By Jason Nichols
The (4-2) Clay County High School Panther football team hit the road on Friday, October 13, to take on the Panthers of Lincoln County High School.
Due to recent reclassification and conference expansion, the CCHS Panthers have been forced to find new rivalries. So, adding the largest AA school in the State of WV to the Clay County schedule has produced an old fashioned Panther vs Panther showdown.
Last season Clay was able to preserve a 13-10 victory of Lincoln and this season was sure to be the same type of excitement. CCHS was coming off a much needed bye week. Many Panther players have been dealing with numerous injuries, some of which are season ending. But, the bye week allowed for some position shuffling and some extra fundamental type practice sessions. Things seemed to work out just fine on Friday night.
Lincoln opened the scoring with a first quarter touchdown and took a quick 6-0 lead. However, Isaac Workman, Luke Burnette, Alex Grose, and the Panther offensive line and blockers would not allow that to deter CCHS from marching right down the field in quick fashion on the next possession. Workman squirted free with a 55 yard run getting Clay down to the 5 yard line only a few plays after the Lincoln score. Burnette scored on the next play and the CCHS Panthers and LCHS Panthers were tied at six apiece.
After a defensive stop, CCHS was able to drive once again down the field and Alex Grose scored from two yards out. The game would battle back and forth for the rest of the first half without a score, but CCHS seemed to be in control of the game. The halftime score was 12-6 Clay with the lead.
In the second half, a familiar player turned in a familiar play when Workman intercepted his fifth pass on the season and turned another INT into a Pick6. Clay added another score late in the third when Grose dashed 21 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers held a commanding 24-6 lead and was dominating Lincoln County. Lincoln did manage to score two late touchdowns, but it would not be enough as CCHS held on to defeat LCHS by a final score of 24-18. Clay improved to 5-2 on the season. Next Friday will be a tough home game as the Tigers of Shady Spring roll into Bradley Field. Shady brings with them a pretty good and tough football team.
Players of the Week for the game include Senior Isaac Workman who had seven carries for 127 yards rushing, and had a 47 yard interception return for a touchdown. Workman also batted down three Lincoln County passes. Freshman LB Riley Perkins also earns Player of the Week honors as he was all over the defensive field on Friday night. Perkins ended up with 17 total tackles and three tackles for losses as he and the rest of the defense shut down the LCHS running game.
Other notable performances include Luke Burnette who had 22 rushes for 78 yards and a touchdown, Alex Grose rushed ten times for 60 yards and scored two touchdowns. Ryan Burdette added 12 more tackles to his totals and Zach Ferrebee had nine tackles.
Please come out this Friday at 7 p.m. for the pregame show as CCHS that will honor the Little Panthers before the game. Go Panthers!