10,000 yards for Parks
By Mike London
Tailback K.P. Parks thundered past the 10,000-yard mark for his career on Friday. He has 1,009.
“I’m real proud of that number,” Parks said. “But like I’ve said all along, all numbers are a team thing.”
Parks rushed for 219 yards, the 10th time in 12 outings this season he’s topped 200. His night included a mind-blowing, 27-yard dash when he was hemmed in on the home sideline for an apparent loss. His response was to truck everyone in sight ó even one of his own guys. Then he made cuts. Then he dragged people. People in the bleachers roared. Then they high-fived.
Even Parks’ father, Kevin, a linebackers coach, smiled about that run.
“K.P. being K.P.,” he said.
Parks played three quarters.
Coach Scott Young said he paid less heed to Parks’ numbers than he did in the regular season when stats were monitored closely. Young’s been intent on giving Parks a legitimate shot at breaking the state record (Ragsdale’s Toney Baker’s 10,241), but he’s also taken pains not to rub it in on teams that were whipped.
“We honestly didn’t keep track tonight,” Young said. “This is the playoffs. The plan was to give K.P. three full quarters and then get him out of there if we had control.”
West had control.
Parks and his teammates have done their part as far as progressing toward the record in methodical bites of 250. Now he’s on the doorstep.
“How do I feel about 10,000 for K.P?” said smiling guard Timmy Pangburn, between bites of a postgame hotdog. “I feel excellent.”
Parks’ teammates remain more enthused about records than he is. Parks has 43 TDs this season and 142 for his career. He’s unlikely to seriously challenge T.A. McLendon’s amazing mark of 178, but his teammates have been willing to go for it.”If Coach asked us to go out of bounds on the 1 every time and let K.P. get all the TDs, we’d be glad to do it,” receiver Jon Crucitti said.
MORE PARKS: Parks broke his own single-season county rushing record on Friday. He has 2,908 yards this year. That tops the 2,864 he picked up his junior season.
Freedom coach Mike Helms, who used to be at Northwest Cabarrus, hadn’t seen Parks in a while.
“He’s good, and he should do very well at the next level,” Helms said. “He’s bigger and stronger than I remembered. He looks good. He looks as big out of his pads as he does in them.”