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Loss erases Panthers' playoff hopes
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Upper classmen: Panthers Henry Barrett and Jonathan Davis (wearing the gold jerseys) are among the seniors being honored during Friday’s game against South Effingham. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The Panthers bus ride back from Benedictine was a solemn one. With the post season now erased from their chalkboard after a loss to Benedictine (7-35), they have one game left and one thing to play for ... pride.
“We have to face South Effingham Friday night,” head coach Kirk Warner said. “It’s the last home game of the season and it’s senior night. We will play to maintain our perfect season for wins at home.”
The Panthers’ defense held strong and the team played well for the first half but Murphy’s Law kicked in for the second half of the game and anything that could go wrong did.
“It was terrible,” Warner said. “Nothing worked right and one thing just led to another and the next thing you knew it was all over. We are disappointed. It was a hard loss.”
Warner said regardless of who wins Friday it appears the Panthers have been eliminated from the post season.
“Even if we beat South Effingham, we are out because Hephzibah upset them a few weeks ago.”
Down, but not completely out, the Panthers hit the practice fields hard as they look to defend their home turf and honor the seniors with one last win of the regular season.
The Panthers have 17 seniors on their roster. Not all the seniors on the roster are starters but all are hoping to savor one last taste of victory as they end their high school football career.
Among the seniors who are starters, the Panthers will lose offensive lineman Jonathan Davis, quarterback Henry Barrett, defensive back Stephen Walthour, wide receiver Paul Davis, defensive back and running back Brandon Roberts, defensive back Dimitri Lane, linebacker DeAngelo Quarterman, running back Byron Calahan and linebacker Kendrick Jones.
Warner and the Panthers are preparing for the Mustangs knowing they need to shut down the running game.
“They have a running back who is very fast. He is going to be the one to watch and stop,” the coach said.
Warner and the Panthers will take the field Friday night at Olvey. The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on WOAH 106.3 FM.
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