BELOIT—Clayton Kreger got the first of what he hopes are many Gatorade showers Friday night.
The first-year Janesville Parker coach got win No. 1 as the Vikings manhandled Beloit Memorial, 44-7, in a Big Eight Conference game.
Parker, which lost its first two games by a combined four points, took out its frustrations on an undermanned Beloit team. The Vikings forced five turnovers, including Alex Perkins' 10-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Beloit finished with only 52 yards rushing in a game that eventually went to a running clock as Parker built a 35-point lead.
“Our kids came ready to play,” Kreger said. “They had a great week of practice and were able to put a couple of tough losses behind them.
“And I'm not surprised by our defense. They've played well all year. And I thought our offense did a nice job of moving the chains and wearing them down.”
Parker (1-2) got on the board first early in the second quarter with a safety as Beloit snapped the ball out of the end zone. The Vikings quickly made it 10-0 as backup tailback Darin Empereur bulled in from a yard out.
Beloit (0-3) got within three on Tyrese Pegeese-Jones' 2-yard TD run with 5:05 left in the half, but Parker rsponded on the ensuing drive on DJ Vance's 3-yard run with 1:41 to play.
“They got a little bit of momentum with that score, but I thought we got it right back by scoring right before half,” Kreger said. “That was important because we got the ball to start the second half.”
The Vikings busted it open with a 26-point second half. Vance, who rushed for 131 yards to go past the century mark for the third straight game, started the fun with a 39-yard scamper up the middle. Austin Zane then caught an 11-yard TD pass from Jordan Bailey as the Vikings pushed the lead to 31-7 with 43 seconds left in the third quarter.
Big 290-pound defensive lineman Alex Perkins then got into the act for Parker when he grabbed a deflected pass from quarterback Steven Makinen at the Beloit 10-yard line and raced untouched for a TD.
Junior fullback Eric Schuhmacher concluded the scoring with a 1-yard run with 9:31 left to play that started the running clock.
Parker finished 221 yards rushing, while Bailey was an efficient 4-for-5 passing for 53 yards and a TD.
The Vikings play at Verona (2-1) next Friday.
“We've got a lot of respect for Verona and for what they've done since they've joined the Big Eight,” Kreger said. “But we feel like we can compete with anybody, and our kids will be ready to play.”
PARKER 44, BELOIT 7
Janesville Parker 0 18 13 13—44
Beloit Memorial 0 7 0 0—7
Scoring summary: P—Safety, ball snapped out of end zone. P—Darin Empereur, 1 run (Eric Schuhmacher pass from Jordan Bailey). B—Tyrese Pegeese-Jones, 2 run (Riley Jensen kick). P—DJ Vance, 3 run (Schuhmacher pass from Bailey). P—Vance, 39 run (kick failed). P—Austin Zane, 11 pass from Bailey (Angel Marquez kick). P—Alex Perkins, 10 interception return (kick failed). P—Schuhmacher, 1 run (Marquez kick).
Statistics: First downs—P 16, B 9. Rushes—P 46-221, B 12-52. Yards passing—P 53, B 124. Passes—P 5-4-0, B 22-11-3. Fumbles—P 2-1, B 6-2. Penalties—P 1-14, B 7-46.