The Panther Press

North Lamar Dominates in Win Over Whitesboro

FootballGreg Higgins
(Photo by Adam Routon) Sam Cowling with a Touchdown run after catching a pass from Versache Buchanan. 

(Photo by Adam Routon) Sam Cowling with a Touchdown run after catching a pass from Versache Buchanan. 

The North Lamar Panthers had the ball 11 times against Whitesboro on Friday night. Only three of those possessions did not end up in the end zone. North Lamar had one fumble, two punts and eight touchdowns in a 55-20 win over the Bearcats.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Versache Buchanan (3) escaping a tackle on his way to the end zone for  North Lamar.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Versache Buchanan (3) escaping a tackle on his way to the end zone for  North Lamar.

Of those 11 possessions, only three of them were longer than six plays. North Lamar averaged just over five plays per drive on the night and they weren’t short drives, either. North Lamar averaged just under 63 yards per scoring drive on the night as they racked up 581 total yards of offense.

Quarterback Versache Buchanan had a spectacular night for the Panthers. Buchanan was 17 of 26 for 297 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 45 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

The offense was centered around big plays, too. North Lamar had nine plays of at least 20 yards on the night. They had three plays that went for at least 50 and one more that was 47 yards.

Not to be outdone, though, was the Panther defense. North Lamar only allowed 275 yards offense from the Bearcats. After giving up 20 points in the first half, North Lamar didn’t give up another score the rest of the night. The Bearcats, as a matter of fact, had 130 yards of offense in the first quarter and two touchdowns. The last three quarters, they managed 145 total yards and one touchdown.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Julique Franklin (6) with a reception for North Lamar against Whitesboro.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Julique Franklin (6) with a reception for North Lamar against Whitesboro.

“I was really pleased with our defense,” Coach Tim Billings said after the game. “It’s really hard to emulate that offense. You just don’t see it very often. Coach Clark and his coaching staff made some adjustments at halftime and it was a totally different ball game.”

North Lamar opened up the scoring after Trey Scudder blocked a Whitesboro punt, giving the Panthers the ball at the Bearcat 30 yard line. Three plays later, Versache found Sam Cowling for a 27 yard touchdown pass. Whitesboro answered quickly as they took advantage of an excellent kickoff return. Getting the ball at the North Lamar 43 yard line, Whitesboro only needed four plays to tie the game at seven.

The next drive for the Panthers resulted in the only turnover of the night. North Lamar drove 65 yards down the field to the one yard line. Trying to take the lead, North Lamar fumbled the handoff exchange between Versache and Tyler Hill. The ball was recovered by Whitesboro and returned to their own 11 yard line. They marched down the field and scored as time ran out in the first quarter to take a 14-7 lead.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Tyler Hill with an open-field tackle for North Lamar as Jack Hill (82) looks on.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Tyler Hill with an open-field tackle for North Lamar as Jack Hill (82) looks on.

With the exception of one more touchdown half-way through the second quarter, that was pretty much it for the Bearcat offense. North Lamar, on the other hand, was just getting started with their offense. North Lamar scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, two by Javon Franklin and one by Versache. Franklin’s touchdowns were runs of 19 and 10 yards while Versache’s was a five yard run. North Lamar enjoyed a 28-20 halftime lead.

The third quarter picked up where the second quarter ended as North Lamar took the second-half kickoff and went 67 yards in six plays. Javon capped off the drive with another touchdown. This one was a 15 yard run.

With a 35-20 lead, the defense held Whitesboro to a three and out on the next series. A bad snap on the punt gave North Lamar the ball on the 28 yard line. Four plays later, Versache hits Menderiz Gray for a 22 yard touchdown reception.

(Photo by Adam Routon) Javon Franklin with one of his four touchdown runs against Whitesboro

(Photo by Adam Routon) Javon Franklin with one of his four touchdown runs against Whitesboro

The fourth quarter would see North Lamar add two more scores. Javon found the end zone for the fourth time in the game. This time a 47 yard run in which he changed directions more times than you can count. Javon finished with 15 carries for 152 yards. He also had three receptions for 25 yards. The second score would come towards the end of the game. Hill scored on an eight yard scamper. This, however, came after he broke one loose for 75 yards. Hill’s touchdown put the finishing touches on the lopsided score and the second victory for the Panthers in as many games.

The only disappointing part to the game was the fact that North Lamar had 15 penalties called on them for 115 yards.

“We started going at the pace I wanted there for a little while,” Billings said after the game. “When we started going that fast, the receivers didn’t line up fast enough. We’ve got to get that done.”

North Lamar has a week to correct those mistakes. North Lamar will be at home for the first time this season as they face S&S at R.L. Maddox stadium next Friday night.