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Canes shut out Panthers, 50-0
Hinesville team maintains No. 1 slot in region
Hurricanes running back Joseph Matavao eludes a Panther tackler and makes a dive for the end zone in the Hurricanes’ 50-0 win at home Saturday night. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

The Hinesville Hurricanes hosted a back-to-school game against the Tri-County Panthers on Saturday night and the Hinesville team taught their opponents a hard lesson in math.

The ’Canes roared past the cats, 50-0. Fans celebrated the victory and many took home prizes, including 10 new school backpacks, a gift basket from Bath and Body Works and a new bicycle donated by the Stanley D. Highsmith Foundation.

The ’Canes improved to 7-1, maintaining their No. 1 spot in the Southeastern American Football League Southeast Division. They’re also holding onto a first round bye for the playoffs. The ’Canes last two games of the season, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22, will be on the road.

On Saturday, the defense shut down the Panthers’ running game after their first offensive drive. With their running game stymied and no passing game, the Panthers were unable to organize an effective play against the Hurricanes’ defense.

On the other side of the ball, the ’Canes balanced running and passing, starting with the first offensive drive. Running back Kendrick Badger had three carries, taking the ball beyond the 50-yard line.

’Canes quarterback Frank Troup connected on a 20-yard pass to Ed Smith. Smith made the catch and ran the other 20 yards to the end zone. Smith then kicked the point to put the
’Canes up 7-0.

The Panthers took over but were forced to punt.

Troup handed the ball to Tracey Lewis who juked and jived his way for what should have been a 30-yard TC run but it was negated due to a clipping call.

On the next play Troup gave the ball to Joseph Matavao who barreled through a blocker for a TD. Ed Smith’s PAT kick was good and the ’Canes went up 14-0.

The ’Canes nailed the onside kick recovered by Charles Crossley. Troup gave the ball to Kentarius Carlisle who took it down to the 17-yard line. Badger carried the ball to the 12 and then ran it in for another ’Canes TD. The hometown squad lined up for the PAT but faked the kick to try for a 2-point conversion. The Panther’s defense rallied and blocked the attempt.

On the next offensive possession, Troup passed the ball to Ronald Truell but it was intercepted. The Panthers’ offense took the field and tried to air one out but Truell intercepted the ball and ran it back 45 yards for another ’Canes TD.

Smith nailed the PAT to close the half with the ’Canes up 27-0.

The Canes opened the third with a touchdown run by Badger and a 2-point conversion by Matavao, making the score 35-0.

At this point, the Panthers were injured, fatigued an unable to hold on to the ball.

In the fourth, the Panthers fumbled the ball and Charles Crossely picked it up and carried it to the end zone. Donte Pray converted for 2, bringing the score to 43-0 in the ’Canes favor. Badger ran the ball straight up the middle on the next possession for the ’Canes final touchdown and a 50-0 victory.

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