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Panthers fall to Shelby Co. in season finale

Jemison marched right down the field and answered Class 5A No. 4 Shelby County’s first score with a touchdown of its own.

The Panthers (5-5, 5-2 Class 4A, Region 3) would not be able to say the same about the visitors’ four other TDs Friday as SCHS won, 35-7.

Jemison coach Brad Abbott said there would be positives, such as facing a team as talented as the Wildcats (9-1, 5-1), and negatives, such as not being able to build any momentum, to be taken away from the loss.

“We’ll be able to show the kids the film—what they did wrong and what a team that’s better than us looks like,” Abbott said.

SCHS took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards for a touchdown. The first complete pass of the drive was an 11-yard strike from Braten Dill to Davuntae Lewis on a playaction pass that was effective because of the success the Wildcats were having running the football.

That would be a theme throughout: Shelby racked up 203 yards rushing, unofficially. Christopher McDowell was the leader with 70 yards on 10 carries.

On its first possession, Jemison drove 63 yards for the score, which came on a 15-yard run by Isa Bentley.

Bentley finished with 26 yards rushing on eight carries, and Javae Swindle had 99 yards on nine carries.

McDowell added two more touchdown runs, of 3 yards and 5 yards, and Chadwick King was good on all the point-after attempts to make it 21-7 Shelby at halftime.

Jemison took possession to begin the second half of play and drove to Shelby’s 22-yard line. But a pass attempt on 4th-and-5 was intercepted by Shelby’s Evan McNeal, and Jemison would never threaten again.

Clements completed 10 passes in 24 attempts for 75 yards. Eddie Hubbard was Jemison’s leading receiver. He caught two passes for 41 yards.

In the second half, SCHS scored on a 9-yard run by Lewis and a 4-yard run by McDowell.

Dill completed 10 passes in 15 attempts for 98 yards.