Atlanta traveled to Panther Stadium to take on Spring Hill in the season finale for both teams. Atlanta received the opening kick and found success against the Panther defense. The Rabbits were first on the scoreboard after they completed a 34 yard pass. Carson Barnhill intercepted the pass on the conversion attempt but wasn’t able to return it for the score.
The Panther offense found the early moments of the game to be tough as they worked to find holes in the Rabbit defense. Colin Martin punted to ball back to Atlanta. After tremendous defensive plays by Aaron Collier, Grant Fisher, and Brody Barnhill, the Rabbits were able to convert for a first down, and eventually scored on a 38 yard run. The conversion attempt for two point was good, and the lead increased to 14-0 in favor of Atlanta.
Brody Barnhill took the kickoff return for Spring Hill, and using a beautiful stiff-arm move, ran the ball to the Atlanta 48 yard line. Nick Stewart then had four hard runs to move the ball deep into Atlanta territory as the first quarter ended. Carter Dixon was able to eventually punch the ball across the goal line and get Spring Hill on the scoreboard. Fisher kicked the PAT through and the score was cut in half at 14-7.
Atlanta scored on their next possession, as they completed a half-back pass from 21 yards out. The Panther defense stopped the two point attempt, making the score 20-7. The Panther offense just couldn’t find traction and the Rabbits regained possession at midfield following a failed fake punt attempt. A tackle for loss by Brody Barnhill and a near interception by Carson Barnhill put Atlanta in a long yardage situation. The Panther defense swarmed and forced a turnover on downs. Michael Marrs was able to run the ball from the Rabbit 30 to the 6 yard line, scoring on the next play. The Fisher kick was no good and the score read Atlanta 20 and Spring Hill 13. The Rabbits didn’t wait too long to answer as they took the next offensive play around the right side for a 77 yard scoring run. Curtis Crowe broke up the conversion attempt, and Atlanta led 26-13 at the half.
Dixon ran the ball 33 yards on the first play of the second half to the Atlanta 26. Marrs then scored on the next play for the Panther score. The PAT attempt was no good, and the score moved to 26-19. The Panther defense again made the necessary plays as Collier had a tackle for loss and Marrs tackled the runner short on 4th down. A big run by DIxon moved the ball from the 30 yard line to the 13. Dixon then carried the ball down the the 2 yard line, scoring on the next play. Marrs converted the 2 point run, and Spring Hill took the lead 27-26.
On the ensuing kickoff, Spring Hill was able to come up with a loose ball and regain possession on the Atlanta 25 yard line. Dixon’s pass attempt was intercepted by Atlanta and the Rabbits took over on their own 17. Brody Barnhill again made a big play and stopped the Rabbits for a loss, giving the ball back to the Panthers on the Atlanta 15 yard line. Marrs was able to score from 8 yards out for another Panther TD. Dixon fell short on the conversion attempt and the score became 33-26 for Spring Hill.
The Panthers offense kept the ball on the ground and ate up a solid portion of the 4th period clock. Bryan Vaca intercepted a desperate Rabbit pass that sealed the victory for the Panthers. The team finished with a 7-2-1 record.
We congratulate these young men on a successful season and look forward to great things in the future.