Harris a dual challenge for ‘Cats

Published 2:56 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013


LAPLACE – East St. John’s highly-touted defense has been battle-tested this season. And that’s a very good thing for the Wildcats.
That’s because Parkway is headed to town this week for a second-round Class 5A playoff matchup, and the No. 2 seeded Panthers sport one of the state’s most explosive offenses, led by LSU-commitment Brandon Harris.
Parkway (10-0) will travel to Joe Keller Memorial Stadium and any potential playoff games thereafter due to a penalty imposed by the LHSAA due to an incident in 2012 that led to Live Oak coach Barry Musemeche being handcuffed.
The venue helps, said Banko, but it’ll take more than home-field advantage to hand Parkway its first loss.
“They’re worthy of that number two rank. Nobody has even come close to beating them,” said Banko. “They average 50 points per game and they only give up 16. That’s a tough combination.”
Harris passed for 307 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the Panthers’ win over Live Oak last week. He also rushed for 45 yards and a 27-yard score. The 6-foot-3, 190 pound Harris accounted for more than 3,000 combined yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior. He is a consensus four-star prospect and widely regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects to emerge from Louisiana in the last decade.
With Harris as the offense’s trigger, Parkway has scored 50.5 points per game this season, beginning with an impressive 55-13 season-opening win over Calvary Baptist. It posted 79 points in a win over Bastrop and 63 in a victory over Southwood. Parkway hasn’t scored less than 30 points in any game.
“He can run and he can throwe. He does both extremely well,” said Banko. “He reminds me of Darion Monroe. A lot of people here compare him to Ryan Perrilloux. That kind of tells you a lot.’
“You aren’t gonna stop him, but we can try to limit him. And you do that by playing hard, smart football.”
Tailback William McKnight in one of the leaders of the team’s deep stable of tailbacks. He scored the Panthers’ first two touchdowns last week.
East St. John (7-4) netted its first home playoff win since 2006 last week. To repeat that feat against a team of this caliber, would kick the hopes and dreams of the Wildcats faithful into overdrive.