The Panther Press

Panthers Give Fans a Homecoming Performance to Remember

FootballGreg Higgins
(Photo by Aaron Routon) Sam Cowling running the ball for North Lamar against Canton

(Photo by Aaron Routon) Sam Cowling running the ball for North Lamar against Canton

The North Lamar Panthers came in to Homecoming with a 2-2 record. They had won their previous two games at home and lost the two played on the road. This could be a great way to head into the bye week.

The Panthers made sure it was great as they cruised to a 42-12 victory over the Canton Eagles. The North Lamar defense was ferocious all night long as well.

The Panthers forced four Canton turnovers. Last week, the offense was unable to capitalize on two Pottsboro interceptions. This week, North Lamar turned the four turnovers into 21 points.

They’ve only had five games in this defense but you got a glimpse of how great it can be.
— Aaron Emeyabbi

All four turnovers happened in the first half on four consecutive possessions. Three of the turnovers were interceptions. Menderiz Gray, Austin Allison and Ty Waggoner all had an interception. Monty Ponder was the defender that recovered the fumble for North Lamar.

After turning the ball over on downs during their first possession, the Panthers got the ball back after an Allison interception near midfield. Seven plays later, Tyler Hill found the endzone on a six yard run. It was his first of three scores on the night.

The next Panther possession started at the Canton 35 after Ponder’s fumble recovery. This time it was senior quarterback Sam Cowling that found the endzone for North Lamar on a 14 yard run. Travis Coston’s extra point made the score 14-0. Coston would hit on all six extra points he attempted on the night.

North Lamar would score once more before the half would end. After Gray intercepted the ball at their own three yard line, the Panthers would march 97 yards in six plays. Javon Franklin would have a 21 and a 22 yard carry in the middle of the drive. That setup Cowling for a 15 yard run for another score. At the half, North Lamar would lead 21-0.

In the first half, the Panthers defense only gave up 99 yards of offense to the Eagles. Canton only had the ball six times, with four of those resulting in turnovers. The other two drives ended in a punt and an unsuccessful fourth down conversion.

(Photo by Aaron Routon) Javon Franklin with a rush against Canton

(Photo by Aaron Routon) Javon Franklin with a rush against Canton

The second half was much of the same. The Canton offense was able to score two touchdowns, but that was all. One of the scores came on a North Lamar turnover. It was the first turnover the Panther offense had since game one against Idabel.

On Canton’s second possession of the half, quarterback Hunter Moore found Zach Brown for a 55 yard touchdown pass. It was the first score of the game for Canton. The extra point attempt was blocked. That made the score 21-6.

North Lamar responded immediately, however, as Hill scored on the third play of the next drive. He took the handoff from Cowling and scampered 47 yards for the score. Hill would score his third touchdown on the next possession. This time on a three yard scamper.

The final Panther score came in the fourth quarter when Franklin broke a run for 39 yards and a score. The Panthers racked up over 500 yards of offense on the night while allowing less that 250 yards to the Eagles.

”The thing about the defense is they don’t have enough snaps in. You have games where they stand tall and bow their necks….They’ve only had five games in this defense but you got a glimpse of how great it can be.” - Head coach Aaron Emeyabbi

North Lamar is now 3-2 on the season and they will have a week off before traveling to Anna in two weeks. This will be the first district game of the year for the Panthers.