McGehee key in Parkview’s rout of Texarkana

Last August, Eric McGehee found himself in a state of uncertainty.

Engaged in a quarterback battle with Little Rock Southwest’s current quarterback, Chase Forte, McGehee was preparing for Little Rock Parkview’s inaugural season in Class 5A.

However, when conference play began last fall, McGehee secured his position as the Patriots’ number one. In December, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 5A state championship game, leading Parkview to their first state title since 1978.

In this current season, McGehee is leaving no room for uncertainty, both for himself and for Parkview. Their latest victory was a dominating 64-6 win against Texarkana at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

“Compared to last year, I have so much more confidence,” McGehee confidently expressed. “This has played a significant role in our offensive success… I have proven myself.”

For the fourth consecutive week, McGehee and the Patriots’ starters did not even make it to halftime. In each of their conference games, they have built substantial leads by halftime, allowing the reserves to play the second half.

“He has been dedicated to improving his mechanics and throwing. Before, even if he had to move a couple of feet to make a throw, you couldn’t be sure where the ball would go,” remarked Parkview Coach Brad Bolding. “But now, compared to the end of last season, he has developed into a much better quarterback. It’s been a pleasure to witness his progress.”

As a quarterback committed to the University of Central Arkansas, McGehee completed 5 of 9 passes for 67 yards and rushed twice for 39 yards during the game against Texarkana. With this outstanding performance, Parkview maintained their undefeated record (7-0, 4-0 5A-South).

“This season has been a lot of fun, but it’s disappointing that we can’t finish games,” McGehee jokingly expressed.

Last season, McGehee’s dual-threat abilities were not utilized extensively due to the presence of other strong rushing players. However, this year he has demonstrated his ability to overcome defenses in multiple ways, partly due to his remarkable 4.38-second 40-yard dash time. For Parkview’s first touchdown against Texarkana, McGehee broke multiple tackles and followed his blockers up the left sideline, resulting in an 8-0 lead.

“I worked on that aspect of my game over the summer,” he shared. “I believe it has become an integral part of our offense this year.”

Parkview’s subsequent drive represented their longest of the half, with six plays and starting from their own territory. By the end of the drive, Cameron Settles rushed untouched up the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 15-0.

The Patriots swiftly added another touchdown just 7 seconds after the previous score. On the first play of Texarkana, Jermaine Penny recovered a fumble on the 32-yard line. McGehee promptly connected with Monterrio Elston for a touchdown pass, resulting in a 22-0 lead.

During the first quarter, Parkview scored one more touchdown, thanks to Jaden Ashford’s 7-yard run, making it 29-0 before Texarkana ended the shutout.

Throughout the first half, the Razorbacks persistently targeted Settles, the right cornerback, with deep passes to taller receivers. In the second quarter, quarterback Nate Wall successfully connected with Javen Davis for a 44-yard completion and DeAndre Burnell for a 33-yard touchdown pass, both times with one-on-one coverage from Settles.

Within the second quarter, Settles and Elston each scored rushing touchdowns of 2 and 9 yards respectively. In-between these touchdowns, Parkview’s versatile playmaker Omarion Robinson returned a Texarkana punt for a 40-yard touchdown.

Ashford maintained an impressive 6.4 yards per carry on 5 attempts, while Settles averaged 10.2 yards on 6 carries. Elston accumulated a total of 73 yards on 6 touches.

“It’s enjoyable because we have so many talented options. I can trust any of them to make plays,” McGehee commented. “This takes some of the pressure off me.”

The Patriots have successfully overcome every challenge this season, boasting the longest winning streak in the state with 18 consecutive wins. They have outscored their 5A competition by a staggering 229-26 and are the only team from Arkansas to defeat Bryant since 2018, after triumphing over the Hornets in September.

“Coaching this group has been an absolute pleasure,” Bolding raved. “I have never encountered a team quite like this. They are truly exceptional.”

Texarkana wide receiver Xavier Crawford (center) is tackled by Little Rock Parkview defensive lineman Jeremy Edwards during Friday night’s 5A-South Conference game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The Patriots won 64-6. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Justin Cunningham)
photo Little Rock Parkview quarterback Eric McGehee (8) runs for to a touchdown Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. More photos at (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Justin Cunningham)

Gallery: HS Football: Texarkana at Parkview


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