Liberty County and Johnson High meet for the first time on the gridiron at 7:30 tonight at Donell Wood Stadium
The Panthers (1-1) are looking to overcome a 35-16 loss last week at Appling County that coach Kirk Warner attributed to a series of turnovers early in the game.
“We had six possessions in the first half and we had six turnovers. We just have to take care of the ball better,” he said.
When the Panthers found their groove, they balanced the throwing and running games and put points on the board.
Panther quarterback Jordan Waters led the passing game by completing 6-of-8 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown pass to Alton Sapp, who had three receptions for 80 yards.
Panther Andre Haggray led in rushing with 12 carries for 75 yards. Raekwon McMillan scored the other touchdown on a 1-yard run.
Waters and Jeremy Caldwell-Fabergas each had a 2-point conversion run.
“We were playing catch up at that point; it had nothing to do with our kickers,” Warner said about going for the two-point conversions. “We had a fighting chance to get back into the game, and we went for it.”
On defense, McMillan led 24 solo tackles and four assists. Cory Lazenby had 15 solo tackles and two assists, Fabergas had 13 solos and six assists, and Taison Walls had 11 solo and two assists.
It’s the Panther defense that will have to stop the Atomsmashers (0-2).
“They have their returning starting quarterback from last year, and he is probably one of their best players. So we definitely have to contain him,” Warner said. “We have to play Panther football but, offensively, we can’t let our defense be on the field for a long period of time last they were last week.”