Late drive comes up short for JHS

Published 12:47 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

A late interception led to the Jemison Panthers losing its region opener at home 26-23 to Sumter Central.

The Panthers trailed 20-8 entering the fourth quarter, but scored two touchdowns in a matter of minutes and quickly grabbed a 23-20 lead with 5:20 left in the game.

However, Sumter Central drove down the field and connected on a touchdown pass, their third of the second half, to reclaim a 26-23 lead.

The Panthers had one last drive with a chance to win the game or send it to overtime with a field goal.

Eric Evans as he had done all night continued to fight for yards and picked up two first downs, while Daniel Martin rolled out and completed a pass to Hunter Lowery to move the chains once again.

After starting the drive on its own 10-yard line, Jemison had marched into enemy territory.

Following a timeout the Panthers took a shot deep intended for Jahvon Simon, but it was intercepted by Sumter Central to end Jemison’s chances.

“Those guys never quit,” Jemison head coach Van Clements said. “They fought for 48 minutes and just came up short. I promise you that they will get back and be ready to go to work on Monday.”

The Panthers struggled with ball security at various moments in the game and it is something that Clements said would be worked on in the upcoming week of practice.

“If we eliminate the turnovers, the game is probably different,” Clements said. “We shot ourselves in the foot, and we’re just not a team built for that.”