Mountain Brook, AL – In a highly anticipated showdown pitting a pair of top 10 metro area powers, the 6th ranked Parker Thundering Herd clashed with the 5th ranked Mountain Brook Spartans Friday night at Spartan Stadium. When the final whistle blew, it was the Thundering Herd who emerged victorious, claiming a thrilling 13-10 win snapping a six game loosing skid to their Class 6A, Region 5 foes.
Parker quarterback Cameron Jennings stepped into the spotlight when it mattered most, orchestrating a game-winning 16-play, 80-yard drive in the waining moments of the matchup.
With Parker starting quarterback Malik Muhammed sidelined due to injury, all eyes were on Jennings to step up for the Herd. The moment was not too big for the young signal-caller as he displayed poise and determination throughout the contest.
The game-winning touchdown came with just 34 seconds left on the clock, and it was Na’eem Offord who punched it across the goal line from one yard out.
The game was a rollercoaster for Parker. Late in the third quarter, it seemed that the Thundering Herd was poised to take control of the game, but a fumble by Jourdin Crawford at the Mountain Brook 1-yard line shifted the momentum in favor of the Spartans. Mountain Brook capitalized on the opportunity, driving 92 yards down the field. However, the Parker defense, led by Phillip Davison’s 11-yard sack of Spartans quarterback John Cooper, stood firm in the red zone, forcing a Harrison Fells 24-yard field goal that gave Mountain Brook a 10-7 lead with 7:17 left on the clock.
Parker, undeterred by the setback, took over at their own 20 and embarked on a methodical march down the field. Jennings, showing remarkable composure, made a critical play when it counted most. Na’eem Offord, who had earlier fumbled at the Spartans’ 15, redeemed himself in spectacular fashion. After Offord’s fumble, Jennings scooped up the ball and sprinted for a first down, keeping the Thundering Herd’s drive alive. On the next play, Offord made amends, scoring the game-winning touchdown. Offord finished the game with 14 carries for 85 yards, including a pair of crucial touchdown runs.
Jennings completed 6-of-17 throws for 66 yards. The Parker defense, led by Carlton Duncan’s two interceptions, made player when it mattered most. In contrast, Mountain Brook signal caller John Cooper connected on 11-of-20 passes for 84 yards, while Cole Gamble lead the Spartan rushing attack, carrying the ball 23 times for an impressive 171 yards and a score.
In terms of total yardage, Mountain Brook racked up 266 yards of total offense. Parker, meanwhile, recorded 273 total yards, 207 coming courtesy of the ground game. Notably, turnovers haunted the Spartans as they coughed up the ball three times, with two interceptions and a fumble.
With this thrilling win, Parker improves to an impressive 7-1 overall and maintains an unblemished 5-0 record in Class 6A, Region 5 play. Mountain Brook stands at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the region.
Mountain Brook will look to bounce back next week as they welcome a tough Mortimer Jordan Blue Devils (6-1, 3-1) squad to Spartan Stadium. The Parker Thundering Herd will look to keep their momentum going as they prepare to face the struggling Minor Tigers (2-5, 1-3), who are on a three game loosing skid, at Major Brown Memorial Stadium.