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Essian paces Eagles to win opener PHOTO GALLERY & VIDEO

Junior running back rushes for 251 yards

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Welcome to Parkway Christian, Montana Essian.

Essian, a junior running back who transferred to Parkway this year, had a big opening night Friday, rushing for 251 yards on 15 carries and one TD, pacing the host Eagles to a 36-13 non-league win over Hamtramck at Fraser High School.

"Montana's a horse," Parkway co-coach Rod Sanders said. "He's been a pleasant surprise. We have great athletes on this team, but he gives us a home threat out of the backfield."

The Eagles seized control early, scoring three times in the opening quarter, and racing to a 20-0 lead.

Parkway quarterback Ricardo Marble connected with Josiah McLain for a 12-yard TD for the first score, before Jackson Allen intercepted a pass and took it back 65 yards for a touchdown. Essian followed with a 70-yard scoring burst.

"These kids are working hard and I'm proud of them," Sanders said. "Hopefully this is just scratching the surface. It's up to them. If they want to come out and work hard, then we'll get better."

Hamtramck closed the gap to 20-6 at halftime as quarterback Daqquan Kendle raced 39 yards for a score midway through the second quarter.

Parkway added two insurance scores in the fourth quarter as Marble hooked up with Dominic Delicata for a 6-yard scoring pass, before Austin Fuller scored on a 1-yard.

Hamtramck closed out the scoring in the final minute of the game when Kendle scored on a 2-yard run.

Marble finished the game by completing 5-of-10 passes for 46 yards and two scores. Allen had two receptions for 25 yards, while McLain had two catches for 15 yards.

"Ricardo is just a sophomore and he will only get better," Sanders said. "He's going to OK. He's still young."

The Cosmos were paced by Kendle with 97 yards on 13 carries, while teammate Masaii Ray added 36 yards on eight totes. Sanders praised his young defense for meeting the challenge, which included two turnovers as Allen had the interception for a score and Fuller recovered a fumble.

"The unsung hero on defense is Dominic DeClaire," Sanders said. "He and Todd Hatch Jr. might not make all the tackles, but if they can string it out and turn rushes back in, it gives the rest of the guys a chance to do what they do best."

Parkway will play host to Star International next Friday night in another non-league game. The game will mark the first football game ever played at Parkway Christian. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Last Updated: 8/29/2014 10:51:59 PM EST