Parish Episcopal’s Preston Stone tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another score during a 27-14 win over Fort Worth Nolan in a TAPPS playoff game on Saturday. (Photo: Rob Graham)
By Michael Finnegan / Special Contributor
GRAND PRAIRIE — The combination of Preston Stone and Cameron Overton boosted Parish Episcopal into uncharted territory on Saturday.
The pair connected on three long touchdown throws as the Panthers rallied for a 27-14 upset of Fort Worth Nolan in the TAPPS Division I state quarterfinals.
For the first time, the Panthers (9-3) will advance to the semifinals in the largest TAPPS classification. They will aim for revenge against district foe Bishop Dunne on Dec. 1 at SMU’s Ford Stadium.
Stone threw for 310 yards on 12 completions. Overton caught eight of those passes for 288 yards, including all three touchdowns — one of which covered 99 yards.
“It’s worked for us all year,” said Parish head coach Daniel Novakov. “But they were exceptionally good, and it could not have come at a better time.”
Stone, a sophomore, also rushed for a touchdown late in the first quarter to put the Panthers in front 6-0.
But the Vikings (9-2) stormed back in the second quarter, taking the lead on a 36-yard run by Emeka Megwa with 9:37 left before halftime. Nolan increased the lead to 14-6 on a 11-yard touchdown pass from Luke Macias to Sam Hicks.
“They grabbed the momentum right before intermission,” Novakov said. “We were playing decent, but a couple of penalties killed drives in the first half, and they were moving the ball against us in that second quarter.”
After halftime, the Parish defense shut out Nolan while forcing four turnovers and allowing only 39 rushing yards. Sam Bradford led the effort with two interceptions.
While the Panthers stepped up on defense, Stone and Overton took the game over on offense.
Their 99-yard hookup tied the game midway through the third quarter, and on the next drive, their 71-yard score gave the Panthers the lead.
Overton’s third receiving touchdown of the night came on an 88-yard pass from Stone to put Parish on top 27-14.
The Vikings drove the ball down to the Parish 45-yard line on the ensuing possession, but a third-down pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by Bradford, sealing the win for the Panthers.