By RIXON LANE, Index-Journal
ABBEVILLE— It isn’t often that the term “video-game” numbers is used to describe a defense.
Two games into the season, however, the Abbeville Panthers’ unit appears to playing on a different level. After holding Ninety Six to zero offensive points in a 26-7 win last week, the Panthers shut out high-powered Woodruff in a 28-0 victory at Hite Stadium on Friday night.
“That’s a credit to our kids,” Abbeville defensive coordinator Tad Dubose said of the victory. “They played extremely hard. I’m just tickled to death with their effort and the way they’ve prepared the last couple of weeks.”
Abbeville took an early lead on a 10-yard touchdown run from TJ Rogers that capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive midway through the first quarter. The Panthers’ run-heavy offense, which only attempted one pass all night, held the Wolverines to just three possessions in the first half, two of which ended in turnovers on downs. A fumble at the Woodruff goal line by JR Rapley thwarted a promising Panther drive last in the second quarter and Abbeville held a slim 7-0 lead at halftime.
Rogers found the end zone on the opening drive of the second half, this time from one yard out to push the Panther lead to 13-0. After another Woodruff drive stalled and the teams exchanged punts, Abbeville put the game away in the fourth quarter by executing a fake punt as Cortney Jackson took an option pitch and rumbled 60 yards for a score to increase the lead to 21-0.
The Wolverines threatened to find the end zone midway through the fourth, but quarterback Keegan Halloran was intercepted in the end zone by Sterlin Agnew to preserve the shutout. Halloran threw for 172 yards, but the Woodruff ground game managed just 44 yards on 25 carries.
Rogers’ third touchdown of the night, a 52-yarder, capped the scoring and completed the Abbeville the rout. Rogers led the Panther ground attack with 165 yards on 14 carries and three scores. On the night, Abbeville rushed for 399 yards on 51 attempts.
However, it was the Panther defense that stole the show, handing Woodruff its first shutout since 2006.
“I will take the offensive struggles on my back,” said Wolverine head coach Trey Elder. “We just didn’t execute enough plays offensively. There are a few play calls I’d like to get back. We just have to get better.”
After extending their winning streak at Hite Stadium to 11 consecutive games, the Panthers will hit the road next week for a non-region matchup against Emerald.
Abbeville 28, Woodruff 0
A — Rogers 25 run (kick)
A — Rogers 1 run (kick no good)
A — Jackson 60 run (two-point good)
A — Rogers 52 run (kick good)
A — Jamie Gray 0-1, 0;
W — Keegan Halloran 18-28-1, 172;
ABBEVILLE — TJ Rogers 14-165, Jamie Gray 14-78,Cortney Jackson 7-77, JR Rapley 10-71, Jermaine Blackwell 3-15, Malik Leach 2-(-)8, Bryce Jackson 1-1
WOODRUFF?Keegan Halloran 14-36, Jarius Thompson 9-12, Jamon Thomas 1-2, Keith Pearson 1-(-)6.