Late last season, head football coach Aaron Emeyabbi decided it was time to change the offense for his team. The Panthers ran it some during Melissa and Paris High last year but didn't fully commit to it until this offseason. On Friday night, Panther fans got to see the whole offense running for the first time.
With a final score of 38-8, there is work that needs to be done obviously. But at times on Friday, you understood why coach Emeyabbi was excited about switching the offense. Eleven different Panthers touched the ball on running plays, and only one player - Kobey Emeyabbi - finished with double digit attempts. When the offense happened without flaws, everyone in the stadium was fooled by who had the ball.
With it being game one, you'd expect to have some hiccups, though. That's what happened for North Lamar as they struggled through some illegal procedure penalties, bobbled snaps and missed assignments.
"We start moving the ball there and then we have some mental mistakes," head coach Aaron Emeyabbi said after the game. "It took a while to get something positive going offensively, and when you put your defense in a position like that where they're on the field a lot, it's tough."
Pottsboro's offense scored on their first six possessions of the game. While it took the Panthers until their eighth possession to find the end zone, there were other drives that had potential. The second drive of the game for North Lamar took over eight minutes off the game clock. TaDray Wilson opened the drive with back-to-back runs of six and eight yards.
The Panthers got the ball down to the Pottsboro 24 yard line and had the momentum. Facing a fourth down and four, Kobey Emeyabbi kept the ball for a quarterback run and got five yards and a first down. However, a holding penalty on the offense negated the first down and created a fourth and 14 play. Seth Parker was sacked on the next play to turn the ball over on downs.
The most impressive drive for the Panthers came in the fourth quarter. North Lamar took over the ball at their own 19 yard line after a Pottsboro punt. The Panthers went down the field in 10 plays, highlighted by an Andy Kirk 30 yard run down the sideline for North Lamar. That put the ball on their own 19 yard line. Two plays later Hunter Kruger scampered into the end zone on a 10 yard run. Kobey Emeyabbi would find the goal line on the two point conversion.
North Lamar has some work to do going forward. If Friday night is any indication, though, when they get everything clicking on offense, this team could cause some problems down the road. North Lamar will be at home Friday night to face the Mt. Pleasant Tigers. Kickoff is at 7:30. The game will also be broadcast on Mix 107.7.