Panthers fall to Jeff Davis in regular season finale
Published 3:41 pm Monday, November 6, 2023
From Staff Reports
HAZELHURST, GA – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) traveled over to Hazelhurst, GA with hopes of ending their regular season on a positive note with a win over Jeff Davis High School (JD). Unfortunately, they came up short in a 21-0 loss to the Yellowjackets, which not only ended the Panthers’ regular season, but also ended their hopes of making the GHSA Class AA State Playoffs.
“We are disappointed that we just missed the playoffs, but we definitely created a strong foundation to build on moving forward,” SCHS Head Coach Will Rogers said. “I’m excited about the future of Sumter County Football!”
The Panthers (5-5, 3-3 Region 1-AA) ended the regular season in a three-way tie with Jeff Davis and Worth County at 3-3. The first tiebreaker was point differential, which went in the favor of Worth County. The second tiebreaker was head-to-head, which went in favor of Jeff Davis, who beat the Panthers head to head.
The Panthers received the ball to start the game, but could not do anything with it and were forced to punt.
On the Yellowjackets’ first possession, they were able to move the ball deep into SCHS territory. Then quarterback Colby Beach scored a rushing touchdown from nine yards out. The extra point was good and the Panthers trailed 7-0.
On the next SCHS possession, running back Ja’Kory Wise fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Yellowjackets at the JD 41-yard line. A few plays later, the Yellowjackets would attempt a 35-yard field goal with 1:55 to go in the first quarter, but it was blocked by James Harper and the Panthers would have the ball at their own 32-yard line. Unfortunately, however, they once again were unable to mount a scoring drive and would have to punt the ball back to JD with 52.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Yellowjackets started their next drive at their own 42-yard line, but on third down and two from midfield, Colby Beach scampered 50 yards on a quarterback keeper for another JD touchdown. The extra point was good and the Panthers trailed 14-0.
The Yellowjackets tried an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff, but the Panthers recovered the ball and had good field position at their own 42-yard line. However, for the remainder of the first half, neither team could score any points and the Panthers went into halftime trailing 14-0.
The Yellowjackets received the ball to start the second half, but could not mount a scoring drive and were forced to punt. However, the SCHS offense continued to struggle. They tried to convert on fourth down and two, but failed and had to turn the ball back over to the Yellowjackes. This gave JD another opportunity to put more points on the board, which they did when running back Carter Mullis scored from four yards out. The extra point was good and the Yellowjackets would go on to win by the score of 21-0.