It’s practically become tradition for the Parish Episcopal football program to trek to Waco on the first weekend of December — and to experience a happy bus ride back.
The Panthers hope to repeat the full experience again on Friday, when they seek their fifth consecutive TAPPS Division I state title against unbeaten Houston St. Thomas.
Parish erupted for a season-best offensive output during a 73-41 thumping of San Antonio Antonian in the semifinals on Nov. 24. The Panthers (9-3) amassed 639 yards of total offense and extended their winning streak to eight games. They have averaged 56.5 points in their past seven contests.
Nine of Parish’s 11 offensive possessions reached the end zone. Maddux Reid led the way with 261 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He also caught a scoring pass.
Junior quarterback Sawyer Anderson, a Purdue commit, threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns while also running for a score. Jaylen Pile and Bryson Fields each had long touchdown receptions.
Kyle Hamburger returned an interception for a score for Parish, which remained in control throughout despite allowing 559 total yards and being penalized another 125 yards.
The Eagles (12-0) used a high-powered offense of their own to outlast Plano Prestonwood 73-62 in the semifinals. Vanderbilt commit Johann Cardenas amassed 459 rushing yards on 38 carries with seven touchdowns.
Other offensive playmakers for St. Thomas include dual-threat quarterback Donte Lewis and receiver Luke Edgecomb.
The Eagles will appear in their first state championship game since 2001. They fell to Parish in the semifinals in 2019 and 2022.