Panthers’ run game snuffed, Dallas County wins

Jemison defenders pounce on a Dallas County running back.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

Jemison defenders pounce on a Dallas County running back.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The Jemison Panthers fell to the Dallas County Hornets Thursday night with a final score of 14-41.

The ball game was all Dallas County in the first half. The Hornets scored on the opening drive with a huge run play that set the pace for the evening.

Jemison got the chance to answer the score, but fell short and turned over on downs with 8:27 left in the quarter. Dallas capitalized, and with a two-minute drive into the end zone the score was set at 0-14 with 6:24 left in the quarter.

Jemison was forced to punt after receiving, and Dallas drove down the field and scored with 37 seconds left in the quarter.

Jemison went over on downs again twice in the second quarter, and Dallas shot straight for the end zone both times, putting the Hornets up 0-35 at the half.

In the second half, Jemison came out and fought hard towards the end zone. Evans put up a deep pass down the sideline, but a Dallas defender popped up and grabbed it. Dallas scored their final touchdown for the night on the resulting drive, putting the score at 0-41 with 3:31 in the third quarter.

The Panthers finally wore down the defense, and with 9:34 left in the game, quarterback Eric Evans left the pocket, dodged defenders and ran into the end zone.

Then, Jemison recovered its own kickoff and put together another scoring drive, this time with Daniel Martin in as QB. A pass from Martin connected to Alex Davison inside the 5, allowing Martin to run a keep on the next play for the touchdown.

The Panthers’ final score would seal the game at 14-41.

Jemison’s run game has been the team’s strong suit all season, and Dallas knew this coming into the game. The Panthers’ quarterback, Eric Evans, is Chilton County’s leading rusher, with 1,970 yards going into Thursday’s matchup against the Hornets.

“First off, hats off to Dallas County; they know to hurt us is to stop our run game,” said Coach Van Clements. “As a whole, we didn’t play well. From the coaching down to the field.”

Clements commented on the final minutes of the game when Martin connected with Davison during the scoring drive, and on the promise the players show for future seasons:

“Martin and Davison did a good job. They’re kind of the opposite of our varsity…they use the pass more. They look promising with throws.”

Clements said the team is preparing for Demopolis next week by getting back to what they do: pounding the line of scrimmage with the ball.

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