Local fans were happy to see perennial powers Parkview Baptist and Catholic High finally meet on the football field, but few people expected the teams to be a combined 1-7 going into the game.
Fewer still expected the pummeling Parkview put on the Bears at Parkview's Eagle Stadium on Friday night.
The Eagles were in control from beginning to end, riding their punishing ground game and stout defense to a 47-20 win over the winless Bears. Parkview rolled up 317 yards on the ground, most of it coming in the first three quarters while the Eagles ran up a 40-7 lead.
Conner Hodgeson led the Eagles with 145 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns. Brennan Bozeman rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns, and Hezekiah Randolph added 62 yards and one touchdown.
"We kind of did to them what's been happening to us," Parkview coach Kenny Guillot said. "We've been getting behind early in our first few games, and then you're fighting an uphill battle and it really makes it hard.
"We were able to get some breaks early and capitalize on them. We got the short field early and we got the interception, but they (Catholic) played hard and competed for the whole ball game," he said.
The first half was a laundry list of mistakes and futility for CHS (0-5). Parkview (2-3) won the field position game, starting drives on the Bears' 37, 34, 38, 40 and 37-yard lines.
Catholic quarterback Ben Braymer was intercepted twice, once to end a promising drive and the other resulting in the 30-yard touchdown return by Brody Burkhalter that Guillot referred to as a key play.
On one drive, the Eagles took over on the Catholic 37, fumbled twice and had a holding penalty on the next four plays, yet still scored a touchdown on fourth down when they faked a punt and Cole Wilson threw to a wide-open Austin Suits for a 27-yard score.
Neither team scored on its first possession of the game, but Parkview found the end zone on its next four possessions to add to Burkhalter's return to take a 33-0 lead.
Catholic finally mounted a drive on its seventh possession. Aided by two 15-yard penalties and two nice passes from Braymer to David Losavio, CHS drove to the 7 to set up Khalil Thomas's rushing TD.
"We're struggling right now, trying to find a rhythm, and Parkview is a heck of a football team," Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. "I'm obviously disappointed and a little bewildered, but hopefully we're learning from all this.
"We're playing hard and we're as determined as ever, but we didn't help ourselves. We mishandled the football, and we missed some blocks early. We were in kind of a little daze. We were our own worst enemy, but don't take anything away from Parkview."
Parkview opened the third quarter with an 84-yard scoring drive, all on the ground, in 4:02 to go ahead 40-7. Hodgeson carried six times for 72 yards, finishing with a 5-yard TD run.
Catholic answered with a 72-yard drive, with Braymer scoring on a 1-yard sneak.
PBS added a 3-yard Hodgeson TD run to extend the lead to 47-13 early in the fourth. And CHS added a late touchdown on a 5-yard run by Matthew Venable.