Panthers slide to no. 4 spot in 1-AAAA after loss to Carver

Published 1:05 pm Monday, October 31, 2016


COLUMBUS – The Americus-Sumter High School Panthers football team traveled to Columbus on the evening of Oct. 20 to take on new Region 1-AAAA foes, the Carver High School Tigers for their second-to-last region match up of the 2016 regular season.
After a heated contest, the Panthers suffered a 27-3 defeat at the hands of the Tigers due, in part, to an early outburst from the Tigers that put the hosts up 20 points in the first stanza.
With the defeat, the Panthers drop to 3-3 in the region and 4-5 overall on the 2016 season. The Tigers’ victory bumps the Columbus team to 4-2 in the region and 5-4 overall.
Prior to the match, ASHS was tied with Carver and Northside High for the second place spot in the region. The loss drops the Panthers’ standing to fourth place in 1-AAAA behind Cairo, Carver, and Northside, respectively.
The contest got off to a strong start for the hosts, much to the dismay of the visiting fans, when Carver receiver, Us Beasley, took ASHS’ opening kickoff 80 yards into the end zone. The Tigers nailed the PAT attempt to pull ahead 7-0 with mere seconds of time off the clock.
The home team’s momentum continued to build on the fifth play of the Panthers’ return drive a Carver defender picked off ASHS quarterback, AJ Payne’s two-yard pass.
Two plays later, the Tigers again scored on a 53-yard touchdown pass to double their advantage.
The Tigers then hunkered down to protect their lead, holding the Panthers to only five plays on their answering run. The ASHS crew returned the favor, holding the Tigers to three and out to quickly regain possession.
The Panthers were forced to relinquish the ball at the Carver 31 after eight plays before the Tigers struck again with a last-second two-yard touchdown rush to cap off a 13-play, 69-yard drive. An errant PAT kick left the hosts up 20-0 as the buzzer signaled the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers opened the second frame with a 12-play 71-yard drive that gave ASHS place kicker, Carlos Hernandez, the opportunity to split the posts with a 28-yard field goal and remove any fear of a shutout from the visiting fans.
The score would remain 20-3 until the end of the first half.
The Panthers took off on a 13-play drive after receiving the kickoff at the commencement of the second half. But had their progress halted by a determined Carver defense at their opponents’ 29.
The Tigers added an insurance touchdown in the third frame, when Beasley ended a five-play drive with a nine-yard touchdown rush. One more successful PAT from the hosts left the score at 27-3 until the final buzzer.
According to published reports, Carver head coach, Dre’Mail King, stated “[Americus-Sumter] did a great job,” after the contest. ““They played really good defense. They did some things different than what we saw on film, so it kind of got us off a little bit in the second and third quarter; we had to find our way back in it.”
The Panthers will return to Finklea-Robinson Field for the season closer on Nov. 4 to take on the Columbus High Blue Devils.
Editor’s note: In an article in the Oct. 22 edition of the Times-Recorder titled, “ASHS Panthers celebrate Homecoming with 34-18 defeat of Hardaway”, a 62-yard touchdown reception caught and run in by Jacquez Bartley was incorrectly attributed to Daveon Johnson.