Sheewww… I think that’s what most everyone wearing garnet and gold muttered Friday night as the clock struck zero at Sabre Stadium in Simpsonville. The Panthers found themselves in a dog fight and in true A-Town fashion, they never quit. The Panthers prevailed 43-28 against a very tough, very big, very well coached Southside Christian football team. It almost felt like you were trying to chop down an oak tree with a sledge hammer. Hit after hit, fighting for every yard, every inch. Without a doubt, SSC is the best team that Abbeville has faced thus far this season. A great, yet exhausting game, that will only make the Panthers better as a team moving forward. Here are some highlights.
JD Moore and Dooley Sanders hooked up on a 76 yard touchdown pass, on the second play from scrimmage. The Panthers led 7-0 early. SSC answers with a 19yd TD pass to tie the game. As the 2nd quarter began, JD Moore sprinted 58 yards for a TD to give the Panthers the lead once again. Two minutes later SSC ties it back up with a halfback pass. JD Moore breaks the tie with a 5 yard TD run and then right before the half, he completes a 2 yard TD pass to Sanders to give the Panthers a 28-14 halftime lead. A Courtney Jackson touchdown run was sandwiched between two SSC TD passes and the score stood at 36-28 until JD Moore put the nail in the coffin with a 39 yard TD run with 31 seconds remaining. The Panthers won 43-28 and moved to 4-0 on the season.
JD Moore was recognized as the Index Journal Player of the Week for his five touchdown performance, and Panther linebacker Tyreke Campbell was recognized as Defensive Player of the Week by the Greenwood Touchdown Club for his game versus Emerald. Congrats to those two Panther student athletes.
Rest and mental preparedness is what this bye week is all about. Bumps and bruises will be healed, soreness will fade and the Panthers will mentally get ready for next week as they travel to Kellytown Stadium to face the #1 team in 4A, the Hartsville Red Foxes. The coaches will self scout this week as well. They will watch film of themselves and see if they notice tendencies that other teams may pick up on and possibly tweak their offense or defense accordingly. It’s a week of mental focus and physical rest. They will evaluate players and positions and make adjustments there as well. They will also start in on preparing for teams that they may face down the road.
After a trip to Hartsville, A-Town will be back home for just their 2nd home game of the season, the region opener versus longtime rival Batesburg-Leesville. A Thursday night contest at Fox Creek will get us into October. Then the Panthers will be home versus a much improved Silver Bluff team. On the road at Saluda and then back to the Hite for homecoming versus Ninety Six will end the regular season. The Panthers next game will mark the halfway point in the season. It sure goes by in a hurry. Here are some stats at the (almost) midway point in the season.
Points per game – Abbeville 50.3 vs 11.3
3rd down conversions – Abbeville 15/31 – 48.4% vs 7/47 – 14.9%
Turnovers – Abbeville 1 vs 13
Rushing – Abbeville 1288yds (322 per game) vs 567 (141.8)
Tackles for Loss – 28 (7 per game)
Sacks – 9 – 5 QB pressures – 10 recovered fumbles – 1 interception – 2 blocked kicks
Rushing (players with over 10 carries) – JD Moore (43 carries – 438 yards – 8 touchdowns) Courtney Jackson (31-273-5) Ja’Bryan Sanders (18-217-3) Dominick Washington (24-198-1)
Passing – JD Moore 9 of 15 for 229 yds 6 TDs and 1 interception
Receiving – Ja’Bryan Sanders (3-116-3) Quad Woods (5-77-2) Robin Crawford (1-21-1) Courtney Jackson (1-19)
Defensive stats (only players with over 20 tackles)
Tyreke Campbell – 35 tackles-2 tackles for loss-1 sack-2 recovered fumbles-1 interception
Carson Smith – 27 tkls – 5 tfl – 1 sk – 1 caused fumble – 1 recovered fumble
Luke Evans – 24 tkls – 1 tfl
David Cobb 23 tkls – 2 tfl
Nate Temple – 21 tkls – 5 tfl – 4 sks
Joc Norman – 20 tkls
Gabe Calhoun – 20tkls – 1 tfl
It’s been a great season so far and we’re looking forward to many more games this year. Check back next week for a full preview of the Clash of the Titans. Your #1 AA Abbeville Panthers versus #1 AAAA Hartsville Red Foxes. And as always…
God Bless and Go Panthers!