Football has begun and is well on its way into the season with games already played against Roane and Braxton and one this week against Ritchie County on a three game home streak. Roane County came into town pumped up and ready to play as they had nothing to lose against the 50 plus man Panther football juggernaut. This proved, as the night progressed, an advantage for the Roane team as the Panthers were plagued with mistakes, fumbles, dropped passes, and allowing Roane to start in their own territory because of failed on side kick attempts. This also proved to be a mistake against a team who had a full head of steam coming into the game, and Roane was able to capitalize on Panther mistakes. Critical penalties didn’t help the cause either. It was the most people I had seen at a game for a long time; it was standing room only.
The Panthers managed to get thirteen points on the board, but it wasn’t enough as Roane rolled to 28 points. The loss was tough, to say the least. It was indeed disappointing for the many Panther fans, but the boys are a great bunch of athletes who would use this loss to only get better for the game against their arch rival, Braxton County. As you may have already guessed, or if you were in attendance, you saw a completely different team. The Panthers went mistake free and were rolling at the half by the score of 37-0. There were massive hits on both sides of the field, but the tide of the Panthers proved too much for the Eagles. Panther defense let nothing by except for the occasional short run; otherwise it was a slam dunk defense. Defensively, the Eagles focused on Jordan Lucas who had a minimum of three tacklers on him per run which was a mistake on their part because of the depth of player talent that Clay has, thus leaving gaps and people wide open. In the third quarter, Varsity was feathered out of the game and JV had their chance to bust some heads. However, the Eagles scraped up 20 points, which ended the game by the score of 37-20 with a Clay Panther win. If the Panthers can stay healthy and relatively mistake free, they will be tough to beat. The game against Ritchie will be a tough one, but there is no doubt about the will of the Panthers. You come to their field, expect a game that is a hundred percent all out. The football spirit is up and running at the Panther den; keep up the fight.