Eman Westmoreland was crowned king twice Friday night during Central Gwinnett's Homecoming football game against Parkview at home in Lawrenceville.
At halftime, the talented quarterback was named Homecoming King. By the end of the evening he was king of the gridiron after leading the Black Knights to a 30-27 three-overtime win over the Panthers, who entered the game state-ranked and in first place in Region 8-AAAAAA. Parkview is now 6-2, 5-1 in region play. Central is 4-4, 2-4.
The winning points came on Samir Ramic's 35-yard field goal in the third overtime period — Ramic's third of the game and second in OT — but it was Westmoreland who proved to be the weapon sixth-ranked Parkview couldn't stop.
Using mostly quick throws to his receivers in the flats, Westmoreland completed 34 of 48 passes for 399 yards, including touchdown passes of 45, 21 and 17 yards. That more than made up for Central's eight yards of rushing on 19 attempts.
Westmoreland was at his best when it mattered most. After Parkview took a 24-17 lead on Justis Rosser's 16-yard run — a score set up by Rosser's interception at the Parkview 1 and long return well into Central territory — Westmoreland took Central on a 54-yard drive on four straight completions to tie the score with 1:02 left. He threw 17 yards to Adam Riley for the touchdown.
But it also was Westmoreland's miscues that almost gave Parkview the game. His two interceptions were critical mistakes — Rosser's late interception and return, and a 20-yard interception return for a TD by Parkview's Kyle Williams that tied the score at 17-17 in the fourth quarter. Central had built a 17-7 lead in the third.
Ramic's kick came after Parkview turned the ball over on downs in its possession of the third overtime. The score was 24-24 after regulation time and the teams traded field goals in the first overtime period.
Parkview had an opportunity to win it in the second OT after holding Central on downs. But Tyler Stephenson's field-goal try from 32 yards on first down was blocked, sending the game into the third OT.
Parkview, which was playing without injured star running back Chris Carson (concussion), struggled on offense, managing only 122 yards on 51 carries, and just 158 overall. Rosser gained 43 yards on 13 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns for Parkview. Stephenson added two field goals.
The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Black Knights and a five-game winning streak for the Panthers.