Kenny Welch looking for some running room. Allen Hamrick photo.
Luke Burnette getting a tough two yards for the first down. Allen Hamrick photo.

The CCHS Panthers travelled to Independence to take on the Patriots Friday night. The Panthers came in with all their weapons blazing and absolutely nothing to lose.

This would be a tough one for sure, but the Panthers were coming off a three game winning streak, scoring 101 points in those games. Surely this game would go the same way. The Panthers hit the ground running when Isaac Workman took the ball on the kickoff and gave the Panthers good field position, but that was to be it.  At this point early in the game, it appeared that the Panthers were there to play football. The offensive line opened huge holes for the runners and gave quarterback Alex Grose time to throw the ball against a tough Patriots defense. The Panthers looked as though they were going to upset the Patriots after the shellacking they gave the Panthers last year.

The first half  was a well played game by both teams, and it came down to which team made the critical mistakes. The Panthers made a couple of mistakes but were able to stay in the game with some great defense. At the end of the half, the Patriots were the only ones on the board with seven points. The Panthers had a couple of shots at the goal line but getting a touchdown was like grabbing smoke and putting it in your pocket. Somehow the fans knew that this would not be a repeat of last year and the Panthers was there to fight.  It had been a great game to that point. However, something happened during halftime – either the Patriots had the Panther defense’s number or the Panther defense decided to take another couple minutes to rest. The Patriots came out and scored a quick 13 points in under four minutes of the third period. This put the Patriots up 0-20. After that, the defense dug in but the offense couldn’t get on track to score.

The Panthers made some good plays but getting to the touchdown line was like paddling across a lake with a toothpick. The Patriots only got by the Panther defense one more time and the game finished with the Patriots taking the game by the score of 0-26. The boys played a good game, but mistakes will kill you in a tough game when both teams are pretty evenly matched. The Panthers will take a powder this week and will be back in action against Lincoln County on their home turf. If the Panthers can get a win here, they will move up the ladder. They need the wins to make the playoffs. If you get the chance, come out and support the Panthers.  They are 4 and 2 on the season.