What Happened: The Panthers left no doubt when the horn sounded Friday night at Wilson-Campbell Stadium in Ninety Six, as to who was the #1 team in Class AA. Abbeville, whom allowed Ninety Six to drive the length of the field on Ninety Six’s very first possession, put the clamps down on the Wildcat offense the rest of the night. The Wildcats mustered very little production after scoring a field goal on their opening drive.
The Panthers did not waste time putting points on the board as Bryce Jackson hit Dooley Sanders on a screen pass, only to watch the speedster out run everyone for a 39 yard touchdown run. On the Wildcats next possession, Nate Temple tips the ball at the line of scrimmage and Tyrese Paul comes down with the interception. The Panthers started their 2nd drive at the Ninety Six 30 yard line. AHS punched the ball into the endzone a few plays later as Courtney Jackson, who scored three touchdowns on the night, walked into the endzone.
The Turning Point: Gabe Calhoun scoops up a Wildcat fumble on the very next possession and returns it 59 yards for a Panther touchdown. The Panthers led 21-3 with 8 minutes left in first half.
When It Was Over: Early. A fake field goal, ran in for a touchdown by Junior Rapley just before halftime put the Panthers on top 27-9 and that was as close as the score would be the rest of the night.
Final Thoughts: Even though the Panthers are 41-13-1 all time versus Ninety Six, the electricity was thick in the air Friday night. This game is a rivalry, and a lopsided one as portrayed by the 54-16 final score. The fans showed up in full force to watch the game as it was standing room only, nearly an hour before kickoff. Another evident fact is there are some real burners on the Abbeville team this year. Speed, speed and more speed. More than once, a Panther running back or receiver would get glimpse of daylight and you could feel the entire stadium stand to their feet and hold their breath.
What’s Next: The Panthers will travel to Woodruff this coming Friday Night. Kickoff is 7:30pm. Woodruff defeated AC Flora in a shootout 53-45. Check back later this week for a preview of A-Town vs Woodruff.