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Pirates down Panthers 26-14
Offense struggles with QB out
LCHS Panther running back Tavoris Lewis fights for extra yardage during Thursday night’s 26-14 loss at home to the Brunswick Pirates. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Bradwell wins

The Bradwell Tigers defeated Windsor Forest  21-13 on Thursday. For a complete story, see Wed-nesday’s Courier.

The Brunswick Pirates sailed into Donell Woods Stadium on Thursday night and handed the Liberty County Panthers a 26-14 loss.
The game began as a challenge between two schools’ strong defenses but during the second half the Panther defense weakened slightly, giving up long plays and 20 points after intermission.
The LCHS offense struggled to find its groove with quarterback Matt Desbiens
sidelined by a fractured finger on his throwing hand.
The Panthers took a strong defensive stand during the Pirates’ first offensive drive, forcing the punt on fourth and 22. The Pirates lined up for the punt but Panther Shakur Cook got a tip on the ball, blocking its forward progress.
However, false starts on both sides killed their offensive drives to close the first quarter scoreless.
In the second quarter the Pirates mounted a drive and attempted a pass in the end zone. The Panthers were called for pass interference, which set up the visiting team inside the 20. The Pirate quarterback launched another pass that was fielded inside the 2-yard line, setting up Brunswick’s first touchdown run.
The visiting team lined up for a 2-point conversion but missed and took a 6-0 lead.
The Panthers shut down their own offensive drive by committing back-to-back false starts.
Offensively, LCHS had been using quarterback Jarrett Rivers and the wildcat play but began using running back Shadrach Thornton as the main passer and ball carrier. However, they still couldn’t sustain a drive in the first half and they trailed 6-0 at intermission.
The Panther defense managed a few bright spots. Tucory Rhodes pounded the opponent’s offensive players, and Devin Helvie had two passes hit him in the numbers, but he wasn’t able to hold on. Demetrick Mothershed helped with a sack, and Shakur Cook blocked a punt and broke up a few passes. Trevon Walthour, Melvin King and Anthony Dabson snuffed a few runs up the middle.
The Panthers offense came together for a touchdown drive in the third quarter. The Pirates had possession but fumbled the ball, handing it over to the Panther offense at the Pirates’ 39-yard line. Thornton found the block he needed, strolled to the 2-yard line and carried the ball in for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Liberty boys a 7-6 lead.
But the Pirates launched their own offensive attack in the second half. Brunswick had the ball on their own 20-yard line when their quarterback tossed a screen pass and carried the ball to the 4-yard line. The Pirates coughed up the ball and it rolled into the end zone where they recovered it for a touchdown. They tried for another 2-point conversion but failed.
The Pirates regained the lead, 12-7.
In the fourth quarter the Panthers were forced to punt and Adrien Vakerics kicked the ball out of bounds.
The Pirates took over at their own 40-yard line and converted a fourth down. Three plays later, the Brunswick quarterback dove into the end zone and put the visiting team up 18-7.
The Panther offense took over and Thornton hit King for a completion. King took three steps, was hit and coughed up the ball, giving it back to the Pirates who scored another touchdown. This time, the Pirates converted for 2 and led 26-7.
The Panthers started to move the ball, but Thornton tossed an interception. The Pirates ran the ball to the 3-yard line but were flagged in the backfield and the ball was brought back. The Panther defense held Brunswick and the offense took over on downs at the LCHS 30.
Thornton handed the ball to Sam Carter who made it to the 45-yard line. Two plays later, Carter carried the ball for a first down and Thornton hit Mike Rodriquez to bring them inside the 15. Thornton hit Alton Sapp in the end zone for their final touchdown with 30 second left, but the Pirates ran out the clock to win 26-14.

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