the second quarter. Smith punched in the Cougars’ first score of the game on a two-yard run to cut Parkwood’s lead to 28-7. But the Wolfpack squashed any thoughts of a comeback when Enos connected with Mobley once again on an 18-yard pass to extend their lead to 35-7 going into halftime. Mobley had his second 100-yard receiving game, hauling in six catches for 124 yards. Mobley leads the team in receptions (37), receiving yards (656) and receiving touchdowns (5) this season.
“Isaiah plays a huge role in our offense,” Enos said. “He’s one of my main targets, so I can trust him every time I throw him the ball … (The win) is huge for the Roughedge community, especially since tonight was our first home playoff game in 48 years. That means a lot.”
The Cougars scored on their first possession of the second half, when Smith found sophomore Maleek Bryant, who caught the ball along the visitors’ sideline and turned on the jets for an 87-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 35. The Wolfpack responded with Enos completing his third touchdown pass to his big tight end Cody Hardy (6-5, 240) on the next possession from 8 yards out.
With 7:36 left to play in the game, Smith threw his third interception of the night, picked off by Elijah Lowery.
Hardy, who also plays on the defensive line, had a team-high 12 tackles for the Wolfpack; Hardy’s 78 tackles through eight games lead the team. Juniors Jaylan Meaders and Wyatt Dawkins contributed 10 tackles each. Mobley (6-1, 185 pounds) had an interception playing defensive back, his second of the season.
The Wolfpack, seeded ninth, will play at home again this Friday, Nov. 12, against 24th-seeded Forestview in the second round of the 3A state playoffs. The Jaguars upset No. 8-seed Erwin, 36-19, on the road last Friday.