Parsons caps big week with FG
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Parsons helped Watauga win three events in two sports last week. He started Monday by scoring one of two goals in a 2-0 victory for Watauga’s soccer team over No. 7 (3-A) Fred T. Foard.
It would not be the first time Parsons burned Foard, but he had other things to do. Parsons followed with a two-goal performance in a 3-1 win over Hickory on Wednesday.
It was the first time since Watauga had beaten Hickory since the Red Tornadoes joined the Northwestern Conference. Hickory hadn’t lost a NWC game since 2009, and may not lose another again in the next two years.
Parsons save his final moment for Friday night. His 39-yard field goal as time expired gave Watauga a dramatic 28-27 win over a stunned Fred T. Foard that thought it had won the game with a 41-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the game.
The best part about the kick was that fellow kicker Steven Shirley could have been the guy to attempt the kick. The kickers were alternating kicks, and Parsons was selected simply because it was his turn.
“It was just a huge adrenaline rush,” Parsons said. “We’ve always practiced clutch situations getting the ball off quick. When I’m kicking there’s always a coach in my ear trying to recreate the situation that might happen.”
Parsons’ concentration paid big dividends for him. While he was lined up to attempt his kick, members of the Foard coaching staff was frantically trying to call time out and ice him.
“I did not,” Parsons said when asked if he heard the timeout pleas. “It was awesome. It’s a great way to end the week for soccer and football.”
Parsons knew he could be called on to attempt a final-play field goal. Watauga got the ball at its own 42-yard line with 36 seconds left in the game. The Pioneers moved to the Foard 22-yard line in three plays and 30 seconds courtesy of a poised Tripp Taylor, who broke a 16-yard run and completed two passes that added up to 20 yards.
“I was over there warming up and making sure I was still warm so I could kick it where it needed to go,” Parsons said.
There was some debate, during a Watauga timeout, if the Pioneers should move the ball to the center of the field to give Parsons a better angle. The idea was scrapped for fear that time would run out before the Pioneers would get a chance to call another timeout.
It didn’t matter to Parsons. Given the choice of hashmarks, Parsons would rather kick from the right instead of the left, where the ball was spotted.
In the end, that didn’t make any difference either.
“I would actually rather have it on the other hashmark just because since I played soccer, it’s easier to pull the ball,” Parsons said. “I can hit from either side. I had faith in myself.”