Panthers get overwhelmed by Houston County
Published 6:49 pm Monday, August 21, 2023
From Staff Reports
WARNER ROBINS – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) made the trip up to Warner Robins, GA on Friday night, August 18, with hopes of getting first year head coach Will Rogers his first victory as the Panthers’ new head coach. However, the Houston County Bears (HC) overwhelmed the Panthers early and continued to do so throughout the game on their way to a 56-12 win over SCHS.
Things started off well for the Panthers when the Bears tried a backward pass to start the game. That pass was fumbled and Corderian Leverett picked up the ball and ran it back the other way for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, but the Panthers had an early 6-0 lead.
However, that would be the last time the Panthers would have the lead in this game. Shortly thereafter, the Bears tied the game when quarterback Antwann Hill Jr. threw a touchdown pass to Recordo Tarver. The extra point was good and the Panthers trailed 7-6 with 10:43 to go in the first quarter.
HC then tried an on-side kick and recovered the ball. The Bears then moved the ball all the way down to the SCHS one-yard line before running back Ryan Taleb scored from a yard out. The extra point was good and the Panthers trailed 14-6
SCHS could not get anything going on offense in their next possession and were forced to punt the ball away. However, there was a fumble on the snap and the Bears recovered the ball in great field position at the SCHS 17-yard line. HC quickly took advantage, as Taleb ran the ball 17 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good and the Panthers trailed 21-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, Carl Monts returned the ball to the SCHS 28-yard line for the Panthers’ next offensive series. Ja’Kory Wise was able to move the ball to the SCHS 40 and first down yardage, but he fumbled shortly thereafter and the ball was recovered by the Bears. A few plays later, Hill scored a touchdown from 11 yards out on a quarterback keeper. The extra point was good and the Panthers found themselves trailing 28-6 with 4:47 left in the first quarter.
The Bears would shortly get the ball back and once again, they would mount another scoring drive. This time, Hill threw a short four-yard touchdown pass to Kale Woodburn. The extra point was good and the Panthers trailed 35-6 with 2:04 left in the first quarter.
It wasn’t long thereafter that Hill and Woodburn would connect again, this time for a 12-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good and HC led the Panthers 42-6.
The Panthers could not get a drive going on their next possession and had to punt the ball away, but the punt ended up down on the HC 13-yard line with 6:11 to go before halftime. Fortunately for SCHS, the Panthers were able to force a fumble and recovered the ball at the HC 35.
It looked as if the Panthers were finally going to be able to cash in on a turnover, as they were able to move the ball inside the HC 10. However, the Panthers could not get the necessary yardage and they had to turn the football over on downs.
Just as they had done last time, the Bears took advantage. On their first play from scrimmage, Hill through a 77-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Johnson. The point after attempt was good and Bears led SCHS 49-6 at halftime.
The Panthers got the ball to start the second half, but could not mount a drive and had to punt with 7:08 left in the third quarter. However, the SCHS defense forced another turnover when Corderian Leverett intercepted a pass. This time, the Panthers were able to take advantage, as they marched the ball down to HC one-yard line. Ja’Kory Wise then ran the ball into the end zone from a yard out. The two- point conversion attempt failed, but the Panthers had another touchdown on the board, as they trailed 49-12.
Later on in the fourth quarter, the Bears ended up scoring another touchdown after they recovered a fumble inside the SCHS 10-yard line. Quarterback Grey Dunlap scored on a quarterback keeper from two yards out and the extra point was could to make the final score 56-12 in favor of HC.
The Panthers will try to earn their first win of the season when they travel down to Albany to take on the Westover Patriots at Hugh Mills Stadium on Friday, August 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.