The last three weeks have been like a broken record for Janesville Parker’s football team.
The same mistakes keep recurring over and over again for the frustrated Vikings.
On Friday night at Monterey Stadium, Oregon took advantage of two Parker turnovers, two costly penalties and a special teams breakdown to escape with a 20-9 win in an alternate fall season nonconference game.
Parker lost its third straight to fall to 1-3 on the season but could just as easily be 3-1. The Vikings simply cannot stop shooting themselves in the foot.
“Penalties killed us again,” Parker coach Clayton Kreger said of the four costly yellow flags, including two that kept Oregon scoring drives alive. “You watch three quarters of the time and we are dominating, but then we come up short at the end. We’ve got to find a way to finish.
“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and figure things out. Once again, our effort was tremendous. It’s just not the outcome we were hoping for.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Oregon took the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Drew Kessenich to Seth Niday to cap off a drive that went 78 yards and was aided by a Parker penalty.
The Vikings tied the game at 7-7 when Matthew Hartwig broke a tackle and trotted in from 11 yards out on a pass from Sam O’Leary.
Oregon (2-2) took the lead for good just before half.
After an interception and a 15-yard Parker penalty for a late hit, Teague Szudy raced in from 3 yards out with just 17 seconds left in the half.
Parker got within four at 13-9 with 2:31 left in the third quarter when Hartwig flung Kessenich to the ground in the end zone for a safety.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, that was their only score of the second half. Two more costly penalties and another turnover stalled a pair of drives.
Szudy capped off the scoring with 2:13 to play when he scored on a 5-yard run. The Panthers took advantage of a shanked Parker punt and needed to go only 26 yards for the scoring drive.
Parker’s defense was stout once again. The Vikings held the Panthers to only 53 yards of offense the second half and the only points they allowed came on a short field.
“We can’t hang our heads now,” Kreger said. “We’ve got four days to prepare for one of the best teams in the state (Waunakee).
“It’s frustrating because we’re right there. We’ve just got to finish.”
OREGON 20, PARKER 9
Oregon 0 13 0 7—20
Janesville Parker 0 7 2 0—9
Scoring: O—Seth Niday 5 pass from Drew Kessenich (Gabe Pearson kick). P—Matthew Hartwig 11 pass from Sam O’Leary (David Zavala kick). O—Teague Szudy 3 run (kick blocked). P—Safety, Hartwig tackled Kessenich in end zone. O—Szudy 5 run (Pearson kick)
Statistics: O 37-145, P 36-155. Yards passing—O 78. P 107. Passes—O 8-5-0, P 16-7-2. Fumbles—O 4-1, P 1-0. Penalties—O 5-39, P 4-39