Sunday, October 2, 2011

Clay County 57 - B.B. Comer 6

By Steve Haslam

The Panthers of Clay County traveled to Sylacauga on Friday night to battle the Tigers of B.B. Comer. As the crowd anticipated the opening kick off, an Alabama, autumn sunset left a weakening streak of burnt orange light on the field. A brisk chill then drifted through Legion Stadium, triggering the sweaters and jackets to come out in preparation for a cold night of Southern Football.

The men in white and blue would kick off to the men in gold, pushing them back to their 20 yard line. On 3rd and 9, B.B. Comer would fumble the ball and the Panthers would recover very near the red zone. The Panther offense would start with Jake Phillips as QB, but would miss the chance at a touchdown on their first series. Shawncey Simmons would provide the first points of the game by kicking in three points with 9:26 to play in the first quarter.

On the ensuing drive the Panther defense would hold the Tigers with a massive sack by Anthony Wood, a blocked pass by Adam Farrow, and an eventual 3rd down interception by Shawncey Simmons. Simmons would return the interception approximately 45 yards to the seven-yard line. On the next play, Lamar Jones would easily run in for a touchdown. The PAT was good, making it 10-0 with over 6:00 to play in the first.

The Tigers tried but couldn’t seem to get any positive yardage. Quarterback Joseph Treadwell was given various options by the offensive coordinator for Comer, but all plays seemed to move in slow motion to an onslaught of the Clay County defense. This would be the story for the evening. The Tigers would score, however, after a sleeping Panther offensive line allowed six Tigers to rush through and block a punt. Ensuing plays from Treadwell and running back Quaderie Norwood, would give the Tigers 6 points before the end of the first half.

The Panthers would respond by scoring a touchdown on nearly every possession from that point. A couple of players, Shawncey Simmons and Lamar Jones had multiple points on the night, while other offensive leaders Travis Smith and Deidric Rutledge also had end zone results. Perhaps the most exciting play of the second half came on a punt return from Rutledge. After a short block from Erin Smith, Rutledge returned the ball half the length of the field. When it seemed he would be pushed out of bounds, a bone-crushing block by Shahiem Ackles enabled Rutledge to dance along the sideline for the touchdown.

The Clay County Panthers would leave the nostalgic Legion Stadium with a positive score of 57-6. Unfortunately for B.B. Comer, several players went out of the game with injuries, hampering their already-depleted squad. The Tigers fell to (1-5) on the season, while the Panthers improved to (5-1). The Blue Panthers face a much-improved Black Panther squad of Wellborn in Anniston next Friday. The Wellborn Panthers are also (5-1) on their season, and will provide a challenging match for Clay County.

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