Jemison misses out on overtime

Published 12:34 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

A battle to the very end fell into the hands of the visiting Bibb County Choctaws on Aug. 25, as the Jemison Panthers dropped its 2017 season opener 14-7.

Both offensive squads found the yards hard to come by through the first quarter, as a couple of turnovers and three and outs were the way of the first quarter.

An opening possession fumble by the Panthers (0-1) on their own thirty did not come back to haunt the home team, as the Jemison defense stood tall to force a three and out.

The ensuing Jemison drive saw the opening first down of the evening, but the drive stalled on the Choctaw 17 on a failed fourth down attempt.

After a three and out by the Choctaws, a Tyquan Bennett punt set the Panthers up with a first and 10 at their own 39 to start the second quarter.

A 10-yard pass from Kevin Martin to Hunter Lowery moved the ball out near mid field, but a fourth and five at the 42 came up short and turned the ball over to Bibb County.

On a second and 21 from their own 23, a pass from Trey Reese of Bibb County fell into the hands of a Jemison defender, and on play later Martin connected with Jahvonn Simon for a 34-yard touchdown reception to give Jemison a 7-0 lead with 8:05 to play in the first half.

The Jemison lead was short lived, as on the first play of the Choctaws ensuing drive, Reese handed off the Myles Kornegay who bust through the Jemison defense for a 53- yard touchdown that tied the game at 7-all.

Following a three and out by the Panthers, the Choctaws set up first and 10 at their own 37, where they began a 63-yard scoring drive that ended on a 24-yard touchdown run by Erin Heard to put Bibb County up 14-7 at the half

The third and fourth quarters were a defensive strong hold by each squad as neither team showed any signs of even sniffing the end zone.

However, it was the Panther defense that stood tall late in the fourth quarter to give their offense not one, but two final possessions with an opportunity to send the game to overtime.

With a fourth and two from the Jemison 28 yard line, the Panther defense stuffed Choctaw running back Angelo Thompson to give their offense one final opportunity to send the game to overtime.

With just 56 seconds remaining, Jemison quarterback Kevin Martin went to work and threw a strike to Adrian Jackson for an 18-yard gain to move the ball out to the 45.

A second and 10 saw Eric Evans pick up 11 on the ground to move the ball across midfield to the 45, and a pass from Martin to Jarred Taylor set the Panthers up first and 10 at the Bibb County 33 with just nine seconds to play.

With time for two final plays, a pass attempt from Martin to Evans across the middle fell into the hands of a Choctaw defender and sealed the fate of the Panthers.

“I couldn’t ask for a better effort from our guys, we played for 48 minutes from top to bottom,” Jemison head coach Van Clements said. “We needed a stop the last three offensive possessions of Bibb and they got it and gave us a chance but we just ran out of gas.”

Martin ended the game with 104 yards through the air on six completions and 17 attempts. Evans led the Panther ground game with 51 yards on nine carries.