MOUNTAIN BROOK -- Na'eem Offord scored the winning touchdown with 34 seconds left in the game to give Parker the 13-10 win over Mountain Brook at Spartan Stadium on Friday night. With the win, Parker takes the Class 6A, Region 5 title. Mountain Brook came into the game with a 6-0 all-time lead over Parker but came up short tonight.
With a fourth down play, the Parker offense gets the winning score late in the game. "I knew that I was going to get into the end zone," said Thundering Herd DB Offord. "As a leader, I had to make the play for my team. This was a big win because many people didn't think we could do this tonight. We knew as a team we could do this even without a few key players tonight."
With the Parker win, it was the first region title since 2014. "We fought to the end," said Thundering Herd head coach Frank Warren. "We knew it would be a four-quarter game with Mountain Brook. We fought to the end. We are trying to build something special over here. It feels good to win a region championship. We are blessed we have some great players on the defensive side of the ball."
Parker (7-1, 5-0) played without starting quarterback Malik Muhammad due to an injury. Muhammad came into the game with over 1,300 yards of offense but should be ready to play come playoff time. Cam Jennings played in his place and made some big plays when he had to during the winning drive.
Mountain Brook (5-2, 3-1) scored first in the game when Cole Gamble scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, and the Spartans led 7-0 with 9:28 left in the second quarter. Parker came right back with a score of their own. With 4:26 left in the second quarter, Offord scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 going into halftime. "I felt like we played great defense tonight," said Thundering Herd defensive lineman Jeremiah Beaman. "We want to dominate every team we play like that. Credit Coach Rick Sharp with the game plan. He moved me inside where myself and Jourdin (Crawford) had a five-man defensive front, and it worked out real well tonight. I am very versatile; I will play inside or outside anything I need to do for the team. This is big for us. They came in our place last year and won, and we got them right back in this game."
Parker linebacker Carlton Duncan turned away two scoring opportunities for the Spartans on two interceptions deep in Parker territory. With 7:17 left in the fourth quarter, Harrison Fell kicked a 37-yard field goal to give Mountain Brook the 10-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter. "I thought we blocked their guys up front very well at times and broke a few plays," said Spartans head coach Chris Yeager. "We have faced a lot of good defense linemen this season. We had our share of success. They played a lot cleaner game than we did, which was the difference in this game."
Parker took over the ball with less than a few minutes left in the game and drove for the winning touchdown on the Offord 1-yard touchdown run with only 34 seconds left in the game. Offord has the workhouse for Parker as the starting cornerback played both ways and had some huge runs on the winning touchdown drive. "We just had to stop the run," said Thundering Herd defensive lineman Jourdin Crawford. "They had a couple of big runs, but we just did what we needed to do. We kept watching films this past week. This is big for us."
Next, for both teams, Parker will host Minor, while Mountain Brook will host Mortimer Jordan.