If there is one word to describe North Lamar’s game against Mt. Pleasant on Friday night, it’s opportunities. North Lamar trying to move to 2-0 on the young season had opportunities on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, they couldn’t take advantage of enough opportunities and fell 21-17 on the road.
North Lamar’s defense played much better against the Tigers than they had against Leander Glenn in week one. The Panthers only allowed 206 total yards. More importantly North Lamar only gave up 47 yards on the ground on 32 attempts. That’s less than one and a half yards per carry. Put that next to the 211 yards they gave up the first week on the ground and you can see the vast improvement for North Lamar.
The problem was the passing game. Josh Morris completed nine of his passes for 159 yards. As a matter of fact, his first pass attempt was dropped by the receiver. After that, he completed all nine passes including a 77 yard touchdown on the third play of the game. The Panthers had an opportunity to make a statement early in the ball game on defense.
Having travelled backwards for the first couple of plays, the Tigers were facing a third down and 19 at their own 23 yard line. Morris dropped back to pass and found Dorian Glinton coming across the middle of the field at the 40 yard line. He caught the pass and was off to the races as he outran the Panthers defense to the endzone. Just like that, it was 7-0 with less than a minute off the clock.
Not to be outdone, the offense made the most of their first opportunity. Getting the ball on their own 24 yard line, the Panthers marched down the field for a score. The drive took nearly six and a half minutes off the clock and finished with a one yard touchdown run by Jay Walters.
The defense would stand tall on the next series. This time they caused Mt. Pleasant to lose 15 yards on their three plays from scrimmage. North Lamar’s offense would take over at their own 38 yard line with all the momentum in the ball game. Unfortunately that opportunity was lost as the Panthers went backwards on the three plays of the drive.
Both teams would trade touchdowns on their next possessions, though. Tyke Fluellen would score first as the Tigers took a 14-7 lead with 8:50 to play in the half. North Lamar would answer with an 81 yard drive of their own. Jeremiah Guenther would find the endzone for North Lamar as he took the hand off from Walters and went 24 yards to the house. I should mention that the 24 yards were “untouched” yards as the offensive line created a hole big enough to drive a truck through.
The score would remain this way into the second half. Both teams would only manage one score after halftime. This time it would be North Lamar striking first. On their second possession of the half, North Lamar found themselves facing a first and goal from the nine yard line. A chop blocking penalty, however, put the Panthers at first and goal from the 24 yard line. North Lamar never recovered and had to settle for a field goal. This wasn’t just any field goal, though. Travis Coston gave North Lamar a lead with a 40 yard field goal with under a minute to play in the third quarter.
The score would remain 17-14 until just under five minutes to play in the game. That’s when Morris passed for his second touchdown of the game. This time he found K.J. Cannon in the back of the endzone for the score and the 21-17 lead. That would be how the game would end as North Lamar falls to 1-1 on the season. The Panthers will travel to Greenville next Friday night for a 7:30 kickoff.