The Panther 9th grade team traveled to Emory, Texas, to take on the Rains Wildcats this week. Rains took the opening kick and marched the ball down the field. The Wildcats’ offense uses ball possession and misdirection to keep the defense guessing. The Panther defense took some time getting used to this, allowing Rains to score a touchdown on the drive. It was the first points the Panthers had allowed all season. The PAT was no good and the score stood at Rains 6 SH 0.
Spring Hill’s opening offensive possession didn’t happen the way that the Panthers had envisioned. Rains was able to stop Spring Hill and force a punt. However, the punt was fumbled by the Wildcats and Spring Hill recovered the ball deep in Wildcat territory. The next play, Nick Stewart took the ball around the right side for a Panther score. Grant Fisher converted the PAT and the lead was 7-6 for the Panthers.
Rains again was able to move the ball down the field against Spring Hill, punching in their second score of the game. The conversion failed and the score was 12-7. SH moved the ball down the field with the drive ending in a 33 yard TD pass from Carter Dixon to Corvin Withrow. The PAT attempt failed, and the lead was 13-12 for Spring Hill at the end of the first quarter.
Dixon had a pass attempt to Fisher intercepted ending the next Panther possession. Rains was able to march down the field and score their third touchdown of the game. The clock ran out as SH tried to score before halftime. The Panthers trailed 20-13.
Taking the kickoff to start the third period of play, Spring Hill’s offense was able to get on track thanks to a long run by Stewart after taking an option pitch from Dixon. Brody Barnhill scored the next Panther TD on another option pitch by Dixon. The two point conversion attempt by Stewart was nullified by a penalty. Fisher then kicked the PAT to tie the score at 20.
Rains turned the ball over on their next possession. Barnhill then ran 44 yards for the Panther score. Fisher’s kick was good and Spring Hill took the lead again 27-20. The final Panther score cam on a 34 yard run by Michael Marrs. Fisher again converted the PAT for the final score of 34-20. The defense was led by Matthew Shankles with an interception and a forced fumble. Curtis Crowe and Michael Marrs also had fumble recoveries.
Due to Huntington (Spring Hill’s next varsity opponent) not having a 9th grade team, the Panthers will host Tenaha next Thursday at 5:00.