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After stomping the Broncos 22-9 in the pre-season and dropping the Charelston Hawks 74-0 at home June 6, the Hinesville Hurricanes hit the road last Saturday for an away game and returned with a 41-14 win over the Tri-County Panthers.
The Hurricanes won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. On the third down of the first offensive drive, ’Canes quarterback Zhivago Johnson fumbled the ball and the Tri-County Panthers recovered for a touchdown. They converted for 2, making it 8-0.
The ’Canes offense regrouped as Frank Troup went under center and handed the ball to Kendric Badger, who took the ball 15 yards for a touchdown. Cedric Lovejoy added the extra 2 points.
To start the second quarter, Badger smashed his way through the defenders after taking the handoff from Johnson and added a touchdown. However, the ’Canes missed their 2-point conversion. Lovejoy scored again on the ’Canes next possession on a 13-yard run. Once again, the Panthers shut down the extra-point attempt.
The Panthers’ offense attempted to air it out but ’Canes defender Lamar Collins picked off the pass. Tabow Ellis picked up a first down for Hinesville and Joseph Matavao scored on a 12-yard run. Ed Smith kicked the ball for the extra point and the Hurricanes led 27-8. ’Canes defender K.B. Brown closed the half by sacking the Panthers’ quarterback.
The Panthers’ received the ball to open the second half and what should have been a positive yardage gain ended up as a four-yard loss after the Hinesville team tackled the runner. On the next play Charles Crossly intercepted a pass and ran it 17 yards. The Panther defense stepped up their game and after a 10-yard loss due to a fumble, the ’Canes were forced to punt.
However, Hurricane Marcus Simpson picked off another Panther pass, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Badger and Donta Pray added the 2 extra points.
In the fourth quarter, the ’Canes muffed the punt return and the Panthers recovered the ball on the 15-yard line. On the next snap the Panthers scored but missed a 2-point conversion. Looking to gain an advantage, the Tri-County team tried an onside kick but Hinesville came up with the ball.
Troup set up the running game and Badger took the ball in for the ’Canes’ final touchdown. After missing the 2-point conversion, the Hurricanes led 41-14. The Panther offense looked for the passing game but Crossly got his second pick of the night and returned the interception to the Panthers’ 29-yard line.
The ’Canes fumbled on the next snap and the Panther recovered. With little time left on the clock, the Panthers took a knee to end the game.
The Hurricanes play the Middle Georgia Pitbulls at 7 p.m. tommorow at Long Bell Stadium. Admission is $6, children under 12 are free. Ticket holders will have a chance to win a new bicycle.