Few rivalries in our area match the intensity of Haughton and Parkway and the most recent chapter is loaded with postseason implications.
A Haughton win all but secures a home playoff game for the Buccaneers, while the Panthers hope a win will propel them to a spot in the postseason. Parkway head coach Coy Brotherton says the stakes aren't lost on either team, "Both teams know what's at stake. It's a natural rivalry already in the parish bordering each other. Our kids go to church with theirs, they grew up playing ball together and knowing each other. It's a fun rival."
Coy added even more juice to the grudge match this season, when the kid from Haughton accepted the head coaching job at Parkway, "I was on that sideline from the age of 5 to 18, being a ball boy and then playing there. I grew up a coach's kid, my dad coached there for 33 years. Just being able to go to church this weekend and seeing friends that are excited and fired up that I'm coming back home to play a football game. There's some people that have told me they haven't seen a game all year, but they are going to go to this one."
Of course waiting for Coy on the opposing sideline, his brother and head coach of Haughton, Jason, "It's hard for me to go to games and pull for Parkway. Even for my brother over there, that's tough. I spent my whole life pulling against Parkway.
But no one will be more conflicted watching the first Brotheron Bowl than of course the Brotherton parents, "My mom has this half Parkway half Haughton shirt, it's nasty. I told her the Buccaneer would probably rip half of it off and rip the Panther part of it. She's planning on wearing that to try to trick Coy into thinking she's halfway pulling for him. I know deep down they're both going to be pulling for the Buccaneers.
"Jason gets his feelings hurt a lot when mom and dad don't really kind of stick up for him. Being the older sibling he felt like I always got the bigger car, didn't have to have curfew or whatever it is. He gets his feelings hurt still today, so I think mom and dad try to baby him a little bit."
This matchup of brothers and rivals is a perfect setting for our latest Griffin's Game, "Being a ball boy on Friday nights, the game being over, and all of the coaches and the families were in the locker room or the coaches office watching the highlights of the other games. I can remember just hoping that maybe one day I could be that guy or player on TV that Mr. Griffin was talking about," said Coy.
"Those are the magic words around here. I hear Griffin's Game and I just light up like you wouldn't believe. We're excited about that. It's a big deal. I never forget the last Griffin's Game we had, it was the last time I saw Bob Griffin. It was one of the biggest games in the history of our school," added Jason.
See who wins the Griffin's Game as part of the Johnny's Pizza House Friday Football Fever Scores and Highlights Show. The action kicks off Friday night at 10:30 on KPXJ-CW 21.