It was Homecoming again...this time for the Canton Eagles. North Lamar came into the last preseason game of the year after losing three straight games by a combined total of 11 points. With an especially frustrating loss to Pottsboro last week, NL looked to get back in the win column heading into the mid-season bye.
After both teams traded punts on their first possessions, NL started to see some glimpses of their week 4 nemesis, penalties. Two drive-extending penalties allowed Canton to punch the ball in from a yard out, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 3:08 remaining in the first quarter. The Panthers took the next drive deep into Canton territory before surrendering possession with a fumble at the 16 yard line.
With the mistakes behind them, NL began to hit their offensive stride. QB Jay Walters led the Panthers on a two minute drive to close the half, scoring on a 1-yard run to tie the game 7-7 at the half.
The Panthers would go on to score 28 more unanswered points while amassing 332 yards of offense. With Sadi English watching from the sideline, NL marched the opening drive of the second half down the field while consuming nearly five minutes. Tyler Hill would complete the drive with a 2-yard TD, giving NL a 14-7 lead. Hill would finish the night with 127 yards, 2 TDs and a fumble after returning to full action for the first time since week 1 of the season.
The Panther defense got the job done on the next drive with a crucial 4th down stop. Quran Anglin deflected a pass attempt and gave NL the ball on the Canton 41 yard line. It would only take three plays for the offense to strike as Seybian Holt opened the drive with a 22-yard reception from Walters. Hill would complete the drive, scoring from 17-yards out to extend the NL lead to 21-7.
The Panthers next score was a bit more dramatic as a botched field goal attempt initiated a scramble by Walters who would find Hunter Moore for a 17-yard TD reception. Walters was 7/8 passing for 79 yards on the night. With 11:53 left in the game, NL held a 28-7 lead over Canton. NL would finish the night with one more score as Walters scampered 41-yards to give the Panthers a 35-7 lead with just over six minutes left in the game. In spite of the botched FG attempt, Travis Coston was perfect with five PAT conversions on the night.
Canton scored a meaningless TD as time expired resulting in a final score of 35-13. The Panthers finish the preseason with a record of 2-3. After a bye week, NL will open district play on October 13th as they host the Anna Coyotes. Kickoff is at 7:30.