Panthers snap Bibb’s streak

Published 12:20 am Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nowhere to run: The Jemison defense—including Raequane Jones (32) and P.J. Blue (8) stuffed Bibb County for most of the night Friday.

Sometimes, no matter how strong an opponent may be, things click for a team in such a way that nothing can stop them. The runners find the gaps at just the right time and exploit them, the quarterbacks and receivers are on the same page all night, and the defense plays as close to perfect as possible.

Such was the case Friday night in Jemison.

The Panthers moved to 3-1 on the season, and moved to 3-0 in region play, by knocking off the Bibb County Choctaws at home, 18-7.

Both teams swapped possession a total of five times before Jemison’s Randy Satterfield broke a 38-yard punt return that led to a 30-yard drive capped off by a touchdown keeper by quarterback Jacob Hatch with 11:56 left to go in the second quarter. The extra point attempt was no good.

The Panthers then recovered a fumble as a squib kick bounced off a Choctaw defender but turned the ball over in the end zone as Hatch was intercepted for a touchback.

Bibb County could find no answer for the Panther defense and was forced to punt again. Jemison scored again on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Hatch to make it 12-0. The Panthers failed to convert the 2-point try.

The Choctaws got the ball back but again were forced to punt. Jemison then worked the clock down to halftime, taking a 12-0 lead into the locker room.

Jemison took the ball after the half on a touchback and grinded out a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took almost 6 minutes off the clock. The drive was capped when Hatch kept the ball again on the goal line, making it 18-0 Panthers. The 2-point attempt was no good.

The ensuing kickoff was out of bounds and gave Bibb County an opportunity, as they put together a drive off their own, taking eight plays and producing a Tyree Bell touchdown, followed up by a ShaunDale Smith extra point, making it 18-7.

Jemison then went three-and-out, fumbling on a fake punt. The Choctaws followed suit, turning the ball over on a fake punt as well.

The two teams both swapped possession another time before Bibb County stalled on a late drive, amassing three false start penalties on the drive before turning it over on downs.

Jemison played keep away until a punt gave the Choctaws one more shot, but their possession ultimately ended on a turnover on downs and JHS ended a six-game losing streak to Bibb.

“It’s a huge win,” said coach Merritt Bowden. “We talked all week about not getting caught up in who we were playing—to be who we were. The kids kept plugging away and played good sound football.”